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Legislation Information

Pending Legislation

PA's Electronic Bill Room

Type in the word "equine" in the search box to locate bills, (proposed legislation) relating to horses.

Federal Laws

Proposed regs will legalize every inhumane practice identified in the transport of horses to slaughter!

Doubles will be legal for 5 years AFTER the proposed regs go into effect. It has already been 4 1/2 years, that makes 10 years of the continued use of doubles after this legislation passed.
Doubles will be legal for 5 years AFTER the proposed regs go into effect. It has already been 4 1/2 years, that makes for 10 years of the continued use of doubles after this legislation passed..

EPN's Comments

on Proposed Regulations For the 1996 Commercial Transportation of Horses To Slaughter Act

CA Equine Council's

Comments on the Proposed Regulations For the 1996 Commercial Transportation of Horses To Slaughter Act

State Laws

Proposition 6,

The PROHIBITION of Horse Slaughter and Sale of Horsemeat for Human Consumption Act Of 1998, Does Not Violate The Commerce Clause

Horsemeat Laws

1996 Commercial Transportation Of Horses To Slaughter Act

December 7, 2001
Final Rule Commercial Transportation of Horses to Slaughter Act

American Horse Council, American Horse Protection Association, & Humane Society of US

propose to legalize every inhumane practice identified in the transport of horses to slaughter & put the very people identified as the abusers, the "killer buyers" in charge of the horses!

Proposed Regulations For the 1996 Commercial Transportation of Horses To Slaughter Act

USDA Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service, APHIS

Approval of Livestock Facilities;
Interstate Movement of EIA Reactors

USDA Food Safety Inspection Service, FSIS, Regulations

Biological Residues in Horses;
Slaughter of Foaling Mares;
Slaughter of Sick Horses;

USDA APHIS Humane Slaughter Act

Double deck trailer awaits loading of horses at New Holland Sales Stables June 24, 2000.

AZ Transport Law

CA Transport Law

CT Transport Law

MA Transport Law

MN Transport Law

NY Transport Law

Ag and Markets, Section 359-a
 Horses inside double deck cattle trailer stopped by the NYSP. The owner was later convicted & fined $3000.00.
Horses inside double deck cattle trailer stopped by the NYSP. The owner was later convicted & fined $3000.00.

VA Transport Law

Vermont Transport Law

PA Anti Cruelty Law
Title 18, Section 5511

Sign Posted at PA Horse Auctions is NOT the Law!

Sign outside auctions is incorrect!

 Sign posted outside 2 PA horse auctions regarding the PA Anti Cruelty Statute is incorrect! Maybe the posting of this sign has something to do with
Sign posted outside 2 PA horse auctions regarding the PA Anti Cruelty Statute is incorrect! " Maybe the posting of this sign has something to do with "the agreement" that the auctions and the PA SPCA have with each other...

U.S. Anti-Cruelty Statutes

PA Domestic Animal Act

Licensing of Dealers & Haulers

EIA Regulations, Coggins Test

PA Dead Animal Act

Requirements for Removal of Dead Animals

PA Animal Markets

General Provisions
Transactions From Trucks

IL Horsemeat Act

Texas Law

Sale of Horsemeat for Human Consumption

Prohibits Sale of Horsemeat For Human Consumption

Texas Attorney General Cornyn States TX Law

Prohibiting Sale of Horsemeat Applies to the 2 Texas Horse Slaughterhouses!

lactating chestnut Arab type mare stands in filth in the classic foundered stance.


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.

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The Sad Eyed Arab...Too Bad Nobody Took Him Home...

Fund the Fight, Find A Cure

Equine Protection Network Horse Slaughter Awareness Campaign

Equine Placement Network Comments On Proposed Regulations for the Commercial Transportation of Equines Act

July 17, 1999
Docket No. 98-074-1
Regulatory Analysis and Development
Suite 3C03
4700 River Road Unit 118
Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.
Docket #: 98-074-1
Title: Commercial Transportation of Equines to Slaughter
Docket Type: PRM
Publication Date: 5/19/99
CFR Part: 9 CFR 70, 88
FR Citation: 64 FR 27210

The following comments are respectfully submitted on behalf of the Equine Placement Network. The Equine Placement Network has the support of over 25 major horse industry organizations in our efforts to pass legislation in
PA that would prohibit the use of double deck trailers to transport horses. Over five thousand individuals, the majority of which are horse owners and professionals in the horse industry, have written in support of our efforts to
ban double deck trailers to transport horses.

The author's background includes 2 1/2 years in the commercial horse transportation industry. During that period horses under the author's care were transported from New York to California, Canada to Florida and the entire East Coast. Duties included accompanying the horses in the trailer during transit, overseeing the feeding, watering and care of the horses while in transit and during layover stops, and assisting with loading and unloading horses of all ages, sexes, sizes and level of training. The author's spouse has been employed as a van driver for one of the largest commercial horse carriers in the United States for 14 years.

The author is a member of the American Horse Council and the American Horse Protection Association. Neither one of these organizations is representing our position on the proposed regulations for The Commercial Transportation of Equines To Slaughter Act.

We do not believe that the USDA has fulfilled their responsibility under the 1996 Farm Bill to regulate the transportation of equines to slaughter as Congress intended. The Equine Placement Network is going on record as
opposing the proposed regulation. In addition, the Equine Placement Network is in agreement with the California Equine Council's comments that have been submitted to the USDA.

The Equine Placement Network opposes the proposed regulations on the following points;

1. Double deck cattle trailers will continue to be legal for another 5 years. These trailers can have ceiling heights as low as 5'7". Commercial horse trailers are no lower than 6'6", with most being 7' to 8' tall. According to the USDA, double deck cattle trailers are the type most often used to transport horses to slaughter. Using a very conservative estimate, over 200,000 horses will be forced to ride in trailers designed for cattle and hogs that do not allow the horses to stand upright and cause head, back & neck injuries. According to Executive Order 12988, all local and state laws that are in conflict will be preempted. This opens the question of the pre-emption of New York's Ag & Markets Law Sec 359-a and other state laws that prohibit the use of double deck trailers.

2. It will be legal to ship horses 28 hours with no water, no food, & no rest. Equine industry transport standards are water every 4-6 hours depending on the weather. Equine husbandry practices recommend water no less than every 12 hours. Horses are transported in boarded up trailers during the summer when outside temperatures are exceeding 90 degrees. Factoring in the humidity, and the heat index can soar to over 110. With 40 - 45 horses in a trailer it is impossible for these horses to receive enough ventilation. Horse industry standard for the same size trailer is 8 to 15 horses.

3. Full term pregnant mares can be shipped to slaughter, as long as the owner / shipper, the very person who stands to benefit by shipping the mare & the person who stands to lose money if the mare is not shipped, does not believe
the mare will foal during the trip. Equine veterinarians have stated that they cannot predict when a mare is going to foal.

4. The owner/shipper, the very person identified as the person(s) inflicting the inhumane treatment to slaughter horses has been put in charge of determining whether or not a horse is fit to ship instead of a veterinarian. Considering that the owner/shipper stands to lose money if the horse does not ship, & stands to profit if the horse does ship, this is an apparent conflict of interest. This is the fox guarding the henhouse.

5. Penalties will be civil, not criminal. In other words law enforcement cannot enforce. Enforcement will be at the slaughterhouse, not at auctions or feedlots prior to loading.

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.

We believe the definitions that Congress set forth in the statute must remain, not the definitions that the USDA has

According to the USDA,

" To clarify its intentions, Congress set forth definitions in the statute."

The USDA changed these definitions in the proposed regulations, effectively narrowing the scope of the legislation and opening an even larger loophole in the law. This effectively exempts many slaughterbound equines from the
statute. This is not what Congress intended.

We believe that the USDA commissioned studies were biased and flawed. The researchers in many instances contradicted their own previously published studies and findings. The findings fly in the face of every accepted equine industry husbandry practice. Many of their statements can be disproven by court records, photographic evidence and eyewitness accounts.

The two meetings hosted by the American Horse Council and American Horse Protection Association were not open to the public and all interested parties, and experts in the commercial transportation of horses, (other than slaughter)
were not invited. Consulting with the very parties that are inflicting the inhumane treatment does not make sense.

We believe that Section 88-2 (a) General Information is in direct conflict with Executive Order 12988. Sec 88-2(a) states,

"State governments may enact and enforce regulations that are consistent with or that are more stringent than the regulations in proposed part 88";

Executive Order 12988 states,

" all State and local laws and regulations that are in conflict with this rule will be pre-empted."

Several states have laws prohibiting the use of double deck trailers which is " in conflict " with the proposed use of double deck cattle trailers for five years. Several states also have laws that are more stringent than 28 hours without
water. Would these laws be pre-empted under Executive Order 12988, or would they remain in effect? We do not believe it was Congress' intent to supersede state law, nor create grounds for legal battles as to whether or not state
law is in conflict and thus who has supremacy, the state law or the federal law.

Section 88.3

The USDA, in drafting the proposed regulations ignores their own findings by continuing to allow the use of double deck cattle trailers for five years. The USDA states that the

"purpose of the statute is to ensure the humane movement of equines to slaughtering facilities"

Sec 88.3 (1) Be designed, constructed and maintained in a manner that at all times protects the health and well-being of the equines being transported

The USDA is proposing that the animal cargo space,

Sec 88.3 (2) have sufficient interior height to allow each equine on the conveyance to stand with its head extended to the fullest normal postural height; and (4) be equipped with doors and ramps of sufficient design, size, and location to provide for safe loading and unloading.

The USDA states,

"Double deck trailers do not provide adequate headroom for equines transported in double deck trailers can acquire cuts and abrasions to their heads , which scrape the tops of the compartments. "


" as a result of having to stand with their heads in a lowered position, they cannot maintain their balance as easily and sustain injuries from falling. "

The USDA then goes on to state,

"because the purpose of the statute is to ensure the humane transport of equines to slaughtering facilities, the means of conveying the equines must not be a source of harm to them. "

"Research has shown that the use of double-deck trailers for transporting equines to slaughtering facilities is likely to cause injuries and trauma to the equines. Double-deck trailers do not provide adequate headroom for equines, with the possible exception of foals and yearlings; therefore, adult equines transported in double-deck trailers can acquire cuts and abrasions to their heads, which scrape the tops of the compartments. In addition, the equines cannot stand in a normal position with their heads raised. As a result of having to stand with their heads in a lowered position, they cannot maintain balance as easily and sustain injuries from falling. In addition, the ramps used to load animals onto double-deck trailers are at a relatively steep angle. "

The USDA states,

"that the vast majority of injuries caused to equines are actually in transit or during loading and unloading."

"For these reasons, we do not believe that equines can be safely and humanely transported on a conveyance that has an animal cargo space divided into two or more stacked levels.."

Dr. Temple Grandin, PhD and Sharon E. Cregler, PhD in an article titled, "To Market, To Market Check Before you Buy or Sell A Horse published in Live Animal Trade And Transport Magazine in April 1989 states,

"Double deck and possum belly transport must be outlawed for carrying full- sized horses."

The USDA also mentions equines' higher center of gravity and the fact that a double deck trailer tall enough to allow equines to stand upright with equines on two levels would be extremely top heavy and prone to tipping. The fact is
that double deck trailers on the highways currently with equines on two levels are top heavy and prone to tipping.

Trailers designed to transport horses commercially do not have a ceiling height less than 6'6". In conversations with trailer manufacturers, and from personal experience in the horse transportation industry, commercial trailers start at
a height of 7' and often have an interior height of 8'. It is impossible to use a trailer with two levels stacked on top of each other and each level having a 7' or 8' ceiling height. The trailers would not be able to fit under highway
underpasses and would also be extremely top heavy and prone to tipping. A public safety hazard. Motor carrier inspectors and truck drivers alike agree that these top heavy trucks pose a safety hazard.

I have witnessed a double deck trailer swaying dangerously when horses inside the trailer started to "scramble" for footing. The commotion inside the trailer could have occurred for many reasons, horses fighting for position, a
horse(s) lost their footing, and/or an injured horse went down. Needless to say the driver did NOT check on the welfare of the horses, but waited until the trailer stopped swaying before continuing to move the trailer. The driver's
concern was not for the horses, but for the trailer overturning. The fact is that double deck trailers on the highways currently with equines on two levels are top heavy and prone to tipping.

In addition, more than one owner/shipper at Pennsylvania sales have had their tractor trailers put out of service by truck inspectors due to inadequate brakes. Accidents involving the overturning of these trucks has been documented.

It is unbelievable that the USDA and Congress intend to continue to allow public safety to be put at risk for another five years.

In the process of drafting New York State Law, the New York State legislature contacted horse trailer manufacturers. This method is a very inexpensive and practical way of determining the equine industry standard for trailer heights. The horse trailer manufacturing industry cannot sell horse trailers that are 6' 6" or less for full size horses, so they do not routinely
manufacture that size trailer for full size horses. If they did, they would soon be out of business due to a lack of trailer sales. The exception is custom orders for miniature horses or small ponies.

For years the horse industry and the agriculture industry has known that horses do not fit in double deck cattle trailers. Funding another study was a waste of taxpayer dollars.

According to the USDA:

Livestock trailers not used to haul equines can be serviceable for approximately 10 years. Trailers used to haul equines need to be replaced sooner because equines inflict significant damage to livestock trailers during transport.
We believe that many of the double-deck trailers currently used to transport equines will need to be replaced in approximately 5 to 7 years.

The fact is, in Pennsylvania a double deck trailer that is 17 years old is being used to transport equines to slaughter, and has been in use for this purpose for at least 7 years. Documentation can be obtained from New York court records. According to the USDA, double decks carry equines only 10 percent of the time when in use, so an outright ban of doubles cannot negatively impact an entity that is using a double deck for other purposes 90 percent of the time.

The fact is, at least two entities that ship horses to slaughter, own and use single tier trailers in addition to their double deck trailers. As far as the USDA's concern of negatively impacting the shippers financially, at least one of these shippers, who also owns a single tier trailer, continues to use a double deck trailer in violation of New York law, even though another arrest, and/or conviction could cost this shipper tens of thousands of dollars in fines and attorney fees combined, not to mention jail time. This also demonstrates that civil penalties are not an effective means of deterring violations.

The double deck trailers can be sold, and or traded for a single tier trailer, used to transport the animals they were designed to transport, and/or leased to another company.

The USDA states that double decks are inhumane for transporting equines.

The USDA states that the purpose of the statute is to ensure the humane transport of equines to slaughter and that the conveyance must not cause harm to the equine.

The USDA states that to ease the "negative economic impact" on an entity that uses double deck trailers, they will allow their use for another 5 years, yet estimates that while in use, it is only used 10 percent of the time to transport

The USDA has put more emphasis on NOT costing the entities involved any financial hardship, over what Congress mandated the USDA do; ensure the humane transport of equines to slaughter.

Section 88.4 Requirements For Transport

The USDA ignores their own findings, other equine research and accepted equine industry standard on the length of time an equine can humanely travel on a trailer without food, water and rest. Accepted equine transportation industry standard is to water horses every 4- 6 hours depending on the weather conditions. Under certain weather conditions and certain transportation conditions, horses are given access to water free choice during transit.

The USDA is proposing that the shipper or owner;

Sec 88.4 a (1) " ...for at least 6 hours prior to being loaded on the conveyance, equines in commercial transportation to a slaughtering facility be provided with appropriate food, potable water, and the opportunity to rest because research has shown that equines that have been provided these things prior to transit can be transported for at least 28 hours with no adverse health effects. Access to water is the most serious concern. Many equines do not experience serious physiologic distress for 30 hour without water if they have had access to water during the 6-hour period prior to deprivation.

" ... after consultation with interested parties at the two meetings mentioned previously, we believe that the proposed 28-hour maximum allowable timeframe for deprivation of food, water, and rest during transport to slaughter is appropriate".

Dr Stull when not being funded by the USDA to study slaughter horses, contradicts the 28 hours with no water proposal. In a report titled,

Physiology, Balance, and Management of Horses During Transportation

Dr. Carolyn Stull Ph.D. states,

"The upper critical temperature (UCT), approximately 75° to 90°F, is reached when the horse cannot dissipate enough metabolic heat to the environment to maintain homeothermy. Humidity is a major factor in the determination of the UCT. The horse dissipated heat through respiration and sweating mechanisms. In hot environmental conditions, the horse's feed intake may decrease. Water availability is essential to avoid dehydration. Transportation in hot, humid conditions should attempt to minimize thermal stress by a careful selection of departure/arrival schedules to avoid the hottest portion of the day, offering water every 4-6 hours, and limiting the duration of the trip. In hot conditions, it is important to keep the trailer moving and avoid parking for long periods. Temperature in a trailer is usually 10° to 15°F greater than outside temperatures (Smith, 1996)."

"Water should be offered every 6 to 8 hours, if possible."

The USDA also funded research by Dr. Theodore Friend, Department Of Animal Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Texas A& M University. Interviewed by K. S. Herbert, for the article, Searching For A Good
Ride : Research On Transporting Horses To Slaughter" published in The Horse : Your Guide To Equine Health Care in October 1997, Dr. Friend stated,

"If you have to haul horses more than 24 hours, then the truck must be equipped with a watering device."

There is no proposal for a watering device on the trailers in the proposed regulations. From experience transporting horses together loose in a box stall, and from observing horses in herd situations, there is a question as to whether or not a watering vice on the trailer would allow all horses an opportunity to drink due to the herd pecking order.

Other experts in horse health during transport state the following:

Catherine Kohn, VMD, Ohio State University.


" It is important to offer horses water every four hours or so during travel."

Desmond Leadon, MA, MVB, MSc, FRCVS, RCVS, registered C/specialist in equine medicine, is the head clinician in the Pathology Unit at the Irish Equine Center.


"Water the horses every six to eight hours, and water intake should be monitored"

Ray Geor, DVM, is president of the Association of Equine Sports Medicine.


"Taking steps to ensure that the horse maintains hydration is also important. Fluid losses can be substantial (up to 0.5% of body weight per hour). So, over a 12-hour period, the average-sized horse may lose 20kg or more as sweat and other "insensible" fluid losses. Horses need access to water on a regular
basis during transport (at least every four to six hours)."

"Heat and humidity are the main external environmental factors. Problems with poor ventilation will be compounded in hot/humid conditions. In addition, the horse is likely to sweat more under such conditions, so water may have to be offered at more frequent intervals. Some consideration must be given to time of day for travel in hot conditions, the length of travel, and the frequency of rest stops (for access to water)."

It is not uncommon for boarded up double deck cattle trailers to leave Pennsylvania horse auctions destined for Texas slaughterhouses in mid afternoon when the temperature is in the 90's with high humidity.

Sec 88.4 a (3) (iii) Fails to include a horses' tattoo information that must be recorded, even though many horses going to slaughter are former racehorses which are tattooed. A tattoo is a very common method of identifying a horse.

The USDA is proposing, Sec 88.4 a (3) (v), that the owner/shipper, instead of a veterinarian determine whether or not a horse is fit to travel. When the owner /shipper stands to make money from every horse deemed fit to travel, and
stands to lose money from every horse deemed unfit to travel, there is an obvious conflict of interest. Considering the fact that it is well documented in the horse slaughter industry that sick, injured and crippled horses are routinely sent through auctions and transported to slaughter by owner/shippers, this is obviously a case of the fox guarding the hen house.

The USDA/APHIS commissioned study conducted by Temple Grandin, Kasie McGee and Jennifer Lanier and reported in Survey of Trucking Practices and Injury To Slaughter Horses was conducted at the sale in New Holland,
Pennsylvania, and at two slaughter plants in Texas. A total of 1008 horses were surveyed. Sixty-three trailer loads were observed in July and August of 1998 arriving at Texas slaughterhouses.

It should be noted that two weeks prior to this study being conducted at the sale in New Holland, the Pennsylvania State Police had officers both inside the auction and outside the auction due to complaints regarding the inhumane
treatment of horses at he sale and inhumane trucking practices. The following week, the Department of Revenue was also outside the auction. In the Pennsylvania horse community grapevine, the word was out not to bring any "bad" horses to New Holland.

Even so, Dr. Grandin's research at the New Holland sale found,

"There was a total of 21 horses (12.5%) which had welfare problems which were caused by the owner..."

and overall

"Severe welfare problems caused by the owner were significantly greater than welfare problems caused by transport. "

"Approximately 73% of the severe welfare problems observed at the slaughter plants did not occur during transport or marketing. Some examples of severe welfare problems which were caused by the owner were severely foundered feet, emaciated, skinny, weak horses, animals which had became
non-ambulatory and injuries to the legs such as bowed tendons. Four horses were loaded with broken legs. One of these horses was a bucking bronc that had broken its leg during a rodeo. It died shortly after arrival a plant. Out of 1008 horses observed at the slaughter plants, 7.7% had severe welfare problems."

Yet the USDA states,

"that the vast majority of injuries caused to equines are actually in transit or during loading and unloading."

Considering that in Pennsylvania the owner/shippers of slaughter horses have:

been convicted in New York of the illegal transport of horses;

have refused to pay Essex County, New York a $11,100 fine for the illegal transport of horses;

have publicly stated they will continue to break New York law;

lied to law enforcement;

violated both state and Federal motor vehicle codes;

violated state agriculture codes;

been convicted of DUI and pled guilty to driving with a revoked Commercial Drivers License;

determined that a mule with a broken leg held on only by the skin and a heart rate over 60 was fit to ship. Stated they believed the injury to be a bowed tendon;

a severely foundered horse with a heart rate over 60 was fit to ship, against the advice of a full time equine veterinarian;

that severely foundered horses that cannot stand without being forced to their feet are fit to ship,

do not keep the required paperwork on the horses;

and never seem to know how injured, sick or disabled horses get on their truck and they do not own them;

The USDA's decision to trust the owner/shippers to fill out the owner/shipper certificate accurately and truthfully borders on the absurd. It makes common sense to regulate the shipment of horses to slaughter at the point of origin,
and at the final destination. To ensure the humane treatment of horses transported to slaughter, the USDA must prevent horses that are suffering from severe welfare problems from enduring transport to the slaughterhouse.
Enforcement only at the slaughterhouse is comparable to closing the barn door after the horse has escaped.

The USDA states,

"For practical reasons, we do not propose to regulate the care of equines destined for slaughter prior to loading on the conveyance for shipment to the slaughtering facility. Most shippers acquire equines for sale to slaughtering facilities at livestock auctions."

USDA inspectors are supposed to be available at livestock auctions to inspect for compliance by auctions with other USDA regulations. It makes much more sense to prevent a violation at the point of loading, than at the final destination.

The prohibition of cattle prods, Sec 88.4 c (3) during loading could also be monitored. The reality is, there will be NO enforcement of this proposed regulation at loading because there will be no witnesses, except the violators
themselves. It is a known fact that owners/shippers of slaughter horses prefer to do their loading when nobody is watching. If as the USDA proposes there will be no regulation at livestock auctions, then it will be legal for the
owner/shippers to use cattle prods at livestock auctions.

The USDA states in the proposed regulations that an owner/shipper certificate,

"would also be helpful in the traceback of any stolen equines."

Tracing a stolen horse back from the slaughterhouse should certainly be employed, but stolen horses could be located at the point of loading if the USDA was to enforce the regulations at all of the locations listed under Congress' definition of equines to slaughter. A stolen horse that is located after transport to a slaughterhouse is most likely in very poor condition due to the type of vehicle the horse was transported in, the lack of food, water and rest, and will in all probability not recover, and/or at the very least cause the rightful owner of the equine, extraordinary expenses in veterinarian, transport, and boarding fees, and in many cases making it prohibitive for the owner to recover at the very least their horse, and/or the use of the horse. As stated above, regulation prior to loading is much better than enforcement after the fact.


Section 88.5 Requirements at a Slaughter Facility

The proposed rules under this section state,

"88.5 (4) (c) Any shipper transporting equines to slaughtering facilities outside of the United States must present the owner-shipper certificates to USDA representatives at the border."

Considering the fact that the owner/shipper is going to be put in charge of determining the fitness of the equine to ship, and the USDA is not proposing to regulate the equines at point of loading, and the USDA states,

"Finally, we are proposing to require that shippers transporting equines to slaughtering facilities outside of the United States present the owner-shipper certificates to USDA representatives at the border so that we can ensure the well-being of the equines as well as track the numbers of equines being
shipped out of the country for slaughter elsewhere. When they deem it necessary, USDA representatives at the border would conduct inspections of conveyances carrying equines destined for slaughter outside the United States."

Nowhere does it state that the USDA inspector shall inspect the equines to determine whether or not they are fit to travel, and if the description on the owner/shipper certificate matches the equines. Again, considering the fact that
many equines transported to slaughter have severe welfare problems, and taking into consideration the USDA's proposed lack of regulation
prior to loading, it is necessary to ensure the humane transport of equines to slaughter for the USDA inspector at the border to be requested
ed to inspect each equine for compliance with the fit to travel certificate.

The proposed rules do not state that the USDA inspector must inspect the animal cargo area.

88.4 (a)(4) Allow a USDA representative access to the animal cargo area of the conveyance for the purpose of inspection.

Money spent by APHIS on public information efforts would be spent more productively on inspectors at feedlots, assembly points or stockyards. Shippers of slaughterbound equines already know how to properly ship horses. Owner/shippers have the knowledge to transport equines properly, demonstrated by the fact that they are able to transport horses for resale into the riding and show market following equine industry standards. The attitude with slaughter horses has always been,

"They are going to die anyway, what does it matter?"

They are horses.

They are still alive.

The horse industry organizations and the individuals that support these proposed regulations and who promote these regulations to their membership, should hang their heads in shame. It is unbelievable and inexcusable that any horsemen would endorse 28 hours without water. The continued use of double decks. The killer buyer in charge of a horse's fitness to ship. In addition, nowhere, nowhere is there any mention of providing the horses' with secure footing. The shipment of a full term pregnant mare to slaughter. Obviously, those who support these proposed regulations are not true horsemen.

We strongly believe that to ensure the humane treatment of equines to slaughter there must be an outright ban of double deck trailers and water every 12 hours. As proposed, these regulations will do nothing more than legalize every inhumane practice.

Respectfully submitted,

Christine Berry
Equine Placement Network

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