Horse-slaughtering plants aren't good for cities

GAIL VACCA

Editor: As stated by the Chronicle, there are three horse-slaughtering plants operating in the United States. At least two of them are polluting the communities that have the misfortune of being home to these operations. Both Dallas Crown in the small Texas community of Kaufman and Cavel International in our very own city of DeKalb have consistently polluted and overtaxed their respective communities' sewer systems for quite some time. According to a story that appeared in the Chronicle on April 8, DeKalb Sanitary District Manager Mike Zima "said the violations at Cavel International on DeKalb's south side do not pose a public health hazard, but they do put pressure on the district's sanitary treatment processes." This is an understatement if I ever heard one. Just ask Paula Bacon, the mayor of Kaufman, Texas. The town of Kaufman is currently facing costly sewer upgrades and repairs that will total in the millions of dollars, caused for the most part by years and years of discharge violations from the Dallas Crown horse-slaughtering plant. The Cavel plant has been in violation of a discharge guideline since the so-called "state of the art" slaughter plant opened last June. It has had some nine months to clean up its act and has yet to do so. How much longer is the city going to let this business continue to operate in violation, causing untold damage to our city's sewer system? A $500 fine is a complete joke. This little token slap on the wrist is highly unlikely to encourage this plant to comply with discharge standards. The trouble with the horse-slaughtering plant in DeKalb as well as with the two in Texas is that for many years they have enjoyed the luxury of operating under the radar - for the most part no one knew what they did or questioned it. Thankfully, the times are changing for Cavel and their cohorts in Texas. The people in all three of these communities are standing up and holding these unwanted horse slaughter plants and the people who support them accountable. Please contact Mayor-elect Frank Van Buer, the DeKalb City Council members and Rep. Bob Pritchard and insist that they all stand with the people of DeKalb and support legislation to ban the slaughter of horses in Illinois. DeKalb is a beautiful, thriving community. We certainly do not need this kind of business and the dirty baggage it brings with it. For further information about the ongoing nightmare in our "sister" horse slaughter town of Kaufman, Texas, please read: Letter from Kaufman Public Works Director Richard Underwood to Dallas Crown: www.kaufmanzoning.net/Bacon/Underwood07262004.pdf Kaufman Herald article: www.kaufmanzoning.net/Bacon/KH08262004.htm The Lion's Pride (Kaufman High School) news article: www.kaufmanzoning.net/horsemeat/LionsPride102004.htm Kaufman Mayor Paula Bacon's Web site (lists correspondence pertaining to Dallas Crown): www.kaufmanzoning.net For more information on the cruelty of horse slaughter, please visit www.horse-protection.org. If you do not have Internet access and would like copies of these documents, please call me at (815) 761-4937. I will be happy to provide them for you. GAIL VACCA Top of the Hill Farm

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