Springfield, Ill. - 2/28/07 - A bill that would prohibit the transportation of horses into Illinois for the purpose of slaughter for human consumption was introduced to the state legislature last week.
Sponsored by Rep. Bob Molaro (D-Chicago), the bill was introduced Feb. 22, representing the state's second try at an anti-slaughter bill. A similar bill was passed in the Illinois Senate in 2004, but was defeated in the house.
The current bill odes not include funding for rescue or horse owner educational purposes; however, the Illinois Department of Agriculture will increase educational programs and assistance to horse owners if the bill passed, Molaro says.
A Jan. 19 federal court decision halted the only two other U.S. plants, located in Fort Worth and Kaufman, Texas, from processing meat for human consumption. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, more than 100,000 horses were slaughtered last year in the Texas and DeKalb, Illinois plants.
"Illinois has long been a leader in animal protection and anti-cruelty laws," Molaro says. "As such, it is high time we put an end to equine cruelty and join Texas and all other U.S. states in protecting horses from needless slaughter."