Horse Transportation Safety Act of 2009
Over the years there have been accidents involving horses being transported in double-decker trucks. The most recent accident was in Wadsworth, Illinois in 2007 involving the overturning of a double-deck cattle truck carrying 59 Belgian draft horses. Eight horses died at the scene and ten were later euthanized.
Several states have passed legislation banning the transport of horses in these trucks, but there is no federal prohibition. It is illegal to transport horses to slaughter in such vehicles.
House Bill Introduced
On January 8, 2009 Representative Mark Kirk (R-IL) introduced the Horse Transportation Safety Act of 2009 (H.R. 305). The bill would prohibit the interstate transport of any horse in a double-deck truck.
This is the first bill introduced in Congress that would prohibit this nationally. The bill calls for civil penalties of $100 to $500 for each violation. A separate violation occurs for each horse transported.
In introducing the bill, Congressman Kirk said it was prompted by the accident in Wadsworth and that “it is time to put an end to using double-decker trucks to transport horses.”
The bill was reported out of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure September 28, 2010.
The AHC has not yet taken a position on this legislation.