The tightening of federal rules around the use of double-deck trailers to carry horses to slaughter has been listed as one of the top 10 victories in 2011 for the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).
President and chief executive Wayne Pacelle, writing in his blog, A Humane Nation, said the charity's results reflected its general approach of working to secure tangible, game-changing results for animals.
"These trailers have caused horrific injuries and death for many horses," Pacelle said.
"The HSUS is building support for federal legislation to outlaw any slaughter of American horses for human consumption, and the House and Senate bills have more than 175 co-sponsors.
"Also, Congress approved the first funding increase in decades (a nearly 40 per cent jump) to strengthen US Department of Agriculture enforcement of the Horse Protection Act, which prohibits the cruel practice of 'soring' show horses - deliberately inflicting pain on their legs and hooves in order to make it painful for them to step, so they'll exaggerate their gait and win prizes."
Other top 10 achievements listed by Pacelle included the end being in sight for invasive experiments on chimpanzees; an accord with the United Egg Producers to work together to enact federal legislation that would phase out barren battery cages for all 280 million laying hens in the United States; bans in several states for the sale and possession of shark fins; the ban by the Russian Federation, Khazakstan, and Belarus of seal products from Canada; and inroads made against puppy mills.
Among setbacks, he listed the removal of federal protections for wolves in the lower 48 states and the release and shooting of dozens of exotics animals at a private farm in Ohio - "the latter incident reminding the nation about an out-of-control exotic animal industry that puts animals and people at risk every day".