Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Legislative ripple effect of horse slaughter litigation

In true American fashion of "where there's a buck to be made, someone will find a way to make it"... the closure of the last horse slaughter plant in the U.S. (see below) apparently has not ended the slaughter of U.S. horses for food consumption. And a federal ban on transporting horses to slaughter in double-decker trailers apparently wasn't enough to stop that practice, either.

After a double-decker trailer crammed with 59 horses crashed and overturned in northern Illinois in late October, the Illinois legislature has introduced H.B. 4162, a measure that would ban the double-decker transport of horses altogether. Entrepreneurs are reportedly getting around the federal ban by transporting the horses double-decker to facilities near the Canadian or Mexican border, unloading them for a day or two, then transporting the animals in a single-decker trailer across the border for slaughter, so, in the words of Margaret van Dijk, general counsel for the Illinois Department of Agriculture, "they are technically in compliance with the statute."

Wisconsin also has a measure pending, WI SB 262, to prohibit the slaughter of horses for human consumption.

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