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Legislation Information




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California Voters "Just Say Neigh" to Horse Slaughter!

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HoofPAC Political Action Committee

HoofPAC is the political action committee that has been formed to end the slaughter of America's horses. Cathleen Doyle, founder of HoofPAC, led the successful Save The Horses campaign in 1998 that made the slaughter of California's horses a felony.

Page last revised on:
19 March, 2008

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Federal Legislation to Ban Doubles

Horse Transportation Safety Act of 2008 (Introduced in House)

The EPN is opposing this bill due to a lack of criminal penalties.

Lack of Criminal Penalties

Without criminal penalties there will be no enforcement because law enforcement officers cannot enforce civil penalties. Citizens will not be able to call 911 to report a violation when they observe a double deck trailer transporting horses. In the states with laws banning doubles, the public can call 911 to report a violation and law enforcement can respond and make the required motor vehicle stop necessary to collect the evidence necessary to arrest and successfully prosecute the violation in court.

Threat of Fines

The "threat of $30,000 in fines is not a deterrent. The death penalty is not a deterrent to murder. The facts prove that high fines are not a deterrent. One only needs to look at the record in New York and Pennsylvania. In 1994 a truck owned by Frank Carper was stopped and the driver, his son, David Carper was successfully prosecuted in the Horse Popcicle Case resulting in $11,000 in fines, which to this day remain unpaid. Carper stopped running the Northway to Canada, but even though he stood at the auction ring rail week in and week out with Donald Nickerson of Nickerson Livestock and Arlow Kiehl, his fine did nothing to deter Nickerson Livestock or Arlow Kiehl from transporting at least one load of horses a week through New York into Canada in violation of the NY Horse Transport Law of 1980.

Nickerson Livestock and Arlow Kiehl were arrested and prosecuted under NY Law several times and it was not until it was proven to them that the Court would impose the fines and NY closed the loophole in the law that allowed Kiehl to avoid arrest and enter into plea agreements.


If there is an accident, law enforcement will be called to the scene due to the accident. The owner of the tractor trailer, the driver, the number of horses, the point of origin and destination, and other load information will be documented by law enforcement allowing them to provide the U.S. Attorney General's Office with the evidence of the violations. The evidence will be collected by law enforcement personnel trained in the Rules of Evidence and the importance and necessity of maintaining the Chain of Evidence for court. If the evidence is not collected, maintained, and introduced according to these rules, the defense will be able to successfully move to have the evidence thrown out.


HR 6278 IH


2d Session

H. R. 6278

To amend title 49, United States Code, to prohibit the transportation of horses in interstate transportation in a motor vehicle containing 2 or more levels stacked on top of one another.


June 17, 2008

Mr. KIRK (for himself, Mr. COHEN, Mr. REICHERT, Mr. WHITFIELD of Kentucky, Mr. GONZALEZ, Mr. RAHALL, Mr. KUCINICH, Mr. SERRANO, Mr. FOSTER, Mr. SHAYS, Mr. JONES of North Carolina, and Mr. MOORE of Kansas) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure


To amend title 49, United States Code, to prohibit the transportation of horses in interstate transportation in a motor vehicle containing 2 or more levels stacked on top of one another.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


    This Act may be cited as the `Horse Transportation Safety Act of 2008'.


    (a) In General- Chapter 805 of title 49, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

`Sec. 80505. Transportation of horses

    `(a) Prohibition- No person may transport, or cause to be transported, a horse from a place in a State, the District of Columbia, or a territory or possession of the United States through or to a place in another State, the District of Columbia, or a territory or possession of the United States in a motor vehicle containing 2 or more levels stacked on top of one another.
    `(b) Civil Penalty- A person that knowingly violates this section is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of at least $100 but not more than $500 for each violation. A separate violation occurs under this section for each horse that is transported, or caused to be transported, in violation of this section. On learning of a violation, the Attorney General shall bring a civil action to collect the penalty in the district court of the United States for the judicial district in which the violation occurred or the defendant resides or does business.
    `(c) Motor Vehicle Defined- In this section, the term `motor vehicle' means a vehicle driven or drawn by mechanical power and manufactured primarily for use on public highways, but does not include a vehicle operated exclusively on a rail or rails.
    `(d) Relationship to Other Laws- The penalty provided under this section shall be in addition to a penalty or remedy available under any other law or common law.'.

    (b) Conforming Amendment- The analysis for such chapter is amended by adding at the end the following:
      `80505. Transportation of horses.'.

Double Deck Trailer Facts

Horses inside double deck trailer with 3" I beam
Diagram of double deck trailer




  • Double deck trailers are not designed, safety tested, or manufactured for horses, nor are they marketed to the horse industry; Industry standard for the commercial transport of horses is 8 feet in similar sized trailers.
  • Doubles are used by low end horse dealers, rodeo stock contractors, and “killer buyers”
  • Double deck trailers have been banned outright in several leading horse states due to injuries caused to the horses transported – PA (2001), NY (1980), MA, and regulated in: CT (1976), VA(1987),VT (1989), MN.(1996), MD (2006)
    • Note-These states are examples of either poorly drafted legislation, legislation compromised with performance based language offered by the opposition. Enforcement of these laws requires testimony from experts, measurements taken by law enforcement. The result is the regulation and legitimization of doubles. The hostile amendment offered by the IL Farm Bureau would have legalized and legitimized doubles for horses in IL and at the same time weakened other state horse transport laws.
  • Double deck trailers banned by the USDA for horses transported to slaughter in 2007 due to the results of studies documenting that double deck trailers, even if modified could not be made safe and humane for horses. AZ and CA also ban their use for transport to slaughter.
  • Double deck trailers can have ceiling heights as low as 5’7”. Industry standard is 7’.
  • Bottom deck has 3” I Beams every 12” on center to support the top deck
  • Steep and narrow ramps with metal floors cause the horses to slip and fall, cause injuries to the horses hips.
  • Horses are forced to jump down into a narrow opening leading to the bottom deck
  • Due to the low ceiling heights horses cannot raise and lower their heads and necks for balance. Horses routinely throw their heads and rear, unlike cattle, hogs, goats or sheep which theses trailers are designed for.
  • Horses suffer head and back injuries due to the low ceiling height, the 3” I beams, and overhead ramp storage.
  • Horses suffer injuries to their hips and sides due to the narrow doorways.



"It is incumbent for advocacy groups all over the nation to be vigilant regarding any piece
of equine legislation which could weaken other existing laws even if in another state"

Cathleen Doyle -HoofPAC, Save The Horses, CA Equine Council

The slaughter of America's Horses has continued for 40 years because it was hidden and the media kept silent. The advent of the Internet gave the people opposed to slaughter a voice. The California Initiative Process gave the People a voice and in 1998 62% of California voters "Just Said Neigh" to horse slaughter.

When Americans as a whole are given a voice, the Slaughter of America's Horses will end as Americans overwhelmingly vote to outlaw the slaughter.

Since 2000 the issue has been handled by animal welfare organizations unwilling to hire the best professional lobbyist in Washington D.C. so the slaughter and the fundraising at the expense of the horses continues.

Anytime one remains silent it allows the practice in question to continue and as history shows, anytime attempts are made to silence people's voices no good comes from it. People need to find their voices and Speak Up For the Horses.

Silence = Complacency

"People deserve to be informed and certainly the horses deserve better. No matter what the informed."

Cathleen Doyle -HoofPAC, Save The Horses, CA Equine Council


PA Horse Transport Law Cards | NY Horse Transport Law Card | Vermont Horse Transport Law Card |MD Horse Transport Law Card

Download a card and carry in your car.
Help enforce PA, NY, & VT laws banning the use of double deck trailers to transport any horse,
no matter what its final destination!

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