US Court of Appeals Lets Illinois Plant Resume Horse Slaughter for Now

Much to our chagrin, the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit granted an emergency motion by Cavel International that allows the DeKalb, Ill.-based horse slaughter plant to recommence killing horses for sale as meat for human consumption overseas.

As the only US horse slaughter plant still in operation, Cavel was previously forced to shut its doors in late June when US District Court Judge Frederick Kapala denied its request to continue to evade prosecution under a recently enacted Illinois state law that criminalizes the slaughter of horses for human consumption.

In May, Cavel filed suit in federal court to challenge the new law’s enforceability, but on July 5, Judge Kapala ruled that the law was constitutional and thus, enforceable.

Cavel has appealed Judge Kapala’s latest decision to the US Court of Appeals, and while its appeal is pending, the slaughterhouse may once again slaughter horses for human consumption. The Court granted the plant’s request for an injunction without a hearing, just two days after the slaughterhouse filed its motion.

The Animal Welfare Institute is represented by the nationally renowned law firm Patton Boggs. We will continue to do our utmost to ensure that the law passed in Illinois to stop this brutal trade within the state’s boundaries is put in force.