Slaughter: U.S. Circuit Court Decision Allows Cavel to Resume Operations

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has granted a motion by Cavel International, allowing the plant to temporarily resume horse slaughter operations, the Society for Animal Protective Legislation (SAPL) announced July 18.

In late May Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed a law banning the import, export, and possession of horsemeat intended for human consumption. However, Cavel filed suit in federal court to challenge the law. (For more on this see

U.S. District Court Judge Frederick J. Kapala allowed the plant to continue operating while he considered the challenge, but dismissed the case July 5.

However, Cavel has appealed that decision to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled that the facility will be allowed to operate while the appeal is pending. The court granted Cavel's request without a hearing.

"We would have liked an opportunity to oppose Cavel's request before the Court handed down its decision, and we are certainly disappointed with this ruling," said Tracy Silverman, an attorney with the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI).

The U.S. Court of Appeals is expected to issue opinions related to its decision, as well as an expedited briefing schedule, shortly.

Earlier this year, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a Texas state law that closed the country's other two horse slaughterhouses.

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