July 31, 2001
Equine Protection Network, Inc.
Act 64, the PA Horse Transport Bill signed into law on June 25, 2001 by Governor Ridge, goes into effect on Saturday August, 25, 2001. This legislation bans the use of double deck cattle trailers to transport ANY equine animal in a vehicle that has 2 or more levels stacked on top of each other. Each horse is a separate violation.
For this law to be effective, the public MUST assist the police.
1. Print and carry a copy of the law in your car. This makes it easy for you to state to law enforcement officers the Title & section of the law. Title 18,the PA Crimes Code, Section 5511(e).
2. Be prepared to write down the license plate of the trailer. Color of the truck & name on the truck.
3. Location of the truck. Road or route number. Direction the truck is headed. On Interstates look for Exit numbers or Mile Markers. Mile markers are located on the side of the interstate, mounted on small green signs.
4. Everytime you see a double deck trailer on the highway:
Look inside for horses. Look for their ears & their tails. Double deckers that transport horses often have plywood on the inside of the trailer.
We banned doubles in the state of PA. Indiana is following PA's lead and introducing legislation to ban double deck trailers to transport horses.
(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.
(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.
(e) Transporting animals in cruel manner.--A person commits a summary offense if he carries, or causes, or allows to be carried in or upon any cart, or other vehicle whatsoever, any animal in a cruel or inhumane manner. The person taking him into custody may take charge of the animal and of any such vehicle and its contents, and deposit the same in some safe place of custody, and any necessary expenses which may be incurred for taking charge of and keeping the same, and sustaining any such animal, shall be a lien thereon, to be paid before the same can lawfully be recovered, or the saidexpenses or any part thereof remaining unpaid may be recovered by the person incurring the same from the owner of said creature in any action therefor.
The cruelty case against Joe Mayer, Lower Nazareth Township continues in Northhampton before District Justice Joseph Barner. Over 30 animals, including over 20 horses and ponies were seized from Mayer's farm on Feb 2, 2001. To date there has been 3 days of testimony. The hearing continues in August.
The following charges have been filed in the New Holland District Court. The District Justice is Rodney Hartman.
Darlene Trump, Wellsville, PA has pled not guilty to 2 counts of cruelty to horses. The PA SPCA charged Ms. Trump on Title 18, 5511(c) and Title 18, 5511(d)
A hearing is scheduled for 9:30 AM in New Holland, PA District Court on August 2, 2001.
Michael Smith, Silver Spring MD has pled not guilty to one count of 5511(d). The Large Animal Protection Society, LAPS, filed charges against Mr. Smith. Hearing date is September 24, 2001.
James Barbine, Dover, DE has pled not guilty to 4 counts of animal cruelty. On July 5, 2001 the PA SPCA charged Mr. Barbine with 1 count of 5511 (e) and one count 5511 (d). On July 16, 2001 the PA SPCA again filed charges against Mr. Barbine. One count each of 5511(d) and 5511(e).
Aaron Z. Martin, East Earl, PA was charged with 1 count of 5511(d) on July 16, 2001 by the PA SPCA. Mr. Martin has pled guilty. No sentence has been handed down.
Brunu Bellucci, Harrisburg, PA has pled not guilty to one charge of 5511(d). The PA SPCA filed the charges on July 16, 2001.
Craig Coleflesh, Grantville, PA was charged on July 24, 2001 by the PA SPCA on one count of 5511(e). No plea has been entered.
Arlow Kiehl, Watertown, NY has a court date in Barker, NY on August 17, 2001. Mr. Kiehl faces 32 misdemeanor counts of the illegal transport of horses under NY Ag & Markets, Section 359-a. The charges were filed after Mr. Kiehl was stopped by the NY State Police on February 20, 2001 on I-81. Kiehl had horses on a double deck cattle trailer.
Dr. William Jeter, an animal industry biologist for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' Division of Agricultural Environmental Services, said the U.S. Department of Agriculture is rushing into production an experimental West Nile vaccine to be used on horses. Jeter said the vaccine did well in field trials in New York and New Hampshire earlier this year and, under a conditional USDA license, could be released for use as early as mid-August .
While use of the vaccine already has shown no great side effects, its effectiveness at protecting against West Nile virus infection remains to be seen, Jeter said. What's more, it can't be counted on to provide immunity -- only lessen the impact of the virus in those animals that contract it.
Because of their constant exposure to mosquitoes, horses are considered most vulnerable to the virus. Jeter said the virus has not severely harmed the horse industry in New York -- but harsh winters in that state give annual respite from the blood suckers that carry the disease. Jeter said relatively few horses in New York contracted the virus, but of those that did, 38 percent died or had to be killed. [Byline: Paige St. John]
One suspected human case and 3 equine cases have been reported from the state of Florida. These figures differ from the figures posted by individual states, indicating a lack of synchrony in reporting.
Equine surveillance identified 3 horses with neurologic disease attributed to WNV infection in Jefferson County, Florida, with illness onsets beginning on 24 Jun 2001.