Today, Animal Wellness Action and the Animal Wellness Foundation applauded U.S. Reps. Steve Cohen (D-TN), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Dina Titus (D-NV), and more than 100 Members of the U.S. House for their reintroduction of the Horse Transportation Safety Act that would ban the transportation of horses across state lines in ‘double deck’ trucks or trailers containing two or more levels stacked on top of one another. The measure passed the U.S. House in July of 2020, but failed to be taken up for a vote in the U.S. Senate.
“We applaud Reps. Cohen, Fitzpatrick, and Titus for their dedication to protecting our iconic American horses and the reintroduction of the Horse Transportation Safety Act,” said Marty Irby, executive director at Animal Wellness Action. “The horses that have transported millions of Americans for centuries, themselves deserve to be transported in a humane manner while they continue to bring joy, emotional support, and economic benefits to horsemen and women across the nation.”
“Horses deserve to be transported in as humane a manner as possible on our highways,” said U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN). “Double-deck trailers do not provide adequate headroom for adult horses, and accidents involving double-deck trailers are an unnecessary and gruesome reminder that the practice is also dangerous to all of the driving public.”
“As a society, it is imperative that we protect the welfare of animals, both big and small,” said U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA). “As a member of the bipartisan Congressional Animal Protection Caucus and an outspoken defender of animals, I continue to be committed to ensuring that our government is doing its part in promoting animal welfare. I’m proud to stand with Representative Cohen to guarantee the safe and humane treatment of horses on highways and roads.”
“It’s past time for congress to close the loophole that encourages horses to be transported in a harmful way,” said U.S. Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV). “I’m proud to co-sponsor this legislation to protect these beautiful animals.”
Double decker trucks and trailers present tremendous transportation risks to both the horses on board, and motorists sharing the state, federal, and local roadways with them. Numerous crashes that have occurred along interstate highways have resulted in not only the deaths of the horses, but innocent travelers as well. Even the U.S. Department of Agriculture has openly declared that these vehicles “do not provide adequate headroom for equines,” and that equines are far more likely to face injury in double decker trailers than in one level trailers that can better transport them.
The Horse Transportation Safety Act is backed by nearly every major animal protection group in the country including Animal Wellness Action, the Animal Wellness Foundation, Horses for Life Foundation, American Horse Protection Society, and the Center for a Humane Economy.