The use of double-deck trailers to transport horses is inhumane and can lead to debilitating injuries. With their low ceiling clearance, these trailers are designed to haul shorter and stouter animals such as cattle and hogs, not horses. The US Department of Agriculture itself has concluded that these vehicles “do not provide adequate headroom for equines” and that horses are far more likely to be injured in double-deck trailers than in single-deck trailers.
To remedy this, AWI has long called for passage of the Horse Transportation Safety Act (HTSA)—a bill that would prohibit the transportation of horses across state lines in a motor vehicle containing two or more levels stacked on top of one another. In the current Congress, the HTSA (HR 1400) is being led by Representatives Steve Cohen (D-TN), Peter King (R-NY), Dina Titus (D-NV), and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA). There are 132 lawmakers cosponsoring the bill this session, the highest level of cosponsorship the bill has garnered since it was first introduced. We are delighted to report that, as this issue went to press, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee unveiled its surface transportation bill, and the HTSA is included in this package. The bill is expected to be voted on by the full House later this summer in advance of a September 30 deadline to reauthorize federal transportation programs. AWI will continue spearheading the effort to ensure that the HTSA reaches the finish line.