Press Release
August 28, 1998
Equine Placement Network, Inc.
Press Releases


Schroon , NY- New York State Trooper Thomas Garcia , who testified at the PA House Judiciary Committee hearings on HB 2127 and who has over 200 arrests involving the illegal transport of horses, arrested Donald Nickerson of Nickerson Livestock, Bainbridge, N.Y.. on 64 counts of New York State's Agriculture & Markets Law, Section 359-a on August 26, 1998. Mr. Nickerson was arraigned by Essex County, N. Y. Assistant District Attorney Mark Montayne before Schroon Town Justice Jean R. Strothenke in Schroon Town Court on August 26, 1998. Mr Nickerson pled not guilty and was released on his own recognizance to appear in court on September 23, 1998.

On October 15, 1997 a driver for Nickerson Livestock was arrested in Essex County, New York on I-87 , "The Torture Trail". The trailer lacked two doorways for ingress and egress, not on the same side as required for trailers transporting six or more horses, and the partitions were spaced more than 10 feet apart. The 32 horses were being transported to a Canadian slaughterhouse for human consumption overseas. Some of the horses were shipped from a Pennsylvania auction barn.

Mr Nickerson faces fines up to $6400, $100 for each horse transported in violation of the law.

Kevin Nickerson, son of Donald Nickerson, was arrested on Monday January 19, 1998 on I-81 in Kirkwood, New York by New York State Trooper Steven Cornell. There were 27 horses and mules on the double deck trailer, the majority of which were purchased at the New Holland Sales Stables in New Holland, PA.

In an apparent attempt to receive the smallest possible fine, the defendants told Broome County, New York Assistant District Attorney Eichan that this was their first offense and they had no knowledge of the law. ADA Eichan learned from New York State Police and former Essex County, New York Assistant District Attorney Debra Whitson, now with the New York State Attorney General's Office, that in fact Nickerson Livestock had another case pending in Essex County, New York and had been the company involved in the infamous "Syracuse 36" case that drew national attention on ESPN in 1995.

Mr. Kevin Nickerson, agent for Nickerson Livestock, Bainbridge, New York was convicted after trial on April 1, 1998 in Kirkwood, N.Y.. Town Court. Mr. Nickerson was fined and paid the maximum of $3000.00 for 30 counts of illegal transport of horses.

The arraignment today of Donald Nickerson and the arrest of Arlow Kiehl on Monday August 24, 1998 in Cortlandville, N.Y.. bring the number of charges in recent months by the New York State Police against these two repeat offenders to over 200 in the past year. New York State has the strongest horse transport law in the country. Since 1981 it has been illegal to transport horses in a double deck trailer and requires other safety features in trailers transporting 6 or more horses.

On July 22, 1998 New York Governor Pataki signed into law Senate Bill 6332 introduced in March 1998 by Senator Kuhl, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee. The bill raises the fines for violating New York State's Agriculture and Markets law, Section 359-a, the illegal transport of horses. The fines were raised from $100 to $250 for a first violation and from $500 to $1000 for a second conviction. The fines are PER horse, PER violation. The new fines take effect on November 1, 1998.

As Pennsylvania lawmakers decide whether to pass HB 2127, the Horse Transport Bill, and the USDA writes guidelines for the Commercial Transport of Horses to Slaughter Act, 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 $5500 this year alone, with over $11,000 in unpaid fines on the books.


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