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HoofPAC is the political action committee that has been formed to end the slaughter of America's horses. Cathleen Doyle, founder of HoofPAC, led the successful Save The Horses campaign in 1998 that made the slaughter of California's horses a felony.
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State Statutes Regarding Sale of Sick, Lame or Debilitated Horses
- Learn your state's laws.
- What horse organizations in your state represent the horses industry in the state legislature?
- Do they represent you on horse welfare issues? Many state horse councils are in favor of horse slaughter and do not take a strong stand on the enforcement of anti-cruelty laws as they apply to horses.
- If the horse industry organizations in your state do not represent your views on horse slaughter and horse welfare, write to your state representatives and let them know that these organizations do NOT represent you, a member of the horse industry, on this issue.
- Inform the horse organizations that you are a member of that you are
opposed to the use of double cattle trailers to transport horses & opposed
to the slaughter of horses for human consumption.
Reading a Statute
- Look for the Definitions - This section will tell you what animals
are covered under the statute and define certain terms.
- Look for Penalties- This section tells you what the
penalty is for a person convicted of the offense.
It also tells you whether or not the penalties are Civil
or Criminal. Criminal penalties can be enforced by
police departments. Civil Penalties do not allow for
imprisonment. Usually the penalty involves monetary
- Look for Authority- This section will tell you what law
enforcement agency or agencies have jurisdiction. In other
words, who can enforce the law.
Look for Sections - The sections will
describe the act(s) which are illegal.
Resources for State Laws Regarding Horses
This site is an excellent resource for statutes and cases
regarding all animals.
West's Annotated California Codes Currentness.
Penal Code. Part 1. Of Crimes and Punishments. Title 14. Malicious
Mischief. § 597x. Disabled equine; sale or transport for commercial
(a) Notwithstanding Section 18734 of the Food and Agricultural Code
or any other provision of law, it is unlawful for any person to sell,
attempt to sell, load, cause to be loaded, transport, or attempt to
transport any live horse, mule, burro, or pony that is disabled, if
the animal is intended to be sold, loaded, or transported for commercial
slaughter out of the state.
(b) For the purposes of this section, "disabled animal" includes,
but is limited to, any animal that has broken limbs, is unable to stand
and balance itself without assistance, cannot walk, or is severely
(c) A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor
and subject to the same penalties imposed upon a person convicted of
a misdemeanor under Section 597a.
(Added by Stats.1993, c. 1213 (A.B.477), § 1.)
§ 53-247. Cruelty to animals. Fighting animals.
Intentional killing of police animals or dogs in volunteer canine search
and rescue teams
§ 53-248. Sale or treatment of animals unable
Any person who sells, offers for sale, trades or gives away any horse
for the purpose of being worked, which could not be worked in this
state without violating the provisions of section 53-247, or any person
who leads, rides or drives an animal on any public highway for any
purpose except that of conveying the animal to a suitable place for
its humane keeping or killing or for medical or surgical treatment,
which animal could not be worked in this state without violating the
provisions of said section, shall be fined not more than two hundred
dollars or imprisoned not more than six months or both.
ILHB 1171 0f 2007 amended this section
Illinois (510 ILCS 70/5.01)-Lame or Disabled Horse
Section 20. The Humane Care for Animals Act is amended
changing Sections 5 and 7.5 as follows:
(510 ILCS 70/5) (from Ch. 8, par. 705)
Sec. 5. Lame or disabled horses. No person shall sell,
offer to sell, lead, ride, transport, or drive on any public
way any equidae which, because of debility, disease, lameness
or any other cause, could not be worked in this State without
violating this Act, unless the equidae is being sold,
transported, or housed with the intent that it will be moved in
an expeditious and humane manner to an approved slaughtering
establishment. Such equidae may be conveyed to a proper place
for medical or surgical treatment or, for humane keeping or
euthanasia, or for slaughter in an approved slaughtering
A person convicted of violating this Section or any rule,
regulation, or order of the Department pursuant thereto is
guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. A second or subsequent
violation is a Class 4 felony.
(Source: P.A. 92-650, eff. 7-11-02.)
As used in NRS 574.050 to 574.200, inclusive:
1. "Animal" does not include the human race, but includes every other
2. "Police animal" means an animal which is owned by a state or local
governmental agency and which is used by a peace officer in performing
his duties as a peace officer.
3. "Torture" or "cruelty" includes every act, omission or neglect,
whereby unjustifiable physical pain, suffering or death is caused
574.130. Selling, offering to sell or exposing diseased animal.
A person who willfully sells or offers to sell, uses, exposes,
or causes or permits to be sold, offered for sale, used or exposed,
any horse or other animal having the disease known as glanders or
farcy, or other contagious or infectious disease dangerous to the
life or health of human beings or animals, or which is diseased
past recovery, or who refuses upon demand to deprive of life an
animal affected with any such disease, is guilty of a misdemeanor.
574.140. Sale of disabled horses unlawful.
It shall be unlawful for any person to sell any horse which, by
reason of disease, could not be worked in this state without violating
the law against cruelty to animals.
New York-Selling Disabled Horses -Article 26 NYS Agriculture
& Markets Law, Section 358
be unlawful for any person holding an auctioneer's license
knowingly to receive or offer for sale or to sell at public auction,
other than at a sheriff's or judicial sale under a court order, any
horse which by reason of debility, disease or lameness, or
for any other cause, could not be worked in this state without violating
the law against cruelty to animals. Violation of this law
is punishable by a fine and/or up to six months in prison
New Jersey Title 4 Agriculture and Domestic Animals
Sale of horses unfit for work; disorderly persons offense
person who shall receive or offer for sale a horse that is suffering
from abuse or neglect, or which by reason of disability, disease,
abuse or lameness, or for any other cause, could not be worked, ridden
or otherwise used for show, exhibition, or recreational purposes,
or kept as a domestic pet without violating the provisions of this
article or any law of this State relating to cruelty to animals shall
be guilty of a disorderly persons offense
Pennsylvania - Title 18, 5511(d)
(d) Selling or using disabled horse.--A person commits
a summary offense if he offers for sale or sells any horse, which
by reason of debility, disease or lameness, or for other cause, could
not be worked or used without violating the laws against cruelty to
animals, or leads, rides, drives or transports any such horse for
any purpose, except that of conveying the horse to the nearest available
appropriate facility for its humane keeping or destruction or for
medical or surgical treatment.