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Rodeo Company Drivers Convicted of Violating PA Horse Transport Law Banning Doub

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  • Equine Protection Network, Inc
    Equine Protection Network www.EquineProtectionNetwork.com April 11, 2008 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Rodeo Company Drivers Convicted of Violating PA Horse Transport
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 11, 2008
      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

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