June 9, 1999
Equine Placement Network, Inc.
The proposed regulations for the Commercial Transportation of Horses To Slaughter Act have been published in the Federal Register. The Federal Register is online. The public comment period is until July 19, 1999.
ADDRESSES: Please send an original and three copies of your comments to:
Docket No. 980741,
Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS,
Suite 3C03, 4700 River Road Unit 118,
Riverdale, MD 207371238.
It is _STRONGLY_ recommended that you also send copies of your comments to your US Senator & US Representatives in Washington, DC.
To locate your US Senator & US Represenative call: 202-224-3121.
Copies may also be sent to the American Horse Council,
1700 K Street NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20006
The proposed regulations are for the Commercial Transportation of Horses to Slaughter Act which passed in 1996. The Act stated that the,
"Secretary of Ag may issue guidelines to regulate the transportation of horses to slaughter..."
Many people mistakenly believed that when the law passed the horses were protected. Not so. The law simply stated that the Secretary of Ag had the authority to create guidelines. The proposed regulations are these guidelines. The words "safe" and "humane" do NOT exist in the law.
The original intent of this law was to ban the use of double deck cattle trailers, ban the shipment of pregnant mares and foals to slaughter, ban the shipment of sick & injured horses by having a veterinarian inspect the horses, require ceiling height of no less than 6'6", require secure footing & safe interiors, water, food & rest no less than every 12 hours, limit the number of horses on a trailer, segregate horses by size & sex.
The proposed regulations will allow the following;
The proposed regulations fly in the face of every accepted horse transportation industry practice, horse management practice & horse husbandry practice. Horses bound for slaughter are still horses, they have not shrunk in size, their behavior has not changed, their need for water has not changed. They are still alive & need to be transported in vehicles designed to transport horses & using methods designed for horses.
New York State banned double deck trailers and instituted safety standards for horse trailers 18 years ago & has stepped up enforcement of their transport law, Sec 359-a. New York State continues to use its law to crack down on the cruel and inhumane transport of slaughterbound horses from Pennsylvania auctions through New York to Canadian slaughterhouses for human consumption overseas. The simplicity of New York State's law facilitates the prosecution and conviction for illegal shipment of horses, and New York State counties have seen revenue of $7700 in a 12 month period, with over $11,000 in unpaid fines on the books.