From: The Honorable Mark Steven Kirk

Sent By: < Ensure Safe Transport of Horses>

Bill: H.R. 305

Date: 2/11/2009

<, Mark (IL10)/double decker.jpg>

Sign on to Ensure the Safe Transport of Horses

Cosponsor H.R. 305, the Horse Transportation Safety Act of 2009

Scored by the Animal Welfare Institute – <>

Current Cosponsors: Bordallo, Capps, Cohen, Foster, Gonzalez, Gutierrez, Hinchey, Hirono,

Jackson-Lee, Jones, Kaptur, Lipinski, Maloney, Miller, Moore, Moran, Olver,

Rahall, Rangel, Reichert, Schakowsky, Serrano, Whitfield, Woolsey

Dear Colleague:

In October 2007, a double decker cattle truck carrying 59 Belgian draft horses overturned when the driver ran a red light and hit another vehicle on Route 41 in Illinois. Residents at the scene could hear the animals kicking and screaming, panicked by their inability to escape. Eight horses died on the scene while another ten had to be euthanized. Unfortunately, we know that accidents like this one occur once a year.

After the crash, Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States said, “What a gory mess we saw recently in Illinois. It must never happen again& ” This bipartisan legislation is endorsed by the Humane Society, Animal Welfare Institute, Hooved Animal Rescue and Protection Society (HARPS), and Communication Alliance to Network Thoroughbred Ex-Racehorses (CANTER).

The Horse Transportation Safety Act of 2009 would also address the issue of horse slaughter. While it is illegal to transport horses directly to slaughter in a double decker trailer, the United States Department of Agriculture has received numerous reports of companies exploiting a loophole in the law putting horses at higher risk for inhumane treatment.

Truckers who wish to continue using double-deck trailers for slaughter horses have an incentive to transport them to assembly points feedlots or stockyards where the horses could then be reloaded onto straight-deck trailers for the final leg of the trip to the slaughtering plant. While it has not been confirmed, it can be assumed that the horses involved in the accident in Illinois were on route to slaughter.

This legislation would:

1. Prohibit interstate transportation of horses in a motor vehicle containing 2 or more levels stacked on top of one another.

2. Create civil penalties of at least $100 but not more than $500 for each horse involved.

For more information or to become a cosponsor, please contact Randall Hirsch with Rep. Mark Kirk (5-4835 or


s/ s/

Mark Steven Kirk Steve Cohen

Member of Congress Member of Congress