Commercial Transportation of Horses to Slaughter Act Legislative History
Introduction by WILLIAM F. GOODLING
HON. WILLIAM F. GOODLING
in the House of Representatives
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 1995
Mr. GOODLING. Mr. Speaker, today I am introducing the `Safe Commercial Transportation of Horses for Slaughter Act of 1995.' This legislation would improve the handling care and equipment requirement for the safe transportation of horses for slaughter. Similar legislation has been introduced in the Senate.
Last year, I was stunned by an article in Equidae, the National Horseman's Inc., publication, that exposed the inhumane treatment of horses transported for slaughter. Imagine injured, pregnant, and ill horses crammed into cattle cars with combative stallions and other horses to be shipped on long journeys to slaughterhouses with no dividers separating them. For those of you who are not horse enthusiasts, it's like putting a fox in a hen house. As a thoroughbred owner, I find this appalling. Many including myself, consider horses to be a part of their families like a dog or cat. Can you imagine this treatment to Fido or Fluffy? I think not.
I recently met with Kelly Young and Nancy Waite from my district and Trina Bellak of the Humane Society of the United States about this matter. On a recent trip to a horse auction in New Holland, PA, they described the horrible conditions to which these horses are subjected. One mare* was found so ill, she lay trembling on the floor of a trailer. An attendant attempted to rescue it, but, unfortunately, was too late. The mare had to be put down. The tragedy is that had she not found this horse, it would have been thrown into a trailer with dozens of other horses, and most likely would have died from overcrowding.
However, what is even more repugnant is that an individual from New York, an attendant at the auction, has been convicted of violating 150 counts of New York's State law regulating horse transport. He has accumulated fines amounting to $11,000 and has yet to pay them. Meanwhile, horses continue to be transported in vehicles with ceilings too low for their height. Pregnant mares, new born foals, rambunctious stallions, and injured horses continue to be packed together, often without food or water for days.
Mr. Speaker, my legislation would give the Secretary of Agriculture the authority to ensure that protections are in place to prevent these horrendous practices that occur during the transport of horses for slaughter. This legislation makes no attempt to outlaw the slaughter industry, but rather protect horses from unnecessary pain and suffering.
This bill would require horses to be rested and provided food and water after traveling no longer than 24 hours; vehicles would be required to be in sanitary condition and provide at least 6 feet, 6 inches of headroom; provide adequate ventilation and shelter from extreme heat and cold; be of appropriate size for the number of horses transported; allow for position of horses by size, and separation of stallions; provide for veterinarians to determine if horses are able to withstand stress of transportation.
Several States have passed legislation similar to this bill. However, because this is an interstate industry, it is necessary to have a uniform Federal law. My bill has the full support of the American Horse Council, the American Horse Protection Association, and the Humane Society of the United States.
Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to cosponsor this legislation which is specifically geared toward providing horses adequate protection during transportation for slaughter. I plead with all animal enthusiasts to support this bill.
*The Large Animal Protection Society was called, took custody of the mare, and she was euthanised. The mare was on a truck belonging to Frank Carper who denied ownership of the mare. Equus magazine ran a story on Horse Slaughter in which Carper was interviewed. The article stated that Carper had won an award from an spca on for his horse keeping. Christine Berry contacted Equus informing the editor of the incident at New Holland and the Horse Popsicle case, and the fact that she was unable to locate any spca that had given Carper an award. No retraction or note was ever published by Equus.
Note that American Horse Protection Association, and the Humane Society of the United States. are supporting legislation that condones horses being transported 24 hours with no food, no water, and no rest!
Note that American Horse Protection Association, and the Humane Society of the United States are condoning and legitimizing horse slaughter by putting legislation on the books that regulates slaughter.
Legislation 101 Tip:
Never ever support legislation that regulates the practice you are trying to prohibit. The opposition will always come back and argue that you have supported the practice you are trying to prohibit.
The goal is to ban the doubles to transport any horse no matter what its final destination, not regulate the doubles for horses.
Download a card and carry in your car.
Help enforce PA, NY, & VT laws banning the use of double deck trailers
to transport any horse,
no matter what its final destination!
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