Frequently Asked Questions on Horse Slaughter
Transport to Slaughter
Download a card and carry in your car. Help enforce PA law banning the use of double deck trailers to transport any horse, no matter what its final destination!
Horses purchased for slaughter are often transported in double deck cattle trailers designed to transport cattle and hogs. Trailers designed for cattle and hogs do not meet equine industry standards for vehicles used to transport horses. This, in conjunction with overcrowding and a lack of segregation often cause injury and even death to the horses being transported. The lack of food, water and rest contribute to the arduous journey, making it especially inhumane for blind, sick, injured, and/or the very young and the very old. The Press
link has three infamous accounts of the horrors of the double deckers.
Enforcement is needed at the point of loading to effectively end this cruel and inhumane transport.
Pennsylvania, (PA) and New York,(NY) have the strongest laws in the United States that ban outright the use of the inhumane double deck cattle trailers to transport any horse no matter what its final destination. PA passed the Horse Transport Law in 2001 under then Governor Tom Ridge while New York's law has been in effect since 1980, with amendments in 1998 and 2002 that closed two loopholes and raised the fines. The EPN brought continued violations of NY law to the attention of the NY State Police, (NYSP) which resulted in several successful prosecutions. The two NY killer buyers that were transporting horses from PA horse auctions using double deckers no longer due so due to the efforts of the EPN and the enforcement by the NYSP and the successful prosecution by the district attorneys in NY.
Vermont, (VT) and Massachusetts, (MA) also have outright bans of the inhumane double deck trailers for horses.Several other states have legislation regulating the use of double deck trailers to transport horses including, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Minnesota, and Virginia. The regulation allows for the trailers use as long as the trailer meets certain requirements. The result of this regulation is little or successful prosecution and the continued use of the inhumane trailers.
The above states laws are effective as demonstrated by the successful prosecution in both PA and NY, after the police were made aware of the violations. Law enforcement depends on the public to report alledged crimes. The public must be on the look out for double deck trailers with horses inside. If you observe a double deck trailer with horses inside in PA, NY, VT, or MA it is illegal and you need to report it to the police.
Trailers at these low end sales are in all shapes and sizes. The low end dealers' trailers have one thing in common. The trailers are filthy, the floors are often covered in manure. The trailers often lack rubber mats. Bedding is non-existent, the only visible material on the floor of the trailers is several inches of manure.
The "killer buyers" will often have tractor trailers. Some are double decker cattle trailers designed to transport cattle and hogs, not horses. Or the "killer buyers" will bring their trailers in after the public has left. The loading of the "killer horses" onto the trailers, whether single tier or double tiers is almost always accomplished with whips, electric cattle prods, and yelling. The "killers" are well aware that what they are doing is not accepted equine industry management practice and like any other criminal elect to commit their crimes under the cover of darkness.
Often secreted away in trailers are horses in deplorable condition, left on the trailer so as not to be visible to the public. A private deal is then made between the dealer and the "killer buyer". This is illegal in PA. No sales are allowed in the parking lot or on the roads surrounding a livestock market.
The horse in this picture was down and bleeding in the trailer with blood pooling on the ground under the trailer. The owner brought the killer buyer out to the trailer and a deal was struck. The horse was forced to his feet and led inside the auction barn. Although local police were notified and did respond, the investigation left many unanswered questions as to the fate of the horse, and no one was held accountable for the cruely inflicted upon this horse.
Double Deck Cattle Trailers Transporting Horses
Any state that has a law against the cruel and inhumane transport of horses or animals, can use that law to prosecute people who use double deckers to transport horses. In court the prosecutor must prove and demonstrate why a double deck cattle trailer is cruel and inhumane for horses. This is not difficult. This is a no brainer.
- Double deck cattle trailers are not manufactured or designed to transport horses.
- Do you see double deck cattle trailers advertised in horse magazines?
- Do you see companies that manufacture both double deck cattle trailers and horse trailers advertising their double deckers in horse magazines, or do they advertise their vans designed for horses?
- Manufacturers refer to double deck trailers as "cattle" or "hog" trailers, not horse trailers.
- Do you see commercial horse transport companies using double deckers to transport horses?
- Does your vet recommend you transport your horse in a double deck cattle trailer?
- Do articles on trailering or transporting horses recommend that you use a double deck cattle trailer to transport a horse?
- How many trailers designed to carry 6 or more horses, do trailer manufacturers sell with a height of less than 6'6"? 6'9"? 7'?
- How many horse trailers have 3 inch "I" beams protruding below the ceiling of the trailer?
- How many horse trailers force a horse to go down a ramp into the trailer? A ramp and opening so small, that the only way horses will go down them is with electric cattle prods?
- Read, learn & print out your state's anti-cruelty law. Put a copy of it in your car in the glovebox. Be on the alert for double deck trailers carrying horses. If you see horses inside a double deck cattle trailer:
- Write down the license plate of the trailer.
- Description of the truck and the trailer.
- Location of the trailer and the direction it is traveling.
- Call law enforcement and report an incident of cruelty to animals.
- Most humane agents do not have the power to stop a vehicle.
Be prepared to tell law enforcement why it is cruel and inhumane to transport horses this way. (It forces the horses to hold their heads down. Prevents the horses from raising their heads. Remember there may also be injured horses in the trailer. The trailer may be overcrowded.)