Springfield, IL -- Following last year's passage of an Illinois state law banning horse slaughter, the House of the Illinois General Assembly today adopted HB 4162, a bill to ban the use of double-deck cattle trailers to transport horses inside the state. Sponsored in the House by Representatives JoAnn Osmond (R-61st) and Bob Molaro (D-21st), the bill easily passed by a vote of 80-29 and will now move to the Senate for consideration. Although the state's sole horse slaughter plant closed in 2007, these trailers are still used to move horses through Illinois to be slaughtered elsewhere.
"On behalf of our Illinois supporters and horse lovers around the United States, we commend Representatives Osmond and Molaro and their colleagues in the House for passing this double decker ban," said Chris Heyde, Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) deputy director of government and legal affairs. "The Illinois General Assembly has taken action to stop the brutal injury and death of horses transported on trailers not designed for them. We look forward to seeing the Senate enact this modest and responsible legislation."
During today's floor debate, staunch horse slaughter advocate Representative Jim Sacia railed against the Illinois ban on horse slaughter. Sacia continues to mislead his colleagues in an attempt to overturn the ban, which easily passed the Illinois General Assembly last year. He advocates the reopening of US plants by highlighting how bad the situation is for horses going to Canada and Mexico for slaughter, a fate AWI opposed for years. However, Sacia fails to point out that the industry he is advocating for in the United States is the same industry buying tens of thousands of American horses and shipping them to their plants in Canada and Mexico.
"If Representative Sacia cared about our horses, he would commend the Illinois ban and urge the US Congress to swiftly enact the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act," Heyde said. "Mr. Sacia is clearly trying to keep a cruel industry alive while couching his disingenuous move as a mark of compassion."
AWI will continue to advocate for HB 4162 as it moves to the Senate. Be sure to stay up to date on the Illinois legislation, as well as AWI's national campaign against horse slaughter, by visiting www.awionline.org daily. While you are there, please also sign up for our eAlerts so that you can take action for animals when needed.
For over 57 years the Animal Welfare Institute has been the leading voice for animals across the country and on Capitol Hill to reduce the sum total of pain and fear inflicted on animals by humans. Find our more at: www.awionline.org.