Rodeo Company Drivers Convicted of Violating PA Horse Transport Law

Equine Protection Network

April 11, 2008


Rodeo Company Drivers Convicted of Violating PA Horse Transport Law
Banning Doubles has Scheduled Dates in IL – Passage of IL Horse
Transport Law will Ban Doubles

Three Hills Rodeo, whose drivers pled guilty to 36 counts of
violating the PA Horse Transport Law in 2005 and paid $5000.00 in
fines, also have five dates scheduled in Illinois in 2008. The
Illinois House just passed the IL Horse Transport Bill, HB 4162 on
Monday 80-26, and if passed will ban the use of double deck trailers
to transport any horse, no matter what its final destination
effective immediately.

State Representatives from the locations of these rodeos, Freeport,
Jim Saccia, (R), Peoria Rep. Schock,(R) and the Rep. from Rockford,
Winters, (R),all voted against the bill. Representatives Reiss (R)
also spoke out against the bill. Saccia has been the most outspoken
opposing the legislation and has introduced his own bill (HB4489)with
the same language and with language that would repeal the 2007
legislation that closed the horse slaughter plant in DeKalb. Saccia
and others are trying to move the focus of this legislation from a
horse transport issue to a horse slaughter issue. Low- end dealers,
rodeo stock contractors, and "killer buyers" utilize double deck
trailers. Double deck trailers are not designed, safety tested, and
manufactured for horses, nor are they marketed to the horse industry.

Background information on double deck trailers, including photos,
diagrams, video, statutes, violations, and convictions under state
and federal regulations, legislative history of the federal
regulations and more, can all be found at the Equine Protection
Network's website in the Transport Section.

Saccia's argument is the economic hardship for killer buyers
transporting horses long distances to slaughter. What Saccia fails to
understand is that it is against the Commercial Transportation of
Horses to Slaughter Act, Federal Regulations, Volume 66, No, 236,
published Dec. 7, 2001 to transport horses to slaughter in double
deck trailers. (the doubles ban went into effect 5 years from
effective date) Also according to the USDA,

"As stated previously, commercial shippers typically charge owners a
flat rate to transport their equines, so the possibility of fewer
equines per shipment should not result in less revenue for commercial

Regarding Saccia's statements on overcrowding on single decks:

"Overcrowding can also occur in single-deck (also called straight-
deck) trailers, which are used to transport equines to a lesser
extent than double-deck trailers. The requirement concerning adequate
space could translate into fewer equines per conveyance."

Regarding questions on the number of equines carried on a double
versus a single or straight deck trailer: Pg. 63594:

"We acknowledge that double-deck trailers can carry more equines and
other livestock than single-deck trailers. We are allowing the
continued use of double-deck trailers for the next 5 years in order
to minimize economic losses to those dependent on the use of
doubledeck trailers.

Regarding the idea that doubles can be modified or that somehow a
double deck trailer can be constructed in the future that can
transport horses safely and humanely: Pg. 63594:

"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. As stated in the proposal, double-
deck trailers can continue to be used to transport other commodities,
including produce and livestock other than equines. Also, owners can
sell their serviceable trailers at fair market value to transporters
of commodities other than equines."

Questions from those opposing regarding how many doubles are
utilized. From pg 63613:

"In fact, it is estimated that double-deck trailers in general carry
equines no more than about 10 percent of the time they are in use."

As for Representatives Reiss questions as to whether or not the
horses know what deck they are on, and if they do not what does it
matter, the EPN's Christine Berry responds,

"I know that horses realize they are not in a van designed for horses
from the moment they are forced with electric cattle prods, whips, or
biting dogs into a dark trailer by means of a "trap door" in the rear
of the trailer, forced to lower their heads & jump down into the
lower deck. As they slip and fall on the slippery metal floors and
then slam their heads into the top deck as they fight to regain their
balance by raising their heads, I can assure you those horses know
that they are not on a van that is designed, safety tested,
manufactured, or marketed to the horse industry!"

Boland from Moline voted in favor of the bill.

Three Hills also has dates scheduled in Maryland (2006) and New York,
(1980) two states that have also banned the use of double deck
trailers to transport any horse, no matter what its final

Three Hills has continued to come to PA for the rodeo in Plymouth
Meeting, PA in September. The sky has not fallen on rodeo since they
cannot use doubles to transport horses in PA since 2001 and it will
not fall in IL when IL passes the IL Horse Transport Bill. The EPN
supports this legislation as currently drafted and has the support of
the commercial horse transportation industry, including the National
Horse Carriers Association, Brook Ledge, Drexler Horse Transport, C
and E Horse Transport, along with Stolen Horse International and The
Paper Horse Magazine. Equine Advocates, Arlington Park, and numerous
other organizations support this legislation that is in line with
accepted horse industry practices.

Illinois Dates

Peoria, Rockford, and Moline, IL in January
Galena, IL on July 4-5th
Freeport, IL on August 21st

Christine Berry

Equine Protection Network


1 comment:

  1. Sheep will follow in a line over a cliff if led.
    People soon will have voted more laws that effect well cared for animals than ones that get poor care. They are more worried about 1o horses on the top deck than the kids running a muck.


"From my earliest memories, I have loved horses with a longing beyond words." ~ Robert Vavra