Help stop cruel transport of horses in double decker trucks

A horse bound for slaughter looks out in desperation from a transport truck. Photographer: Unknown.
A slaughter bound horse looks out in fear and desperation from a transport truck. Photographer: Unknown.

AWI (Animal Welfare Institute) Sept. 27, 2018 — The bipartisan Horse Transportation Safety Act (H.R. 4040)—led by Reps. Steve Cohen (D-TN) and Walter Jones (R-NC)—would prohibit the interstate transportation of horses in a motor vehicle containing two or more levels stacked on top of one another.

This measure would ensure that horses are not crammed in double-deck trailers—an inhumane practice that poses a safety risk not only to the horses inside, but also to others on the road.

Hauling horses in double-deck trailers is cruel to the horse because such vehicles fail to provide enough space for horses to stand in a natural position with head raised.

No horse should have to endure a long journey unable to stand upright and in a cramped position that can cause permanent injury. These trailers are also unsafe on the road—they have been involved in several horrific traffic accidents, resulting in severe injuries and the brutal deaths of many horses.

Illustration of a double decker truck used to transport cattle. You can see that they are not intended for horses. Source: AWI.
Illustration of a double decker truck used to transport cattle. You can see that they are not intended for horses. Source: AWI (Animal Welfare Institute).

The US Department of Agriculture itself recognizes the inhumane nature of transporting horses using double-deck trailers, noting that these vehicles “do not provide adequate headroom for equines” and that trailers with “two or more permanent levels” simply cannot “accommodate adult equines, especially tall equines.”

Take Action

• Contact your U.S. Representative and ask him or her to co-sponsor Horse Transportation Safety Act (H.R. 4040). • Take  action at AWI online »  • Follow the progress of this bill at »

Related Reading

30 horses die in tractor-trailer fire on Interstate 81, Tuesday’s Horse, May 8, 2013 »

Slaughter bound horse trailer Nashville TN June 2012
Horses from Three Angels Farms are transferred from collapsed trailer on I-440 south of Nashville. The trailer was on the way to slaughter house in Mexico, police say. The driver received multiple citations. This is the second accident involving horses being trucked to slaughter by Dorian Ayache’s Three Angels Farm in Lebanon. Source image.

• Driver of slaughter bound horse trailer crash in Tennessee issued multiple citations, Tuesday’s Horse, Jun. 14, 2012 »

• At least one slaughter bound horse killed in Tennessee trailer crash, Tuesday’s Horse, Jun. 12, 2012 »

• Horses injured in Tennessee trailer crash rejected at Mexican slaughterhouse, Tuesday’s Horse, Feb. 17, 2012 »

• Trucker exposes Three Angels slaughter monger Dorian Ayache for horse cruelty, Tuesday’s Horse, Jan. 21, 2012 »

• Driver cited in Tenn horse trailer crash that killed three, Tuesday’s Horse, Jan. 19, 2012 »

Rodeo Horses

Slaughter horses aren’t the only horses travelled in double deckers. Rodeo horses are travelled in them too. Rodeo people however claim that they modify the trailers to give the horses adequate headroom. Perhaps some of them do.

Take action against horse slaughter in Washington

Fund Horse, US Flag and Capitol Dome. Vivian Grant Farrell.
Fund Horse, US Flag and Capitol Dome. Vivian Grant Farrell.

WE ASK YOU to please contact Congress in support of the SAFE Act — HR 113 and S 1706.

First, find out if your US Representative and both of your US Senators have co-sponsored these bills. Then take action!

Thank them if they have co-sponsored and ask them to do everything they can to help get the SAFE Act passed. If they have not, ask them to please do so right away.

Here are links to both the House and the Senate co-sponsors.

115th Congress (2017-2018)

US House of Representatives
SAFE Act HR 113 Co-Sponsors »

US Senate
SAFE Act S 1706 Co-Sponsors »

Don’t know who they are?

Locate your Member on-line:

US House of Representatives:
US Senate:

OR another way to find your US Representative, enter your zip code (including +4) in the search function at:

Tweet Against Horse Slaughter

Search for the Twitter handles of your US Representative and two US Senators. Example: @RepJohnYarmuth (who has co-sponsored by the way).

Tweet a thank you to the ones who have co-sponsored HR 113 and S 1706 and request they use their power to get it passed.

If they have not co-sponsored HR 113 and S 1706 tweet a request they co-sponsor it without delay — that it is highly important to you that a federal law banning horse slaughter is enacted.

Please use #safeact #hr113 #S1706 #horseslaughter and whatever else you wish.

Call Against Horse Slaughter

Prefer to call? Use the US Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.

Tips for Calling Members of Congress

  1. Don’t call “off the cuff”. Write something up and rehearse it a bit until you feel confident. Be sure to make the purpose of your call very clear, and state what it is you want them to do. Then relax and make the call.
  2. Give them your name and address (so they can identify you as a constituent or your call won’t count), your phone number and email address (especially if you want a response).
  3. To make sure they took your information down correctly, politely say, “Would you please read it back to me? This is such an important call to me.”
  4. Speak from the heart. Tell them why this is issue is so important and what you want your lawmaker to do.
  5. If you want a reply to your call, you must ask them for one. Otherwise they are not obligated. You might say something like, “Please have [insert name of lawmaker] reply by email telling me what action [he/she] will be taking on this issue”.

Email Against Horse Slaughter

Do you have an email relationship with your US Representative and US Senators? Please email them and say thank you for supporting a law against horse slaughter and ask them to please keep working to get it passed. If they have not co-sponsored the SAFE Act, ask them to do so right away!


Please make a donation, any amount, to support our lobbying work in Washington.

Peace Love Horses

Our renewed campaign for Peace Love Horses apparel at ends September 28th.

Thank you everyone!


Saving America’s horses from slaughter

Horses held in a pen awaiting export for slaughter. Photo by Kathy Milani for HSUS.
Horses held in a pen awaiting export for slaughter. Photo by Kathy Milani for HSUS.

By Marty Irby

America was built on the backs of horses, and in September, there was a milestone achieved in our effort to acknowledge the role that horses have played in our culture and stop the egregious abuse of these magnificent animals.

A bill to ban the slaughter of horses for human consumption — known as The Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act, H.R. 113, led by U.S. Reps. Vern Buchanan, Jan Schakowsky, Ed Royce, and Michelle Lujan Grisham — garnered its 218th cosponsor in the House. That signals that a majority of the chamber supports the legislation.

While this policy reform has always attracted significant support, it’s the first time in a decade that more than half the House has been on record in support of ending horse slaughter in America.

The last time was twelve years ago this month when a similar measure led by former U.S. Reps. John Sweeney and Ed Whitfield passed the House with tremendous support, including Vice President Mike Pence, a representative from Indiana at the time. The Senate never took the measure up for a vote.

But in this time of political divisions, here’s a bill both parties can get behind, and we urge House and Senate leaders to schedule votes on the issue. The bill would surely pass, and leaders should allow the will of lawmakers and the American public to be expressed by allowing a vote on the issue.

Sens. Lindsey Graham and Robert Menendez have introduced the SAFE Act, S. 1706, in the Upper Chamber. The Senate Appropriations Committee, chaired by my home state Sen. Richard Shelby, included language in their Agriculture Appropriations package that would maintain a temporary ban on horse slaughter that’s also been in play for the past decade. The measure defunds horse slaughter inspections in the U.S., making it impossible to slaughter horses here.

Many people don’t realize that the slaughter of American equines for human consumption claims so many equine lives every year— tens of thousands of animals, most of them perfectly healthy. We don’t eat horse meat in America, and poll after poll has shown that more than 80 percent of Americans oppose horse slaughter. It’s a cruel and terrifying end for the horses that become victims of this enterprise, and it’s an end this symbol of our country does not deserve.

Full article at The Daily Caller »

Marty Irby is the executive director at Animal Wellness Action in Washington, D.C.

Pregnant horses and foal rescued from slaughter in Norfolk

Thoroughbreds from a Newmarket stud were rescued on the eve of being sent for slaughter

ENGLAND (BBC News) — Hillside Animal Sanctuary was asked to take the horses on Friday after their owner got into financial difficulties.

A spokeswoman for the sanctuary in Frettenham, near Norwich, said they were contacted by the owner after bailiffs moved in to foreclose on the failing Newmarket stud.

Bailiffs told the charity the animals were to be destroyed on the Saturday.


The horses being looked after by the sanctuary include pregnant mares and a three-month-old foal.

According to Wendy Valentine from Hillside Animal Sanctuary, their owner had already been evicted from the premises.

“Fortunately this is a happy ending for these horses,” she added.

She said the former stud owner was reluctant to comment further as he was hoping to resolve ongoing financial issues and move back into his house on the stud.

The sanctuary said it will cost £3,000 a year to feed and care for each of the horses.

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Kudos to the Bailiffs who found them a sanctuary before sending these horses to the horrors of the slaughterhouse. Newmarket, Suffolk is the headquarters of English horse racing.

Please Make a Donation to the Sanctuary via PayPal