AWI news release
Contact: Chris Heyde, (202) 446-2142
Legislators Reintroduce Legislation to End Cruel Method of Horse Transport
Washington, D.C. (April 9, 2014) – The Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) welcomes the reintroduction of the Horse Transportation Safety Act of 2014, by Representatives Steve Cohen (D-TN) and Ed Whitfield (R-KY). The bill, which prohibits the hauling of horses on livestock trailers containing one level on top of the other, has garnered strong support from the welfare, equine, veterinary and agriculture communities.
“How we treat animals is a direct reflection of our character, both as individuals and as a society,” said Representative Cohen. “When we allow the mistreatment and disrespect of any conscious being, we also devalue our own humanity. Horses cannot be safely or humanely transported in double-deck trailers that are built for much smaller animals, and our laws should reflect that. I am proud to sponsor the Horse Transportation Safety Act to ensure that these beautiful creatures are treated humanely.”
Double-deck livestock trailers on the road today were built to meet the specific design and engineering requirements of short-necked livestock species, like cattle, sheep, and swine. Unfortunately, some irresponsible haulers use these trailers to transport horses, leading to inhumane travel conditions for equines and unsafe roadways for drivers. The American Veterinary Medical Association and the National Agriculture Safety Database have recommended ceiling heights no lower than 7'–8' to transport horses safely, while average double-deck trailer ceiling heights range from 4'7" –5'11". The US Department of Transportation only requires bridges to have a vertical clearance of 14'–16' in rural and urban areas, making it impossible to build or modify a trailer large enough to transport equines on two levels.
“I am pleased to join Representative Cohen in introducing this bipartisan legislation to help the welfare of horses and ensure transportation safety across the United States,” said Representative Ed Whitfield.
"AWI thanks Representative Cohen for reintroducing this important bill with his colleague Representative Whitfield during the 113th Congress," said Chris Heyde, deputy director of government and legal affairs for AWI. "These distinguished members of Congress represent two states that are synonymous with horses and have been tireless in their broad and bipartisan efforts to end practices such as cruel transport, horse slaughter and soring. AWI looks forward to working with them to halt the use of double-deck trailers for hauling horses."
The Horse Transportation Safety Act of 2014 is necessary to protect horses from being transported across the United States for any reason in a trailer having more than one level. To learn more about this issue or to write a letter to your representative in support of this bill, please visit www.CompassionIndex.org.
The Animal Welfare Institute is a non-profit charitable organization founded in 1951 to alleviate the suffering caused to animals by humans. For more information, please visit AWI online at http://www.awionline.org/. Also, be sure to follow AWI on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/animalwelfareinstitute and Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/AWIOnline.
About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Subscribe to Wayne Pacelle’s blog, A Humane Nation. Follow The HSUS on Twitter. See our work for animals on your Apple or Android device by searching for our “Humane TV” app. The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization, rated the most effective by its peers. Since 1954, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. We rescue and care for tens of thousands of animals each year, but our primary mission is to prevent cruelty before it occurs. We're there for all animals, across America and around the world. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty – on the Web at humanesociety.org.