Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) has introduced the Horse Transportation Safety Act of 2015 (S.850). The bill would prohibit the interstate transport of any horse in a double-deck truck. Earlier this year, Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN) introduced a House version of the bill. This bill has been introduced in the last several Congresses.
The bill would prohibit the interstate transport of any horse in a double-deck truck, including ones specially designed for horses. It would impose civil penalties of $100 to $500 for each violation of the proposed prohibition. A separate violation occurs for each horse transported.
Senator Kirk has said previously he was prompted to introduce the bill by accidents involving horses being transported in double-decker trucks, primarily a 2007 accident in Wadsworth, Illinois, involving the overturning of a double-deck cattle truck carrying 59 Belgian draft horses. Eight horses died at the scene and 10 were later euthanized.
Several states have passed legislation banning the transport of horses in these trucks, but there is no federal prohibition. However, it is illegal to transport horses to slaughter in such vehicles.
The bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
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