Today the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure reported the Horse Transportation Safety Act of 2009 (H.R.305) to the full House of Representatives on a voice vote. The bill prohibits the transport of any horse in interstate commerce in a double-deck trailer. It calls for civil penalties for anyone who knowingly violates such prohibition. H.R. 305 was introduced by Congressman Mark Kirk (IL) and has 69 Cosponsors.
Other than horses destined for slaughter the only horses generally transported in double-deck trucks are those used in rodeo. Rodeo uses specially manufactured and modified double-deck trucks to ship their horses and has done so with few incidents for some time. Out of concern for this method of transportation by rodeo, Congressman Leonard Boswell (R-IA) offered an amendment to authorize the Secretary of Transportation, in consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture, to study the use of these trucks and establish rules to permit the safe transportation of horses in double-deck trucks. There was no vote on this amendment because Congressman Boswell withdrew it after Chairman Jim Oberstar (D-MN) agreed to discuss the amendment further before sending the bill to the floor for a final vote.
Congress will break shortly for the August recess so this bill cannot be considered by the full House until after the recess.
There is no similar bill in the Senate.