On Friday, September 21st, the US Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit ruled in favor of the constitutionality of the recent Illinois State law that was passed, banning the slaughter of horses for human consumption in the State of Illinois. While a similar state law in Texas shut down 2 of the 3 horse slaughter plants at the beginning of this year, Cavel International in DeKalb, IL, continued to slaughter horses under the protection of temporary injunctions while they waged their legal battle. The plant has a couple of legal options remaining that they can explore. For now, however the last remaining slaughter plant in the U.S. has to close its doors.
With U.S. plants closed, American horses will simply be shipped overseas to Canada or Mexico for slaughter. America’s wild horses also remain at threat of slaughter. Though they were once protected under the 1971 Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act, they have lost many of these protections throughout the last three decades. The final blow came in 2004 when an amendment opened up full sale authority for wild horses, essentially making them available to the highest bidder.
In April of this year, Congressmen Nick Rahall and Ed Whitfield succeeded in passing legislation in the US House of Representatives that would revoke that sale authority and restore some of the protections that the 1971 Act had provided. This legislation still needs to be heard and voted on in the Senate. Until then, wild horses remain at risk.
The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (HR 503 and S 311) has been introduced in both the House and the Senate, but has yet to be heard by either in this Congressional session. Despite overwhelming public support, and the fact that HR 503 passed the House by a landslide last year, the legislation is languishing in Committee as we near the end of the session. This legislation would protect both wild and domestic horses from slaughter.
You can be a voice for America’s wild horses by contacting your members of Congress today. Ask them to support:
- HR 503 in the House
- S 311 and a Senate version of HR 249 in the Senate
For information on who your representatives are, or how to contact them, please visit www.congress.org. For more information on Return to Freedom and what we’re doing to protect America’s wild horses please visit original.returntofreedom.org. On behalf of the horses, thank you.