I am thrilled to report to you that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, based in Chicago, has ruled in our favor on a major horse slaughter case. In a unanimous 3-0 decision, the Court upheld the constitutionality of a law passed earlier this year in Illinois to ban horse slaughter. Cavel International, which slaughters more than 40,000 horses a year in DeKalb, Ill., challenged the state law and actually won a stay from the federal appellate court, and has continued to slaughter horses. Today, the federal court shot down Cavel in a final ruling, and the plant must cease its killing.
This year, The Humane Society of the United States and other horse advocates have helped to shut down all three horse slaughter plants operating in the United States—two in Texas and one in Illinois. We now have two unanimous federal appellate court rulings in our favor. The domestic slaughter industry is now wiped out.
Kudos to former Illinois Solicitor Gary Feinerman, Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Assistant Attorney General Mary Welsh, the state's lead attorneys, and to our own Rebecca Judd, in our Animal Protection Litigation section, who represented The HSUS in the case. Thanks also to Illinois Rep. Bob Molaro and Senator John Cullerton who championed the measure, to other Illinois lawmakers who helped pass this critical humane legislation earlier this year, and to Governor Rod Blagojevich for signing the ban into law .
Our task now is to pass legislation in Congress to ban the export of live horses for slaughter—a position that both chambers of Congress have favored in the past.
We thank you for your support, and this is surely a moment to celebrate.