Reps. Steve Cohen (TN), Dina Titus (NV)
Double-deck livestock trailers on the road today were built to meet the specific design and engineering requirements of short-necked livestock species, like cattle, sheep, and swine. Unfortunately, a few irresponsible haulers continue to use these trailers against manufacturer intent to transport horses, leading to inhumane travel conditions for equines.
The American Veterinary Medical Association and the National Agriculture Safety Database have recommended ceiling heights of no lower than 7’-8’ to transport horses safely, while average double-deck trailer ceiling heights range from 4’7”-5‘11”. It is also important to note, the U.S. Department of Transportation requires a 14’ minimum vertical clearance in both rural and urban areas, making it impractical and inhumane to build or modify a trailer large enough to transport equines on two levels
On Nov. 7, 2007, the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a statement recognizing the inhumane practice of transporting horses in such trailers, stating that, “double-deck trailers do not provide adequate headroom for equines, with the possible exception of foals and yearlings. We do not believe that trailers that have two or more permanent levels that are no collapsible can be adequately altered to accommodate adult equines, especially tall equines.”
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