Plans Finalized to Rebuild Illinois Slaughterhouse

Plans for rebuilding Cavel International, the horse-slaughtering plant in DeKalb, Ill., that burned down in 2002, have been finalized, according to the Northern Star of Northern Illinois University.

James Tucker, controller for Cavel, said the slaughterhouse plans to reopen in February 2004. No cause for the fire was identified by the DeKalb Fire Department or by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the Northern Star reported.

Cavel slaughters horses for meat, which is exported for consumption in Europe. By-products also go to rendering companies that produce fertilizers and oils.

Tucker said many people are against the slaughtering of horses because they are companion animals. "People think that this is the one major thing wrong with society," Tucker told the newspaper. "Food is an issue in the world, and the food we produce adds to what people need."

Though some have attempted to stop Cavel from rebuilding, Russ Farnum, principal planner for the city of DeKalb, said as long as Cavel applies for the permits, construction can't be stopped.

Meanwhile, opponents plan a vigil for Sept. 27 at Hopkins Park in DeKalb. Organizers are trying to get city officials to stop the rebuilding of the plant. Animal welfare associations are involved in the endeavor.