December 12, 2006 -- A tractor trailer transporting 42 horses to a slaughter facility overturned in the early morning hours on September 27, outside St. Louis, Mo., trapping all of the animals inside until a rescue team arrived at the scene.
Fire fighters cut the vehicle's roof open and the Humane Society of Missouri reports that seven animals died in the accident while nine were euthanatized due to the severity of their injuries. The remaining 26 horses were taken to a nearby facility for triage; since then, eight horses are at the Humane Society's Longmeadow Rescue. Several others were treated at various veterinary clinics.
"Many are recovering better than the vets hoped," says Jeane Jae, spokesperson for the Humane Society. "We are working with the insurance company to secure ownership of the horses."
Local media outlets report that the double-decker trailer was on the way from Oklahoma to a slaughter plant in Illinois when the accident occurred. Federal regulations govern the commercial transport of horses to slaughter and a representative for the U.S. Department of Agriculture is investigating the incident.
For more information and to see pictures of the horses since their rescue, visit the Humane Society of Missouri at www.hsmo.org.