By Michelle Sherrow
Just envisioning horses crammed inside two shallow levels of a double-decker trailer intended for cattle, it's easy to see how these tall animals would be cramped, uncomfortable, and terrified. But forcing horses to squeeze into these confined spaces is more than uncomfortable—it can cause falls, injuries, trampling, and even death.
The U.S. House of Representatives is set to vote on a bill that would ban transporting horses in double-deckers, but one congressmember has proposed a last-minute amendment that would strike that provision from the bill. Rep. Cory Gardner of Colorado is asking Congress to approve his amendment to the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act because he feels the ban on double-decker trailers targets Western states and rodeos.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has already acknowledged that these trailers are unsafe and inhumane for horses and has banned transporters from taking horses to slaughter in them.
Inexplicably, it is not illegal to transport horses in double-deckers for any other purpose—but it should be. Ask your representative to support the humane treatment of horses and oppose Gardner's amendment that strips away their protection.