Illinois Horse Slaughter Ban Defeated: But the Fight Continues


HAHS has been working closely with the National Horse Protection Coalition's Illinois representative Gail Vacca to pass legislation to ban the slaughter of horses for human consumption both at the state and national levels. While a bill to ban horse slaughter in Illinois was recently outvoted in the House due to grandstanding during debate over the horse slaughter issue, the federal bill continues to gain momentum. Most recently, veterinarian and U.S. Senator John Ensign (R-Nev.), along with several other co-sponsors, introduced the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act in the Senate. The bill is similar to the one introduced in the House last year.

Facts that HAHS has been attempting to educate people on include:

1. Lethal injection performed by a veterinarian is more humane than a captive bolt gun used in the slaughter plant.

2. It is still legal to transport horses in double-decker trailers for more than a full day without food, water or rest.

3. Over 90% of horses arriving at slaughter plants are in "good" condition, no old, sick, lame or crazy.

4. There has been no documented rise in horse neglect either in California since horse slaughter was banned in 1998 or in Illinois since the horse slaughter plan Cavel burned in 2002.

5. Horses can be humanely euthanized, necropsied, and disposed of by the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine for $90.

6. Not every horse currently going to slaughter will need to be absorbed into the rescue community--some will be sold to a new owner, others will be kept longer, some will be humanely euthanized by a veterinarian, others will be given away.

7. While the number of horses slaughtered in the U.S. has decreased dramatically from 350,000 to 50,000, there has been no correlating increase in the number of American horses being exported to Canada, Mexico or other countries.