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Cavel manager warns of increased farm animal control

By Diane Strand Cavel International Manager Jim Tucker warned livestock owners last week that there could be a natural progression by humane societies toward more control over how other farm animals are cared for. Cavel, which has slaughtered horses in DeKalb for human consumption by Europeans, was banned from doing so last week by the Illinois General Assembly. The governor has said he would sign the measure. &#8220What the Humane Society might do (as a $180 million lobby) is insinuate themselves between the owner and livestock” in other situations, Tucker said. For example, before other farm animals are euthanized, owners could be required to first use other veterinary medical treatment for the animal. &#8220They could require using all medical techniques available before euthanizing an animal,” he said. Tucker's argument was supported by State Sen. Brad Burzynski, R-Clare, who said, &#8220I am extremely disappointed and disheartened that they could get 39 votes in the Senate, but the Senate passed this issue before (and at that time, the House did not).” He said other issues could follow regarding other livestock &#8220and this was part of the debate on the floor. This is a slippery slope. The emails and letters received from throughout the country (indicates the lobbyists) see this as an animal rights bill.” Burzynski attributed some of the change of heart in the General Assembly to newly elected representatives.” The reaction of State Rep. Bob Pritchard, R-Hinckley, was a little bit more philosophical though still disappointed. &#8220We live in a very diverse state and people value lots of different things. In the past, diversity has been one of our strengths.” In the Cavel situation, some people thought the operation was appropriate and others viewed it as terrible. But he said he opposes &#8220passing a bill to put a business out of business.” Pritchard mentioned his recent efforts to protect Illinois businesses from the governor's proposed major tax on business, which was overwhelmingly defeated by the legislature. &#8220We need to look for ways to respect different values,” Pritchard said, noting the taxes and jobs that Cavel brought to the DeKalb area. - Diane Strand He cited wind farms as another issue that is being hailed as an alternative energy source, though a wind farm was voted down by the DeKalb County Board. Noting that &#8220laws are found unconstitutional all the time,” Pritchard did not eliminate the possibility that Cavel could challenge the constitutionality of the law shutting it down. One of hundreds of activitists who fought the horse slaughtering operation, NIU artist Julie Kiefer-Bell commented, "Words cannot express my gratitude to the Illinois legislators who supported passage of this bill and to the countless individuals across the country who have dedicated their lives, some for decades, for humane treatment of American horses. Their unwavering efforts to educate the public on the truths behind this industry as well as promoting humane alternatives, responsible horse ownership and prudent breeding activities need to be addressed by all, as well as immediate support for the bill in Congress."

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