Proposed Regulations for the Commercial Transportation of Horses To Slaughter
The proposed regulations for the Commercial Transportation of Horses To Slaughter Act have been published in the Federal Register.The Federal Register is online.
Check the box "1999" AND the box "Proposed Rules"
Read the CA Equine Council's Comments on the Proposed Regulations!
Premarin Foals Will Be Exempt !
The American Horse Council & The American Horse Protection Association supported these proposed regulations in their recommendations to the USDA.
The proposed regulations are for the Commercial Transportation of Horses to Slaughter Act which passed in 1996. The Act stated that the,
"Secretary of Ag may issue guidelines to regulate the transportation of horses to slaughter..."
Many people mistakenly believed that when the law passed the horses were protected. Not so. The law simply stated that the Secretary of Ag had the authority to create guidelines. The proposed regulations are these guidelines.
The words "safe" and "humane" do NOT exist in the law.
The original intent of this law was to ban the use of double deck cattle trailers, ban the shipment of pregnant mares and foals to slaughter, ban the shipment of sick & injured horses by having a veterinarian inspect the horses, require ceiling height of no less than 6'6", require secure footing & safe interiors, water, food & rest no less than every 12 hours, limit the number of horses on a trailer, segregate horses by size & sex.
The Proposed Regulations will Allow the Following;
The proposed regulations fly in the face of every accepted horse transportation industry practice, horse management practice & horse husbandry practice. Horses bound for slaughter are still horses, they have not shrunk in size, their behavior has not changed, their need for water has not changed. They are still alive & need to be transported in vehicles designed to transport horses & using methods designed for horses.
New York State banned double deck trailers and instituted safety standards for horse trailers 18 years ago & has stepped up enforcement of their transport law, Sec 359-a. New York State continues to use its law to crack down on the cruel and inhumane transport of slaughterbound horses from Pennsylvania auctions through New York to Canadian slaughterhouses for human consumption overseas. The simplicity of New York State's law facilitates the prosecution and conviction for illegal shipment of horses, and New York State counties have seen revenue of $7700 in a 12 month period, with over $11,000 in unpaid fines on the books.
As of October 2004 there have been numerous violations, often by the same dealer/hauler. Of the 12 cases that are closed, NO FINES were levied, only official warnings.
31 cases remain open, some from as early as 2003.
The most common is horses being transported more than 28 hours with no food, water, or rest. There continues to be violations at livestock markets throughout the United States.
The EPN and the CEC opposed these regulations from the beginning. Our predictions about a lack of enforcement have come true. The EPN accomplished more by simply providing the information to the NYSP so they could enforce the law that had been on the books for 20 years.