In a joint statement issued today (Monday) to the Illinois General Assembly, Illinois-based equine rescue organizations announced their united opposition to pending legislation that would repeal the state ban on horse slaughter enacted in 2007.
The Illinois Equine Humane Center (Wilmington), C.A.N.T.E.R. (Northern Illinois), Field of Dreams Horse Rescue & Adoption (St. Charles), Hooved Animal Humane Society (Woodstock), Mid America Horse Rescue (Millstadt), and the Society for Hooved Animals Rescue and Emergency (Champaign) are united in our opposition to HB 583 or any other attempt to re-establish horse slaughter in Illinois," said Gail Vacca, President of the Illinois Equine Humane Center.
"It is very disturbing that those seeking to profit from the sale of horsemeat are once again trying to bring this cruel industry back to our state, and even more disturbing is the proposed "blood-money" amendment that has been offered to this bill," added Vacca.
The amendment calls for a fee of $25 to be charged to the slaughterhouse for each horse slaughtered. The results of which would then be placed into a fund for eventual distribution to equine rescues for use in expanding their operations or for use in providing care to rescued horses.
"I speak for all of us in stating that none of our equine rescue organizations would ever accept a single penny from this fund. This is blood money, pure and simple. We wish to let our legislators know that no legitimate organization dedicated to equine welfare would ever accept money to save horses that was derived from the pain and suffering of other less fortunate horses," said veterinarian and Executive Director of the Hooved Animal Humane Society, Dr. Patti Klein-Manke.
Margo Sutter, President of the Mid America Horse Rescue in Millstadt added, "if Illinois legislators are truly interested in equine welfare, we could think of a million ways they could help Illinois horses, none of which would involve their suffering and slaughter. The proposed repeal of the horse slaughter ban and the blood-money amendment are as distasteful as they are disingenuous."
In closing their letter sent to the Illinois General assembly, the leaders of Illinois' equine welfare and rescue organizations urged Members to vote "NO" on HB 583 and Amendment #001.
Gail Vacca, President - Illinois Equine Humane Center, NFP - http://www.ilehc.org/Denise Fillo, Executive Director - CANTER Northern Illinois - http://www.canterusa.org/Sue Balla, President - Field of Dreams Horse Rescue & Adoption - http://www.fodhra.org/Dr. Patti Klein-Manke, Executive Director - Hooved Animal Humane Society - http://www.hahs.org/Margo Sutter, President - Mid America Horse Rescue, NFP - http://www.mahrnfp.org/Linda Hewerdine, President - Society for Hooved Animal Rescue and Emergency - http://www.s-h-a-r-e.net/