Senate Bill Would Prohibit Double Deck Horse Trailer Use

Newsdate: Tue 08 October 2013 – 9:10 am
Location: SAN DIEGO, California

Several states have passed legislation banning the transport of horses in double-deck trailers, but there is currently no federal prohibition so this inhumane practice continues. The Horse Transportation Safety Act (S. 1459) would fix this.

Double deck livestock trailer not fit for horses

Double deck livestock trailer not fit for horses

The Horse Transportation Safety Act of 2013 sponsored by Sens. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ), would prohibit the transportation of horses in interstate commerce in a motor vehicle containing two or more levels stacked on top of one another.
© 2013 by C. Goodwin

The Horse Transportation Safety Act of 2013 (S. 1459), is a bipartisan bill sponsored by Sens. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ), would prohibit the transportation of horses in interstate commerce in a motor vehicle containing two or more levels stacked on top of one another, more commonly known as double-deck trailers.

Hauling horses in double deck trailers is potentially dangerous and is inhumane. These trailers do not provide sufficient headroom for horses to stand upright. The animals often endure long journeys in cramped positions and suffer serious injuries as a result.

In the past horrific accidents involving double deck trailers have resulted in injuries and the deaths of numerous horses. However, It is not merely the potential for catastrophic accidents that make these trailers inhumane.

These trailers can lead to serious injuries of horses while being transported, a point on which humane organizations, veterinary associations, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) agree.

According to the USDA:

Double-deck trailers do not provide adequate headroom for equines, with the possible exception of foals and yearlings. We do not believe that trailers that have two or more permanent levels that are not collapsible can be adequately altered to accommodate adult equines, especially tall equines. A tall equine can be 8 feet tall to the top of its head when standing on all four legs and close to 12 feet tall when rearing.

In addition, many bridges and tunnels on highways will not accommodate altered trailers because of the low overhead of many bridges and tunnels.

The Horse Transportation Safety Act would provide protections covering the movement of all horses, not just those bound for slaughter.

Horse owners are encouraged to contact their congressional representatives to show support for the Horse Transportation Safety Act.

About the Author

Flossie Sellers

As an animal lover since childhood, Flossie was delighted when Mark, the CEO and developer of EquiMed asked her to join his team of contributors.

She enrolled in My Horse University at Michigan State and completed a number of courses in everything related to horse health, nutrition, diseases and conditions, medications, hoof and dental care, barn safety, and first aid.

Staying  up-to-date on the latest developments in horse care and equine health is now a habit, and she enjoys sharing a wealth of information with horse owners everywhere..

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