NOTE- PA State Police arrested Mr. Kiehl & Mr. Rodgers under the CURRENT PA law. PA HB 590 has NOT, repeat has NOT become law. It is currently in the PA Senate Agricultural Committee. Acting Chairman is Sen. Noah Wenger, R, from the town of New Holland.
Title 18, Section 5511(e) Transporting animals in cruel manner.--A person commits a summary offense if he carries, or causes, or allows to be carried in or upon any cart, or other vehicle whatsoever, any animal in a cruel or inhumane manner. The person taking him into custody may take charge of the animal and of any such vehicle and its contents, and deposit the same in some safe place of custody, and any necessary expenses which may be incurred for taking charge of and keeping the same, and sustaining any such animal, shall be a lien thereon, to be paid before the same can lawfully be recovered, or the said expenses or any part thereof remaining unpaid may be recovered by the person incurring the same from the owner of said creature in any action therefor."
The Paper Horse covered the hearing and the story will appear in their September issue.
Manheim Township, PA- Arlow Kiehl, Watertown, NY, was convicted of cruelty to horses for transporting 17 horses and mules in a double deck cattle trailer on August 15, 2000. District Justice David Miller found Mr. Kiehl guilty after a 2 hour hearing and fined him $200.00 plus court costs.
The PA State Police, Troop J, Ephrata barracks arrested Mr. Kiehl and his driver, Harold Rodgers, Lowville, NY on Route 30 in Lancaster County on June 24, 2000. Mr. Kiehl was transporting the 17 horses and mules from the New Holland Sales Stables and Mel Hoovers, both in New Holland, PA to Watertown, NY, a distance of 381 miles and 6 hours. The horses' final destination was Canada to be slaughtered for human consumption overseas. In addition to the horses there was an unknown number of hogs on the top deck above the horses.
Upon inspection of the trailer, the PA State Police determined that the ceiling height was 6'. Due to the low ceiling height, the horses and mules were unable to hold their heads in a normal upright manner. Trailers of the same size designed to transport horses have standard ceiling heights of 8 feet. During the hearing, a licensed PA equine veterinarian testified that the low ceiling height was indeed forcing the horses to be transported in an inhumane manner.
On the witness stand Mr. Kiehl testified that he had only loaded horses that were 14.1 to 15 hands tall, (4' 9" to 5' tall), in the bottom tier of the trailer. (Horses are measured in hands at their withers. The withers is where the back joins the top of the neck. A hand is 4")
On cross examination a PA State Police Trooper, who stated that his height was 5'10", asked Mr. Kiehl,
"Then why was I unable to see over the backs of the horses?"Kiehl's response to the question was to shrug his shoulders.
Mr. Kiehl was asked how many times he had been convicted on similar charges in the past two years. Mr. Kiehl seemed uncertain of the answer and estimated it to be maybe 5 times.
During sentencing the Judge stated that even though he was not a horse person, it was clear to him that transporting a horse in this manner was cruelty to animals.
The significance of this particular case is that it is the first time that the current PA cruelty law has been applied to the inhumane practice of transporting horses in a double deck cattle trailer.
For the past twenty years the double deck cattle trailers have rolled out of the New Holland horse sale every Monday. Neither the PA SPCA nor the Humane League of Lancaster County has ever chosen to take action against this form of cruel and inhumane transport. In fact, the PA SPCA was present at the sale on June 24, 2000, the day the PA State Police arrested Mr.Kiehl, and again failed to address the issue.
How many untold thousands of horses were forced into the double deckers because the PA SPCA & the Humane League of Lancaster County stood by and failed to take any action against these repeat offenders?
The Equine Protection Network, formerly the Equine Placement Network, EPN, has successfully pressed for the enforcement of the current laws both in PA and New York.
Currently there is a bill in the Senate Agricultural Committee, PA HB590 that was originally intended to ban the use of double deck cattle trailers in PA to transport horses. The bill has been tagged the "Three Legged Horse Bill" due to amendments that were added in the House. HB590 is receiving strong opposition from the horse community due to the proposed legalization of shipping horses to slaughter on 3 legs. HB590 would not effectively ban the use of double deck cattle trailers to transport any horse anywhere in PA. The EPN and our supporters are opposing PA HB 590.
Mr. Kiehl is scheduled for trial in Dickinson, Broome County, NY on September 29, 2000 involving 38 misdemeanor counts of the illegal transport of horses. Mr. Kiehl faces possible jail time and up to $38,000 in fines. In August 1999 Mr. Kiehl was using a double deck cattle trailer to transport horses from the sale barn in New Holland, PA to slaughter in Canada when he was arrested by the New York State Police.
Mr. Kiehl has a long history of violations involving the illegal transport of horses in NY,traffic violations and an accident in October 1999 in MN that killed several horses. The accident was attributed to inadequate brakes.
According to the Safer Database, Mr. Kiehl's trucks have been put out of service 6 of the last 9 times they have been inspected due to safety violations. That is more than 2.5 times the national average. Several of the violations involved the tractor trailer's brakes.
On April 5, 1999, Pennsylvania State Troopers served Arlow Kiehl, with a warrant for his arrest inside a New Holland, PA auction barn for failure to answer a non traffic citation issued by the Pennsylvania State Police in November 1998.
In the past two years Mr. Kiehl and or his drivers have been arrested and or cited for numerous violations of New York and PA laws, ranging from Motor Vehicle Code violations involving log books, required permits and equipment violations and over 100 Agriculture Code violations, some of which are misdemeanors.
Carlton H. Simmons, Gouverneur, NY, a driver for Mr. Kiehl, was found guilty after trial on February 3, 1999 in Kirkwood Town Court on 8 counts of transporting horses in violation of New York State Agriculture and Markets Law, Section 359-a 2. Judge Benjamin Weingartner fined Mr. Simmons $800, $100 for each horse transported illegally. Mr. Simmons was prosecuted by Broome County New York Senior Assistant District Attorney Marcy Cox.
New York State Police arrested Mr.Simmons, in the Town of Kirkwood, NY for transporting horses illegally in violation of New York State Agriculture and Markets Law, Section 359-a on Monday, December 7, 1998, just two days before Mr. Kiehl's December 9, 1998 trial date on 16 charges involving the illegal transportation of horses. Mr. Simmons had 17 horses and an unknown number of hogs on the double deck cattle trailer, with the hogs being transported on the top tier of the double deck trailer, over TOP of the horses. He was charged with transporting horses in a double deck trailer and for not having anti skid material on the floor to prevent the horses from slipping. The horses were being shipped from the New Holland Sales Stables in New Holland, PA to a Canadian slaughterhouse for human consumption overseas.
New York State Police arrested Mr. Kiehl on Monday, August 24, 1998 on I-81 north in the Town of Cortlandville. Mr. Kiehl was charged with 16 counts of transporting horses illegally in violation of New York State Agriculture and Markets Law, Section 359-a. The 16 horses on Mr. Kiehl's double deck trailer were being shipped from the horse auction in New Holland, PA to a Canadian slaughterhouse for human consumption overseas.
Mr. Kiehl was later found not guilty in a jury trial on December 9, 1998 of having protrusions hazardous to horses inside his double deck cattle trailer. The jury was shown photographs of a horse with head injuries, but did not believe the the 3" to 4" beams that protrude below the low ceiling, to be hazardous to horses. The average horse stands 15 hands (60" or 5 ') at the withers. A horse's normal head carriage is above their withers. Commercial horse trailers of this same size have only one tier, and start at a minimum height of 7', with most being 8' tall with no 3" "I " beams protruding below the ceiling.
Mr. Kiehl previously pled guilty in Preble Town Court on June 23, 1998 to 26 counts of illegally transporting horses in violation of New York Agriculture and Markets Law, Section 359a and was fined $2000.00. The trailer involved was a double deck cattle trailer. The trailer lacked partitions spaced 10' apart and had protrusions hazardous to horses.
Mr. Kiehl also pled guilty to 17 counts of the illegal transport of horses on June 9, 1998 in Barker, N.Y. Town Court and paid a $500 fine. Mr. Kiehl's trailer lacked the required second doorway for a trailer carrying 6 or more horses.
According to a news story published June 25, 1998 by the Williamsport Sun Gazette,
" Kiehl uses a double deck trailer and said he will continue to do so, despite the fact that he has been arrested several times recently in New York State, hauling horses from the New Holland (PA) and Middleburg (PA) auctions."
In April 1998 2Standardbreds and a mule with broken legs were found on Mr. Kiehl's trailer at New Holland. Two of the animals were euthanised by an equine veterinarian.
In May 1998 in Painted Post, NY, Mr. Kiehl was cited by the New York State Police for violations involving the Motor Vehicle Code.
Recently, the PA Department of Agriculture, PDA, issued Mr. Kiehl a permit to transport domestic animals in Pennsylvania, regardless of the fact that his convictions in New York under NY Ag & Markets Section 359-a, the illegal transport of horses, are grounds for denial and or revocation of a permit in Pennsylvania. These same convictions are also grounds for revocation of Mr. Kiehl's permit by NY Ag & Markets to transport domestic animals in New York. Both the PDA and NY Ag & Markets have been made aware of Mr. Kiehl's convictions by the District Attorney's offices that have successfully prosecuted Mr. Kiehl.
Description of Accepted Equine Industry Practices For Transport Verses Slaughter Transport
Incident Involving Same NY Shipper
NY York Daily News
Williamsport Sun Gazette