Supreme Court of the United States Declines to Hear Appeal on Illinois Horse Slaughter Ban

Washington, D.C. -- The repeated attempts by Illinois-based Cavel International, Inc. to continue slaughtering horses in the face of a state ban on the practice and the will of the people of Illinois were quashed for a final time today, when the Supreme Court of the United States denied the slaughterhouse's petition for certiorari.

On January 18, 2008, Cavel had appealed the earlier decision by the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, which upheld the decision by the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois to reaffirm the constitutionality of an Illinois law preventing the slaughter of horses for human consumption.

"We are relieved and elated that the Supreme Court has decided this case does not warrant additional review," said Tracy Silverman, general counsel for the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI). "We thank the Illinois attorney general's office for its efforts arguing to uphold the state law preventing the slaughter of horses for human consumption."

The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (H.R. 503/S. 311), a federal bill to ban horse slaughter in the United States and the transport of horses abroad for the same purpose, is pending in the US Congress. Its enactment is now essential to ensure horses who would have been sent to Cavel are not exported for slaughter in Canada or Mexico.

"While we don't expect companies such as Cavel to stop trying to manipulate the legal and political systems, we hope other pro-horse slaughter organizations will now work with us to protect America's horses from this cruel and predatory industry," said Chris Heyde, AWI's deputy director of government and legal affairs. "The American public has made clear its desire to close this industry down, and AWI is proud to be leading the charge to pass the urgently needed federal law to ban horse slaughter."


The renowned law firm of Patton Boggs is representing AWI in this case.

Mecia Contact:
Tracy Silverman, Esq. or Chris Heyde (202) 337-2332

Founded in 1951, AWI is an international non-profit organization dedicated to reducing the sum total of pain and fear inflicted on animals by humans. Its legislative division initiated, and has since led, the national campaign to end horse slaughter, as well as spearheaded the effort to enact the ban in Illinois. Please visit

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