Press Release
August 4, 1999
Equine Placement Network, Inc.
Press Releases

Equine Placement Network OPPOSES PA HB 590

Friedensburg, PA - The Equine Placement Network, EPN, is opposing PA HB 590, the horse transport bill, introduced by Representative Jim Lynch, Warren County.

The EPN has been working for passage of legislation in PA that will insure the safe and humane transport of horses to slaughter since 1996. The EPN is calling for an outright ban of double deck cattle trailers for the transport of horses and other safety standards for trailers used to transport horses to slaughter for human consumption overseas. The EPN has also called for a ban of the shipment of pregnant mares, foals and sick and injured horses to slaughter.

As currently drafted the EPN believes HB 590 will not be enforceable and will be nothing more than a publicity victory. Vehicle standards must apply to all horses, not just slaughter bound. Horse trailers already exceed these standards. The definition of "Intermediate Handler" must be included, otherwise the killer buyers will circumvent the law, and legitimate horse owners could be affected. The EPN has called for these changes to be made to the horse transport legislation since it was first introduced in 1997. The changes have not been made and the EPN now believes it is time to oppose this legislation instead of allowing passage of a bad bill.

Pennsylvania is home to the largest weekly horse auction east of the Mississippi averaging 200 to 250 horses per week with a large number of horses purchased by agents for foreign owned horse slaughterhouses located in Canada, Texas and Illinois. The horses are slaughtered for human consumption overseas in Europe and Japan. Horses purchased for slaughter are often transported to slaughter in trailers designed to transport cattle and hogs and which 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 or the very old. Being that enforcement of this legislation is best accomplished at the point of loading, it is imperative that Pennsylvania enact legislation that will ensure that all horses, no matter what their final destination, are transported using vehicles and methods that meet equine industry standards. Blind, sick, and injured horses should not be forced to endure more suffering so their owner can put a few dollars in their pocket. Irresponsible breeders should not profit from their lack of responsibility by sending a pregnant mare, or foal to slaughter.

Members of the Equine Placement Network have testified at hearings on this legislation and have also spoken at Equitana on the issue of the transportation of horses to slaughter. The Equine Placement Network looks forward to supporting effective legislation that will insure the safe and humane transportation of all horses, no matter what their final destination.

The Equine Placement Network is asking that you send in your letters, or phone calls of opposition to your PA State legislators.



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