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According to the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), a new bill protecting horses was introduced in the House. Representatives Steve Cohen (D-TN), Dina Titus (D-NV), and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) put forth the Horse Transportation Safety Act (HTSA) on February 9.

Source: RepCohen/YouTube

HTSA was first introduced in 2008 and animal activists have been pushing for its resolution since then. The bill would protect horses from dangerous and inhumane conditions during transport and would ban the use of double-decker trailers to haul horses on highways and in interstate commerce. Horses must be allowed to travel in vehicles that protect both them and motorists from dangerous conditions. In 2007, a double-decker trailer carrying 59 horses turned over in Illinois, killing 19 horses.

Source: SHARK/YouTube

“The use of double-deck trailers to transport horses is inhumane and can lead to debilitating injuries, while endangering others on the road,” says AWI equine program manager and senior advisor, Joanna Grossman, Ph.D. “Since we have incredible champions in Congress who care about the safety of America’s horses, we are optimistic this bill will ultimately pass this session.”

Veterinarians recommend that horses have 7 or 8-foot clearance capacity in vehicles, whereas most double-decker vehicles, like the one in the accident, allow for at most 5 feet 5 inches of clearance.

“Horses deserve to be transported in as humane a manner as possible on our highways,” Cohen said. “Double-deck trailers do not provide adequate headroom for adult horses, and accidents involving double-deck trailers are an unnecessary and gruesome reminder that the practice is also dangerous to all of the driving public.”

Read more about recent animal protections in Congress, including the Big Cat Public Safety Act and Kangaroo Protection Act. 

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