DeKalb Plan Commission rejects reopening of slaughterhouse

Cross-posted from the Daily Chronicle

Written by ELENA GRIMM

DeKALB – After about a dozen people who live, work or own property near a former slaughterhouse gave reasons why slaughtering activity shouldn’t reappear, a developer’s request was not recommended by the DeKalb Plan Commission.

In a 4-0 vote, the Plan Commission did not recommend a proposal by J&A Investors to expand and improve the vacant Harvestore Drive facility for hog slaughtering. Commissioner Vincent Frye abstained because he lives near the property, and commissioner Joe Gastiger was absent from Wednesday’s meeting.

Because the developer’s plan would amend the special-use permit, a public hearing was held.

The developer, James Jendruczek, said that this would be the company’s first slaughtering facility, though they operate meat-processing facilities elsewhere, including one in Carpentersville. The company would invest $9 million into the facility formerly owned by Cavel International, which was the last horse-slaughtering plant in the U.S.

Under the plans, the building would be expanded from 16,000 square feet to 41,000 square feet, and the company would process 2,000-2,700 hogs per day.

Cavel International ceased operations at the site in 2007 after an Illinois law banned Cavel’s practice of slaughtering horses for human consumption. Cavel challenged the law in court, but was effectively put out of business after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal in 2008.

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WE SAY

This is good news, as slaughterhouse owners have reportedly applied for and been granted a permit to slaughter hogs, then changed to slaughtering horses when the plant opened.

Horse slaughter is illegal in Illinois. However, Rep. Jim Sacia unsuccessfully filed legislation earlier this year to return horse slaughter to Illinois. Despite its continuing unpopularity, Sacia is expected to renew his efforts to repeal the law banning horse slaughter when the Illinois General Assembly reconvenes.

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