The Horse Transportation Safety Act (H.R. 921) would ensure more humane treatment of horses on roads and highways by prohibiting the transportation of horses in interstate transportation in motor vehicles containing two or more levels stacked on top of one another. The legislation is sponsored by Representatives Steve Cohen (D-TN), Dina Titus (D-NV), and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA).
Double-deck trailers are designed for smaller, shorter animals. In some cases, the horses are actually taller than the trailer ceiling. Cramped and unable to stand upright, horses endure long, painful journeys and sometimes suffer serious injuries. In 2011, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) banned transporting horses destined for slaughter in double-deck trailers. The American Veterinary Medical Association endorsed the rule noting that studies have shown these trailers “cause significantly more injuries to horses during transport than do single-deck trailers.” However, if the horses are being transported for other purposes, the USDA regulation does not apply. This legislation would close that loophole.