Illinois Legislation Banning Double Deckers

Monday, November 5, 2007

Devastating Crash Prompts Bill Introduction; Humane Groups Urge Illinois Legislators to Put the Horse Before the Cart

Illinois -- In response to the recent death of 18 young Belgian draft horses, Illinois State Reps. Bob Molaro and JoAnn Osmond have introduced legislation to ban the use of double-decker trucks to transport horses in the state.

"We commend Representative Molaro and Representative Osmond for their leadership in protecting America's horses," said Chris Heyde, deputy legislative director of the Animal Welfare Institute. "It is a shame that it took a tragedy such as this for a ban to be considered, but when enacted other horses will be protected from this tragic fate."

Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States added, "What a gory mess we saw recently in Illinois.  It must never happen again, and the best way to achieve that result is to enact this legislation."

On Saturday Oct. 27, a double decker cattle truck carrying 59 horses overturned when the driver ran a red light and hit another vehicle. Eight horses died on the scene, and another 10 were euthanized. The exact destination of these horses is not known but it was reported that they were on their way to auction a prime spot for slaughterhouse killer buyers.

Double decker trucks are designed for short-necked species such as cattle and hogs not horses who are forced to stoop in the cramped quarters, many times causing severe injuries. A similar double decker accident involving 41 horses and a mule in transit to the DeKalb, Ill. Slaughter plant killed 16 horses in 2006.

Federal Legislation is currently pending to end the slaughter of American horses for human consumption and prohibit their export for slaughter in other countries.

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Media Contacts:
Chris Heyde, AWI, (202) 446-2142, chris@awionline.org
Heather Sullivan, HSUS, (301) 548-7778, hsullivan@humanesociety.org