The Horse - A living symbol of our proud American heritage
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Federal Laws, State Statutes, USDA & State Regulations

Federal Laws

1996 Commercial Transportation Of Horses To Slaughter Act

December 7, 2001
Final Rule Commercial Transportation of Horses to Slaughter Act

American Horse Council, American Horse Protection Association, & Humane Society of US

propose to legalize every inhumane practice identified in the transport of horses to slaughter & put the very people identified as the abusers, the "killer buyers" in charge of the horses!

Proposed Regulations For the 1996 Commercial Transportation of Horses To Slaughter Act

Federal Horsemeat Laws

USDA Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service, APHIS

Approval of Livestock Facilities;
Interstate Movement of EIA Reactors

USDA Food Safety Inspection Service, FSIS, Regulations

Biological Residues in Horses;
Slaughter of Foaling Mares;
Slaughter of Sick Horses;

USDA APHIS Humane Slaughter Act

State Horsemeat Laws

CA's Proposition 6,

The PROHIBITION of Horse Slaughter and Sale of Horsemeat for Human Consumption Act Of 1998, Does Not Violate The Commerce Clause
IL Horsemeat Act

Texas Law

Sale of Horsemeat for Human Consumption

Prohibits Sale of Horsemeat For Human Consumption

Texas Attorney General Cornyn States TX Law

Prohibiting Sale of Horsemeat Applies to the 2 Texas Horse Slaughterhouses!


State Statutes

State Statutes Dead Animals
State Statutes Horse Transport Laws
State Statutes Police Animals
State Statutes Selling Lame, Disabled, or Debilitated Horses


State Horse Transportation Laws

Double deck trailer awaits loading of horses at New Holland Sales Stables June 24, 2000.
 Horses inside double deck cattle trailer stopped by the NYSP. The owner was later convicted & fined $3000.00.
Horses inside double deck cattle trailer stopped by the NYSP. The owner was later convicted & fined $3000.00.

Links to State Statutes

U.S. Anti-Cruelty Statutes
Michigan State University College of Law: Animal Legal & Historical Web Center

PA Statutes & Regulations

PA Domestic Animal Act

Licensing of Dealers & Haulers

EIA Regulations, Coggins Test

PA Dead Animal Act

Requirements for Removal of Dead Animals

PA Animal Markets

General Provisions
Transactions From Trucks

lactating chestnut Arab type mare stands in filth in the classic foundered stance.


California Voters "Just Say Neigh" to Horse Slaughter!

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HoofPAC Political Action Committee

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.

Page last revised on:

1 November, 2007

The Sad Eyed Arab...Too Bad Nobody Took Him Home...

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State Statutes on Abandoning Animals Information

This section of our website has information on action you can take to help the horses; pending legislation; USDA Regulations on the handling and slaughter of horses; individual state transport laws; California's Prop 6 which banned the sale of CA horses to slaughter, (Yes, CA's horse industry is still thriving!) and other related information.

Many states have their laws, (statutes or codes) online. You can check on the status of legislation affecting horses by going to your state legislatures website and doing a search. Type in the word "equine" or "horse". Often you can communicate with your state and or United States Senators and Representatives by e-mail. Remember though to include your full name and address in your e-mail.

Getting Involved

  • 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 damages.

  • 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

Michigan State University College of Law: Animal Legal & Historical Web Center

Horse Statutes

This site is an excellent resource for statutes and cases regarding all animals.

State Statutes Abandoned Animals

State Statutes Dead Animals

State Statutes Horse Transport Laws

State Statutes Police Animals

State Statutes Selling Lame, Disabled, or Debilitated Horses

State Horsemeat Statutes


Ohio Abandonded Animals


No owner or keeper of a dog, cat, or other domestic animal, shall abandon such animal.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953


951.01 Prohibition against animals running at large.

No person, who is the owner or keeper of a stallion, jackass, bull, boar, ram, or buck, shall permit it to go or be at large out of its own enclosure.

Effective Date: 11-03-1978

951.02 Animals running at large on public roads - grazing on another's land.

No person, who is the owner or keeper of horses, mules, cattle, sheep, goats, swine, or geese, shall permit them to run at large in the public road, highway, street, lane, or alley, or upon unenclosed land, or cause such animals to be herded, kept, or detained for the purpose of grazing on premises other than those owned or lawfully occupied by the owner or keeper of such animals.

The running at large of any such animal in or upon any of the places mentioned in this section is prima-facie evidence that it is running at large in violation of this section.

Effective Date: 11-03-1978

951.03 to 951.09 Repealed.

Effective Date: 11-03-1978

951.10 Damages.

The owner or keeper of an animal described in section 951.01 to 951.02 of the Revised Code, who permits it to run at large in violation of either of such sections, is liable for all damages caused by such animal upon the premises of another without reference to the fence which may enclose such premises.

Effective Date: 11-03-1978

951.11 Estrays.

A person finding an animal at large in violation of section 951.01 or 951.02 of the Revised Code, may, and a law enforcement officer of a county, township, city, or village, on view or information, shall, take and confine such animal, forthwith giving notice thereof to the owner or keeper, if known, and, if not known, by publishing a notice describing such animal at least once in a newspaper of general circulation in the county, township, city, or village wherein the animal was found. If the owner or keeper does not appear and claim the animal and pay the compensation prescribed in section 951.13 of the Revised Code for so taking, advertising, and keeping it within ten days from the date of such notice, such person or the county shall have a lien therefor and the animal may be sold at a public auction as provided in section 1311.49 of the Revised Code, and the residue of the proceeds of sale shall be paid and deposited by the treasurer in the general fund of the county.

Effective Date: 11-03-1978

951.12 Unavoidable escapes.

If it is proven that an animal running at large in violation of section 951.01 or 951.02 of the Revised Code escaped from its owner or keeper without his knowledge or fault, such animal shall be returned to its owner or keeper upon payment of the compensation prescribed in section 951.13 of the Revised Code for its taking, advertising, and keeping.

Effective Date: 11-03-1978

951.13 Fees.

The person or county, township, city, or village whose law enforcement officer takes an animal running at large in violation of section 951.01 to 951.02 of the Revised Code is entitled to receive from the owner or keeper thereof the following compensation:

(A) For taking and advertising each horse, mule, head of cattle, swine, sheep, goat, or goose, five dollars;

(B) Reasonable expenses actually incurred for keeping each such animal.

Compensation for taking, advertising, and keeping a single herd or flock shall not exceed fifty dollars when such flock or herd belongs to one person.

Effective Date: 11-03-1978

951.14 to 951.16 Repealed.

Effective Date: 11-03-1978

951.99 Penalty.

Whoever violates section 951.01 or 951.02 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.

Effective Date: 11-03-1978


PA Abandoned Animals

§ 5511. Cruelty to animals

(c) Cruelty to animals.--A person commits a summary offense if he wantonly or cruelly illtreats, overloads, beats, otherwise abuses any animal, or neglects any animal as to which he has a duty of care, whether belonging to himself or otherwise, or abandons any animal, or deprives any animal of necessary sustenance, drink, shelter or veterinary care, or access to clean and sanitary shelter which will protect the animal against inclement weather and preserve the animal's body heat and keep it dry. This subsection shall not apply to activity undertaken in normal agricultural operation.

(m) Forfeiture.--In addition to any other penalty provided by law, the authority imposing sentence upon a conviction for any violation of this section may order the forfeiture or surrender of any abused, neglected or deprived animal of the defendant to any society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals duly incorporated under the laws of this Commonwealth.

(m.1) Fine for summary offense.--In addition to any other penalty provided by law, a person convicted of a summary offense under this section shall pay a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $750 or to imprisonment for not more than 90 days, or both.


Utah Abandoned Animals:Class B or Class C Misdemeanor

 76-9-301.   Cruelty to animals.

       (1)  A person is guilty of cruelty to animals if the person intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence:
       (a)  fails to provide necessary food, care, or shelter for an animal in his custody;
       (b)  abandons an animal in the person's custody;
       (2)  A violation of Subsection (1) is:

(a)  a class B misdemeanor if committed intentionally or knowingly; and
       (b)  a class C misdemeanor if committed recklessly or with criminal negligence.
       (9)  Upon conviction under this section, the court may in its discretion, in addition to other penalties:
       (a)  order the defendant to be evaluated to determine the need for psychiatric or psychological counseling, to receive counseling as the court determines to be appropriate, and to pay the costs of the evaluation and counseling;
       (b)  require the defendant to forfeit any rights the defendant has to the animal subjected to a violation of this section and to repay the reasonable costs incurred by any person or agency in caring for each animal subjected to violation of this section;
       (c)  order the defendant to no longer possess or retain custody of any animal, as specified by the court, during the period of the defendant's probation or parole or other period as designated by the court; and
       (d)  order the animal to be placed for the purpose of adoption or care in the custody of a county and municipal animal control agency, an animal welfare agency registered with the state, sold at public auction, or humanely destroyed.
       (11)  As used in this section:
       (a)  "Abandons" means to intentionally deposit, leave, or drop off any live animal:
       (i)  without providing for the care of that animal; or
       (ii)  in a situation where conditions present an immediate, direct, and serious threat to the life, safety, or health of the animal.

Amended by Chapter 7, 1996 Special Session 2





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