Today, Representatives Steve Cohen (D-TN), Dina Titus (D-NV) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) re-introduced the Horse Transportation Safety Act (H.R.921) that would ban the transportation of horses across state lines in “double decker” trucks or trailers containing two or more levels stacked on top of one another. The bill has already garnered more than 100 cosponsors and is endorsed by animal welfare groups.
Congressman Cohen, a senior member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, last year applauded the inclusion of the Horse Transportation Safety Act in the House-passed Moving Forward Act. Congressman Cohen has championed the measure since 2008. This year’s version of the bill currently has 105 bipartisan cosponsors.
Horses deserve to be transported in as humane a manner as possible. Double-deck trailers do not provide adequate headroom for adult horses, and accidents involving double-deck trailers are a horrendous reminder that the practice is also dangerous to the driving public. I look forward to seeing this measure move forward as it did last year and be signed into law. — Congressman, Steve Cohen
In addition to the 105 cosponsors, the Horse Transportation Safety Act is endorsed by numerous animal welfare groups and organizations including; The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), Animal Wellness Action, Animal Wellness Foundation, Center for a Humane Economy, American Horse Protection Society, Horses For Life Foundation, American Wild Horse Campaign, and the Texas State Horse Council.
The use of double-decker trailers has been banned by the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) for horses that are bound for slaughter facilities, but permitted for horses transported for other reasons — including those used in rodeos.
Representatives Steve Cohen (TN-09), Peter King (NY-02), Dina Titus (NV-01) and Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) today introduced the Horse Transportation Safety Act, a measure to ensure the safe and humane treatment of horses on roads and highways by ending the exploitation of a regulatory loophole designed to ban transport of horses in double-deck trailers.
Congressman Cohen made the following statement:
“Horses deserve to be transported in as humane a manner as possible. Double-deck trailers do not provide adequate headroom for adult horses, and accidents involving double-deck trailers are a gruesome reminder that the practice is also dangerous to the driving public. I want to express my gratitude for the many years of hard work on this issue by my friend and colleague, the late Walter Jones of North Carolina.”
Congressman King made the following statement:
“I commend Representative Cohen for his leadership on this issue. It is imperative that we prevent the inhumane manner horses are sometimes transported by. It not only ensures the safety of these horses but the other drivers on the road. I am proud to cosponsor this legislation.”
Congresswoman Titus made the following statement:
“It’s past time for congress to close the loophole that encourages horses to be transported in a harmful way. I’m proud to co-sponsor this legislation to protect these beautiful animals.”
Congressman Fitzpatrick made the following statement:
“As a society, it is crucial that we protect the welfare of animals big and small. And as a member of the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus and an outspoken defender of animals, I’m committed to ensuring our government is doing its part to promote animal welfare. I’m proud to stand with Representative Cohen to make sure drivers no longer have an incentive to transport horses in unsafe conditions.”
A plea deal is in the works for Horse Slaughter hauler, Dorian Ayache, that could include no prison time
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - A plea deal is in the works for a slaughter-horse hauler that could include no prison time and a fine of less than $25,000. Dorian Ayache is the owner of Three Angels Farm in Lebanon, a trucking company whose rickety trailers wrecked on the interstate twice in 2012, endangering drivers and causing several injured horses to be euthanized.
Ayache was facing 26 years in prison for violating a U.S. Department of Transportation order to shut down after inspectors found numerous safety violations.
Tuesday, Ayache entered a guilty plea in federal court. If it's accepted, all the charges against him will be dropped except one: failing to maintain a current driver's log. The maximum fine he faces is $25,000. Ayache would serve six months in prison at most, but he could end up serving no time at all.
"I think it's a pretty trivial sentence," said Leighann Lassiter, the Tennessee director of the United States Humane Society.
"This violation, number one, resulted in endangering thousands of people on the road, but also contributed to the suffering of thousands of animals who were unfortunate enough to find themselves in his care," Lassiter added.
Ayache was transporting horses to the Mexican border, where they were to be slaughtered for human food that is sent overseas.
The federal government criminally charged Ayache with continuing to operate an unsafe trucking operation after being ordered to shut down. The Department of Transportation found Three Angels Farm's equipment in disrepair and its drivers' logbooks inaccurate.
Scott York was driving the Three Angels trailer that broke in half on I-440 in 2012. He told Channel 4 that Ayache ordered drivers to stay on the road for longer than the law allows.
"He taught me how to fudge a log book," York told Channel 4 in 2012. During that time, York said, the horses were not given water, food or rest. And if the horses went down, he said, they were given electric shocks. "He makes you cattle-prod them up," York told Channel 4.
After the government shut down Three Angels Farm, Ayache hauled horses under a different company's name, Terri's Farm. Its owner, Theresa Vincent, is being offered the same plea deal of zero to six months in prison and a fine of less than $25,000.
The sentences aren't set in stone. The plea agreements have to be approved by a federal judge. Sentencing is set for Nov. 21.
Source: WSMV by Nancy Amons
WSMV slideshow of Ayache's trailer that was hauling horses that crashed on I-40 im 2012
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