Law Prohibiting Double-Decker Trailer Transport of Horses Passed by Legislature in Rhode Island


This is a typical double-decker livestock trailer of the type that Rhode Island legislators are seeking to ban for the transport of horses within or through their little state. This one is in a classified ad and is being offered for $6500.

It’s questionable whether a double-decker livestock trailer has ever even traveled through the tiny state of Rhode Island, or if anyone in the state owns one, but that didn’t stop the state legislature from passing a bill that would outlaw moving horses in two-story, low-ceilinged trailers designed for short-necked livestock. The Humane Society of the United States reported today that the bill goes to the governor for a signature after today’s vote.

Sen. Dominick Ruggerio, D-Providence, and Rep. Amy Rice, D-Portsmouth, introduced the legislation in response to a tragic accident last year resulting in the deaths of 18 young Belgian draft horses after a double-decker cattle truck overturned on the highway in Illinois.

Federal legislation is currently pending to ban the use of double-decker trailers for transporting horses (H.R. 6278), and to end the slaughter of American horses for human consumption and prohibit their export for slaughter in other countries (S. 311/H.R. 503).

Rhode Island has a good-sized horse population, although there are probably more boats than horses there. It was the home of Lincoln Downs, a Thoroughbred racetrack that closed in the 1970s.

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