House weighs ban on equine double-decker transport

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May 13, 2009
By dvm360.com staff
Washington -- The House of Representatives is considering a bill to ban transporting horses in double-deck trailers, thereby turning into federal law a similar rule the U.S. Department of Agriculture has had in place the last two years.

The Horse Transportation Safety Act of 2009 would prohibit anyone from transporting a horse "in interstate commerce" using a vehicle with two or more levels. The bill, also known as House Resolution 305, is before the House Subcommittee on Highway and Transit.

Several states have passed bans on double-deck horse transportation, and the USDA has prohibited the use of double-layer trailers to transport horses destined for slaughter since 2007.

Unlike the USDA rule, the new law, if passed, does not specify a purpose for the horse's travel but simply bans double-deck transportation altogether, according to legislation. Fines for violations would range from $100 to $500 per offense.