Commercial Transportation of Horses to Slaughter Act Legislative History
Safe Commercial Transportation of Horses for Slaughter Act of 1995
S 1283 IS
To authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to regulate the commercial transportation of horses for slaughter, and for other purposes.
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
September 28 (legislative day, SEPTEMBER 25), 1995
Mr. MCCONNELL introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry
To authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to regulate the commercial transportation of horses for slaughter, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the `Safe Commercial Transportation of Horses Act of 1995'.
SEC. 2. COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION OF HORSES FOR SLAUGHTER.
Public Law 85-765 (7 U.S.C. 1901 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:
`TITLE II--COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION OF HORSES FOR SLAUGHTER
`SEC. 201. FINDINGS.
`Congress finds that, to ensure that horses sold for slaughter are provided human treatment and care, it is essential to regulate the transportation, care, handling, and treatment of horses by any person engaged in the commercial transportation of horses for slaughter.
`SEC. 202. DEFINITIONS.
`In this title:
`(1) COMMERCE- The term `commerce' means trade, traffic, transportation, or other commerce--
`(A) between any State, territory, or possession of the United States, or the District of Columbia, and any place outside thereof;
`(B) between points within the same State, territory, or possession of the United States, or the District of Columbia, but through any place outside thereof; or
`(C) within any territory or possession of the United States or the District of Columbia.
`(2) DEPARTMENT- The term `Department' means the United States Department of Agriculture.
`(3) EQUINE- The term `equine' includes any member of the Equidae family.
`(4) FOAL- The term `foal' means a horse that is not more than 6 months of age.
`(5) HORSE- The term `horse' includes any member of the Equidae family.
`(6) HORSE FOR SLAUGHTER- The term `horse for slaughter' means any horse that is transported, or intended to be transported, to a slaughter facility or intermediate handler from a sale, auction, or intermediate handler by a person engaged in the business of transporting horses for slaughter.
`(7) INTERMEDIATE HANDLER- The term `intermediate handler' means any person engaged in the business of receiving custody of horses for slaughter in connection with the transport of the horses to a slaughter facility, including a stockyard, feedlot, or assembly point.
`(8) PERSON- The term `person' includes any individual, partnership, firm, company, corporation, or association.
`(9) SECRETARY- The term `Secretary' means the Secretary of Agriculture.
`(10) VEHICLE- The term `vehicle' means any machine, truck, tractor, trailer, or semitrailer, or any combination thereof, propelled or drawn by mechanical power and used on a highway in the commercial transportation of horses for slaughter.
`(11) STALLION- The term `stallion' means any uncastrated male horse that is 1 year of age or older.
`SEC. 203. STANDARDS FOR HUMANE COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION OF HORSES FOR SLAUGHTER.
`(a) IN GENERAL- Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this title, the Secretary shall issue, by regulation, standards for the humane commercial transportation of horses for slaughter.
`(b) PROHIBITION- No person shall transport in commerce, to a slaughter facility or intermediate handler, a horse for slaughter except in accordance with the standards and this title.
`(c) MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS- The standards shall include minimum requirements for the humane handling, care, treatment, and equipment necessary to ensure the safe and humane transportation of horses for slaughter. The standards shall require, at a minimum, that--
`(1) no horse for slaughter shall be transported for more than 24 hours without being unloaded from the vehicle and allowed to rest for at least 8 consecutive hours and given access to adequate quantities of wholesome food and potable water;
`(2) a vehicle shall provide adequate headroom for a horse for slaughter with a minimum of at least 6 feet, 6 inches of headroom from the roof and beams or other structural members overhead to floor underfoot, except that a vehicle transporting 6 horses or less shall provide a minimum of at least 6 feet of headroom from the roof and beams or other structural members overhead to floor underfoot if none of the horses are over 16 hands;
`(3) the interior of a vehicle shall--
`(A) be free of protrusions, sharp edges, and harmful objects;
`(B) have ramps and floors that are adequately covered with a nonskid nonmetallic surface; and
`(C) be maintained in a sanitary condition;
`(4) a vehicle shall--
`(A) provide adequate ventilation and shelter from extremes of weather and temperature for all equine;
`(B) be of appropriate size, height, and interior design for the number of equine being carried to prevent overcrowding; and
`(C) be equipped with doors and ramps of sufficient size and location to provide for safe loading and unloading, including unloading during emergencies;
`(5)(A) horses shall be positioned in the vehicle by size; and
`(B) stallions shall be segregated from other horses;
`(6)(A) all horses for slaughter must be fit to travel as determined by an accredited large animal veterinarian, who shall prepare a certificate of inspection, prior to loading for transport, that--
`(i) states that the horses were inspected and satisfied the requirements of subparagraph (B);
`(ii) includes a clear description of each horse; and
`(iii) is valid for 7 days;
`(B) no horse shall be transported to slaughter if the horse is found to be--
`(i) suffering from a broken or dislocated limb;
`(ii) unable to bear weight on all 4 limbs;
`(iii) blind in both eyes; or
`(iv) obviously suffering from severe illness, injury, lameness, or physical debilitation that would make the horse unable to withstand the stress of transportation;
`(C) no foal may be transported for slaughter;
`(D) no mare in foal that exhibits signs of impending partition may be transported for slaughter; and
`(E) no horse for slaughter shall be accepted by a slaughter facility unless the horse is accompanied by a certificate of inspection issued by an accredited large animal veterinarian, not more than 7 days before the delivery, stating that the veterinarian inspected the horse on a specified date.
`SEC. 204. RECORDS.
`(a) IN GENERAL- A person engaged in the business of transporting horses for slaughter shall establish and maintain such records, make such reports, and provide such information as the Secretary may, by regulation, require for the purposes of carrying out, or determining compliance with, this subtitle.
`(b) MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS- The records shall include, at a minimum--
`(1) the veterinary certificate of inspection;
`(2) the names and addresses of current owners and consignors, if applicable, of the horses at the time of sale or consignment to slaughter; and
`(3) the bill of sale or other documentation of sale for each horse.
`(c) AVAILABILITY- The records shall--
`(1) accompany the horses during transport to slaughter;
`(2) be retained by any person engaged in the business of transporting horses for slaughter for a reasonable period of time, as determined by the Secretary; and
`(3) on request of an officer or employee of the Department, be made available at all reasonable times for inspection and copying by the officer or employee.
`SEC. 205. AGENTS.
`(a) IN GENERAL- For purposes of this title, the act, omission, or failure of an individual acting for or employed by a person engaged in the business of transporting horses for slaughter, within the scope of the employment or office of the individual, shall be considered the act, omission, or failure of the person engaging in the commercial transportation of horses for slaughter as well as of the individual.
`(b) ASSISTANCE- If a horse suffers a substantial injury or illness while being transported for slaughter on a vehicle, the driver of the vehicle should seek prompt assistance from a large animal veterinarian.
`SEC. 206. COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS.
`Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this title, the Secretary shall, to the maximum extent practicable, establish cooperative agreements and enter into memoranda of agreement with appropriate Federal and State agencies or political subdivisions of the agencies, including State departments of agriculture, State law enforcement agencies, and foreign governments, to carry out and enforce this title.
`SEC. 207. INVESTIGATIONS AND INSPECTIONS.
`(a) IN GENERAL- The Secretary shall make such investigations or inspections as the Secretary considers necessary--
`(1) to enforce this title (including any regulation issued under this title); and
`(2) pursuant to information regarding alleged violations of this title provided to the Secretary by a State official or any other person.
`(b) ACCESS- For the purposes of conducting an investigation or inspection under subsection (a), the Secretary shall, at all reasonable times, have access to--
`(1) the place of business of any person engaged in the business of transporting horses for slaughter;
`(2) the facilities and vehicles used to transport the horses; and
`(3) records required to be maintained under section 204.
`(c) MINIMUM REQUIREMENT- An investigation or inspection shall include, at a minimum, an inspection by an employee of the Department of all horses and vehicles carrying horses, on the arrival of the horses and vehicles at the slaughter facility.
`(d) ASSISTANCE TO OR DESTRUCTION OF HORSES- The Secretary shall issue such regulations as the Secretary considers necessary to permit employees or agents of the Department to--
`(1) provide assistance to any horse that is covered by this title (including any regulation issued under this title); or
`(2) destroy, in a humane manner, any such horse found to be suffering.
`SEC. 208. INTERFERENCE WITH ENFORCEMENT.
`(a) IN GENERAL- Subject to subsection (b), a person who forcibly assaults, resists, opposes, impedes, intimidates, or interferes with any person while engaged in or on account of the performance of an official duty of the person under this title shall be fined not more than $5,000 or imprisoned not more than 3 years, or both.
`(b) WEAPONS- If the person uses a deadly or dangerous weapon in connection with an action described in subsection (a), the person shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both.
`SEC. 209. JURISDICTION OF COURTS.
`Except as provided in section 210(a)(5), a district court of the United States in any appropriate judicial district under section 1391 of title 28, United States Court, shall have jurisdiction to specifically enforce this title, to prevent and restrain a violation of this title, and to otherwise enforce this title.
`SEC. 210. CIVIL AND CRIMINAL PENALTIES.
`(a) CIVIL PENALTIES-
`(1) IN GENERAL- A person who violates this title (including a regulation or standard issued under this title) shall be assessed a civil penalty by the Secretary of not more than $2,000 for each violation.
`(2) SEPARATE OFFENSES- Each horse transported in violation of this title shall constitute a separate offense. Each violation and each day during which a violation continues shall constitute a separate offense.
`(3) HEARINGS- No penalty shall be assessed under this subsection unless the person who is alleged to have violated this title is given notice and opportunity for a hearing with respect to an alleged violation.
`(4) FINAL ORDER- An order of the Secretary assessing a penalty under this subsection shall be final and conclusive unless the aggrieved person files an appeal from the order pursuant to paragraph (5).
`(5) APPEALS- Not later than 30 days after entry of a final order of the Secretary issued pursuant to this subsection, a person aggrieved by the order may seek review of the order in the appropriate United States Court of Appeals. The Court shall have exclusive jurisdiction to enjoin, set aside, suspend (in whole or in part), or to determine the validity of the order.
`(6) NONPAYMENT OF PENALTY- On a failure to pay the penalty assessed by a final order under this section, the Secretary shall request the Attorney General to institute a civil action in a district court of the United States or other United States court for any district in which the person is found, resides, or transacts business, to collect the penalty. The court shall have jurisdiction to hear and decide the action.
`(b) CRIMINAL PENALTIES-
`(1) FIRST OFFENSE- Subject to paragraph (2), a person who knowingly violates this title (or a regulation or standard issued under this title) shall, on conviction of the violation, be subject to imprisonment for not more than 1 year or a fine of not more than $2,000, or both.
`(2) SUBSEQUENT OFFENSES- On conviction of a second or subsequent offense described in paragraph (1), a person shall be subject to imprisonment for not more than 3 years or to a fine of not more than $5,000, or both.
`SEC. 211. PAYMENTS FOR TEMPORARY OR MEDICAL ASSISTANCE FOR HORSES DUE TO VIOLATIONS.
`From sums received as penalties, fines, or forfeitures of property for any violation of this title (including a regulation issued under this title), the Secretary shall pay the reasonable and necessary costs incurred by any person in providing temporary care or medical assistance for any horse that needs the care or assistance due to a violation of this title.
`SEC. 212. RELATIONSHIP TO STATE LAW.
`Nothing in this title prevents a State from enacting or enforcing any law (including a regulation) that is not inconsistent with this title or that is more restrictive than this title.
`SEC. 213. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.
`There is authorized to be appropriated for each fiscal year such sums as are necessary to carry out this title.'.
SEC. 3. CONFORMING AMENDMENTS.
(a) The first section of Public Law 85-765 (7 U.S.C. 1901) is amended by striking `That the Congress' and inserting the following:
`SEC. 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the `Federal Humane Methods of Livestock Slaughter Act'.
`TITLE I--HUMANE METHODS OF LIVESTOCK SLAUGHTER
`SEC. 101. FINDINGS AND DECLARATION OF POLICY.
(b) Section 2 of the Federal Humane Methods of Livestock Slaughter Act (7 U.S.C. 1902) is amended by striking `SEC. 2. No' and inserting the following:
`SEC. 102. HUMANE METHODS.
(c) Section 4 of the Act (7 U.S.C. 1904) is amended by striking `SEC. 4. In' and inserting the following:
`SEC. 103. METHODS RESEARCH.
(d) Section 6 of the Act (7 U.S.C. 1906) is amended by striking `SEC. 6. Nothing' and inserting the following:
`SEC. 104. EXEMPTION OF RITUAL SLAUGHTER.
SEC. 4. EFFECTIVE DATE.
(a) IN GENERAL- This Act and the amendments made by this Act shall become effective 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act.
(b) REGULATIONS- As soon as practicable, but not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Agriculture shall issue such regulations as the Secretary determines are necessary to implement this Act and the amendments made by this Act.
(c) COMPLIANCE- A person shall be required to comply with--
(1) sections 203 and 204 of the Federal Humane Methods of Livestock Slaughter Act (as added by section 2) beginning on the date that is 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act; and
(2) other sections of title II of the Act beginning on the date that is 90 days after the Secretary issues final regulations under subsection (b).
The CA Equine Council led the fight to oppose this legislation because it legitimized slaughter, regulated doubles and legalized the inhumane transport of horses and put the very people identified as the abusers in charge of the horses.
This bill was killed by Newt Gingrich who listened to the CA Equine Council and other animal welfare organizations that knew this was harmful to the horses. Then Trina Bellak of HSUS was able to have a stripped down version attached to the Farm Bill of 1996. The amendment simply stated that,
"Subject to the availability of appropriations, the Secretary of Agriculture may issue guidelines for the regulation of the commercial transportation of equine for slaughter by persons regularly engaged in that activity within the United States."
In 1995-96 I was contacted by a volunteer for the HSUS asking that I support legislation that would ban the double deck trailers, prohibit pregnant mares, provide secure flooring, provide for food, water, and rest for the horses and segregate the horses so that mares, foals, and stallions would not be shipped together.
I trusted the HSUS and made calls to my Congressman and also made calls on behalf of HSUS to friends, family, and horse groups urging them to support this amendment to the 1996 Farm Bill. I was told NOT to contact the California groups as they were opposed to the amendment because they wanted to ban slaughter.
If I had contacted the California groups I would have met Cathleen Doyle and been exposed to her valid arguments on this issue. Instead I was urged not to speak to them, the same tactic still in use today by groups who do not want
Note the vague and unenforceable language.
Anyone who supported this bill is supporting legislation that condones horses being transported 24 hours with no food, no water, and no rest!
Note that anyone supporting 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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