Horse Slaughter Bill

State representative Jim Sacia says he loves horses. So it may come as some surprise that he is sponsoring legislation to lift the ban on slaughtering them.

"Since Cavel International, the horse slaughter plant in DeKalb closed in 2006 we now have an additional 80,000 horses a year being shipped to Mexico strictly for the purposes of slaughter." he says.

Sacia says aside from the fact that Mexican slaughterhouses are very inhumane, the horses must endure a eighty hour trailer ride before they reach their final destinations. He says as long as most of the world eats horse meat, humane Illinois slaughterhouses should be allowed to provide it. But not everyone agrees.

"It's completely disingenuous when proponents of horse slaughter say that we need this avenue to rid ourselves of unwanted horses, old horses. Those aren't the horses that the slaughterhouse buys. They're buying healthy, younger, meaty horses because that's the demand they need to meet for the European markets." says Gail Vacca, President of the Illinois Equine Humane Center.

Six horse welfare organizations issued a statement this week opposing Sacia's legislation. Much to their delight, insiders say the measure is not likely to pass. The general assembly voted overwhelmingly for the ban two years ago.

The horse slaughtering issue is also floating around Washington. A federal ban on horse slaughtering for human consumption is being considered and if it passes, it would be illegal to slaughter horses anywhere in the country.

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  • by Jessica Clark Location: Como, Texas on Aug 10, 2009 at 08:33 PM
    Everyone is so against slaughtering horses, but they don't see both sides of the story. The truth is the industry depends on the slaughter of horses. Anyone who actually owns them can see a huge difference in the value of horses since the slaughter houses have been shut down. For those of you who have taken an economics class in high school or college, you might understand this: as long as the slaughter houses were willing to pay $800 for a horse (for example) people who wanted that horse would pay more than that to keep it from being killed. This made the market was stable. Now that there is no market, there are so many crappy horses, that you can go to a livestock auction and pick up a yearling for $30. It's not right. Please, please keep the Slaughter houses open!
  • by Gary Location: Idaho on Jun 14, 2009 at 12:44 PM
    Very few of the comments I have read here are being wrote with people doing their research. Some have hit the nail right on the head. Everyone who is against slaughter and think people should keep horses until they die should send a good part of their paycheck to rescue organization to help care for the animals kept their. Here in my state and in naboring states have abanded and horses released into the wild a lot since the laws to stop slaughter of horses. I don't know of a horse owner that wants their horses sent to slaughter. But is every horse a good usable horse? No,as others here have stated some are just not trainable. People need to support or oppose this based on facts and not by their hearts.With the very high prices for feed we are going to see a lot more abandoned and horses released into the wild to fend for themselves. So which is the worst death? Starvation or sent to slaughter? Have any of you apposed watched animals in the wild kill and animal for food? It's pretty bad
  • by Karen Location: Davie, FL on Jun 7, 2009 at 05:41 PM
    I can understand the need to slaughter the weak, sick and old horses. And we should do in here in America as said before, they are being slaughtered in mexico in a brutal manner. I am against shocking the horse on the head, numerous times, till the horse dies. Why can't we give them a lethal injection instead of torturing them before death.
  • by Blake Location: New York on May 21, 2009 at 07:45 AM
    People out there who think horse slaughter is good for horses because it "ends their lives quick and easy and relieves them of their misery", well, check your facts before you type. slaughter houses DON'T put horses down humanly. They DON'T do it quickly. The horses are alive for most of their own slaughter, including throught slitting. there is a very humane way to kill a horse, it's been in existace for years, it's called PUTTING THEM DOWN!!! sorta like what people do to dogs and cats. any untrained, un happy horses dont deserve this kind of treatment. also, this creates very few jobs, and really, people, open YOUR eyes, pinch YOURSELF, i dont think anyone wants to get paid for commiting an animal murder. please do watch the many graphic videos on the process of horse slaughtering and let's see your reaction. p.s. justin person, we don't ship horse meat off to ethiopia!!
  • by Morgan Location: New York City on May 21, 2009 at 07:41 AM
    Do you even know how horses are slaughtered? it's barbaric and in human. How would you like it if you were put in a kill box and treated like crap and then stabbed in the neck reapetedly then hung by your legs to bleed out. We dont even send horse meat to Euthiopia.(meant to a specific person.) This is a horriable inhuman barbaric crime that should be put to a stop. I'm pretty hung but i have enough common sense that i'm never going to accept horse slaughtery. nobody should make money of of this "buisness"
  • by Joanne Location: Maine on May 6, 2009 at 09:37 PM
    Everyone that believes horses should be slaughtered the way they are being should allow their children to watch how it is being done and get their reaction. I have been to a place that ships horses for meat and let me tell you it is extremly sad to witness. If an animal is going to be killed do it in a manner that is humane not cruel. I understand that people have to eat and yes their are ways to kill an animal without beating it with a electric pole.I am a young widow with a horse, I struggle with finances but no matter how tough it gets I would not sell my horse for meat. What happened to the compassion for any living creature? I am writing this letter on behalf of my 14 year old daughter because she watched her dad die of cancer and she has such a passion for these majestic creatures. We have to start having some compassion for living creatures including these horses. Death and dying should not be such a cruel obstacle it should be humane.
  • by justin on May 4, 2009 at 04:24 PM
    I have been reading the comments and would like to know what world do some of you live in. I live on a reservation where the native people are still eating horse meat to this day. It is there right to do so if they choose it. I have a problem with people who are true humanitarians and want to feed the children of the world and are against horse slaughter. all i have to say is wake up I am sure some starving kid in ethiopia doesn't care if he is eating horse meat. I wish all of you brave people would just go to your local auction market and just out bid the horse slaughter buyers rather than trying to forse your will on others.
  • by justin Location: Montana on May 4, 2009 at 04:08 PM
    In the USA we have used horses for work, play and yes in the hard times for food. I don't care who denies it in the depression alot of people ate horse meat. I believe horse slaughter is an evil that is a must. I love horses I own quite a few and believe in fair treatment of animals. But I do believe in a persons right to do with there property what they like. If you do not like horse slaughter go to the horse sales and out bid the slaughter houses but don't take away another persons right. I know what I propose is a dream because most people don't want the responsibility of horse ownership but they want to tell others what to do.
  • by Tricia Location: Ohio on Apr 16, 2009 at 04:41 PM
    For those of you in favor of the horse ban, why don't you start putting part of your paycheck towards supporting their lives? If you are already, I think that's great. If you are not because you don't have the money, well, take a number. People are having to choose between feeding their families or their animals and these animals are suffering. Only, they don't have enough money to put them down either, so guess what? They suffer. Rescues are overloaded and barely able to take care of the horses they have now. As Cindy stated, some horses are unruly and impossible to tame. Breeding is not being regulated so there's no control of the population. So, I guess people would rather vote in favor to have them suffer in life than be humanely euthanized as regulated by the government. Sounds kind of oxymoronic to me.
  • by Cindy Location: Nebraska on Apr 11, 2009 at 08:33 PM
    For all those people who say no one wants horse slaughter they have obviously never been confronted with a horse that is untrainable and yes folks they do exist and they are dangerous! Or how about the horse that no one wants and I don't mean just the old and crippled.... excuse me a horse can't be put in a trailer to go to slaughter if they cant walk onto the trailer sound, nor are blind horses allowed. So all you folks who are against the horse slaughter, some one please set up a web site so when there is a horse needing a new home, irregardless of what they are like to handle, you'll come with your trailers and pick it up instead of them being dumped into pastures during the middle of the night or turned loose on some back country road... oh wait lets take them out and turn them loose with the wild horses, they'll just starve to death slowly or be killed by the herd stallion. I have raised horses for 20 years, there is such a thing as a bad horse!
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