Some call for rethinking horse-slaughtering ban
February 22, 2009
By Eric Naing, GateHouse News Service
SPRINGFIELD - Horse slaughtering was banned in Illinois two years ago as inhumane. But now some state lawmakers and horse enthusiasts want to lift the ban, hoping to improve treatment for animals they say face even worse circumstances now.
Springfield horse owner Dean Large supports the efforts behind House Bill 583, which would repeal the ban on slaughtering horses for human consumption.
"People have no way to get rid of their horses, so they just turn them loose or let them starve," said Large, a co-owner of the horse carriage rental service Feed Corral. "We never had this problem when we had the slaughter market."
Rep. Jim Sacia (R-Pecatonica) is pushing the repeal. He adds that the slaughter ban now sends horses to foreign countries for slaughter "where their end-of-life issue is anything other than humane." He said it is better for horses to be slaughtered here, under U.S. Department of Agriculture supervision, than in countries like Mexico.
Dr. Temple Grandin, an associate professor of animal science at Colorado State University, called conditions at Mexican horse-slaughtering plants, where horses are subdued by being stabbed in the neck, "hideous."
"I'm not saying that our horse-slaughter plants are problem-free, but even a poorly run slaughter plant in the U.S. would be preferable to horses going down to Mexico," she said.
Apparently there is a little buyer’s remorse happening in the state of Illinois. There are some in the state legislature that are going to be pushing for a repeal of the law which banned horse processing in the state. You can also add Kansas to the list of states that is now considering passing legislation in support of domestic horse processing facilities.