June 16, 2007

The last horse slaughter plant operating in the United States has won a 10-day reprieve while a judge continues to consider its challenge to a new state law that will force it to close.

The Illinois legislature passed a law late in May banning the slaughter of horses for human consumption, and it was immediately signed by Governor Rod Blagojevich.

However, Belgian-owned Cavel International, whose plant in DeKalb slaughters horses for human consumption overseas, believes the law is unconstitutional and violates parts of the constitution dealing with foreign and interstate commerce.

US District Court Judge Frederick Kapala originally granted an order which stopped Illinois from enforcing the ban while he considered the case. However, this week be extended the restraining order for another 10 working days to provide more time.

Two other plants, both in Texas, closed earlier this year when that state enforced a 1949 law banning the slaughter of horses for human consumption.