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Call for change after 11 horses die in truck smash

May 25, 2010

Last week's Oklahoma accident involving a cattle trailer hauling 30 horses highlights the need for federal legislation providing for the safer transportation of horses, the Animal Welfare Institute says.

The institute said the truck, which crashed around 6am last Tuesday, was carrying horses in a cattle trailer bound for slaughter in Mexico to a temporary feedlot in Texas.

Eleven of the 30 horses died as a result of injuries received. The driver, named as Christopher Dobbin, of Missouri, has received a reckless driving citation.

The institute said the accident underscored what it called the desperate need for quick and thorough legislative action to end the slaughter of American horses and provide safer transportation for equines.

"This unfortunate incident is one more unwelcome reminder of the need for swift movement on federal legislation," said Christine Sequenzia, federal policy adviser for the institute.

"Pending bills would require better treatment of animals being transported, provide safer roadways for drivers, and criminalise acts that lead to the slaughter of America's horses," she said.

The institute is campaigning for the passage of the Horse Transportation Safety Act (HR 305), sponsored by Congressmen Mark Kirk and Steve Cohen.

The bill was introduced as a response to several earlier horrific accidents, including one in Illinois involving 59 draft horses being hauled in a double-deck cattle trailer, 13 of whom died as a result.

The Horse Transportation Safety Act would ban the transportation of horses in double deck trailers designed for shorter-necked species.

The Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act (S 727/HR 503) was introduced by Senators Mary Landrieu and John Ensign in the Senate and Congressmen John Conyers and Dan Burton (R-IN) in the House.

This bill would put an end to sending American horses over US borders to be slaughtered for human consumption.

Horses have not been slaughtered in the US for human consumption since remaining plants closed their doors in 2005.

However, killer-buyers are still able to buy American horses at US auction houses, shipping some 90,000 equines out of the US in the last year for slaughter.



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