Calls Urgently Needed to Oppose Gardner Amendment
At long last, the U.S. House of Representatives is poised to consider a ban on the use of trailers with more than one level for hauling horses. This week, the House is expected to take up consideration of the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act, H.R. 7. At present, language explicitly banning ALL hauling of horses on double-deck trailers is included in the bill – a safe and sound measure. However, opponents are trying to undermine this modest yet important legislation. Representative Cory Gardner (R-CO) has offered an amendment to strip the double-deck trailer ban from the bill and allow this inhumane practice to continue.
Support for banning the use of double-deck trailers is strong, and includes the American Veterinary Medical Association, National Black Farmers Association, Animal Welfare Institute, and Veterinarians for Equine Welfare. Equine rescue, humane, and professional organizations all realize it is cruel and dangerous to haul horses on double-deck trailers. Even the U.S. Department of Agriculture has expressed opposition to double-deck hauling of horses, stating that, “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.” (9 CFR Parts 70 and 88). In fact, the USDA has already prohibited the use of these trailers to transport horses to slaughter, but its rule does not cover horses being transported for any other purposes. All horses, regardless of where they are going, deserve this important protection, and the language included in the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act will provide it.