Bill would ban double-decker trailers for horse transport

Published on June 09, 2020
AVMA: Protecting, promoting, and advancing veterinary medicine

The $500 billion infrastructure bill proposed this week in the U.S. House of Representatives includes a ban on using double-decker trucks to transport horses – a prohibition the AVMA has long advocated.

AVMA is pleased this language was included in the INVEST in America Act, introduced Monday by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. The 864-page bill, formally called the Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America Act (H.R. 7095), provides a five-year, $500 billion investment in our nation’s infrastructure.

In May, the AVMA sent a letter to Rep. DeFazio and committee Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-Mo.) supporting the inclusion of this language, which is consistent with the AVMA’s policy on humane transport of equines. The letter noted that the trailers on the road containing two or more levels aren’t appropriately configured to humanely meet the space needs of horses.

For this same reason, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) long ago issued regulations barring the use of double-decker trailers to transport horses for slaughter. This legislation would extend the prohibition to include all transportation of horses.

Next steps

The legislation will be debated by the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee before moving to the full House of Representatives for a vote.  If passed by the House, the bill will be sent to the Senate, where it faces an uncertain future.  

The AVMA will continue to advocate for a ban on double-decker trailers for all horse transportation as the INVEST in America Act moves through the House and Senate.


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