Horse transportation safety regulations extended for slaughter-bound equines


Double decker livestock trailer

As of October 7, 2011, an amendment to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s (APHIS) humane transportation regulations will take effect, expanding the rules to cover all slaughter-bound equines.

A Government Accountability Office report issued earlier this year showed a gaping loophole in APHIS oversight of horses being transported for slaughter. The regulations for humane transport only covered horses during the final leg of their journey when they were bound for the slaughterhouse. The slaughter industry was getting around the regulations by stopping at feedlots near the Mexican border so that very little of that final leg would take place on American soil.

The amended regulation covers horses in all phases of the journey to slaughter.

We are amending the regulations regarding the commercial
transportation of equines to slaughter to add a definition of equine
for slaughter and make other changes that will extend the protections
afforded by the regulations to equines bound for slaughter but
delivered first to an assembly point, feedlot, or stockyard. This
action will further ensure the humane treatment of such equines by
helping to ensure that the unique and special needs of equines in
commercial transportation to slaughter are met.

These regulations include specific requirements for food and water, veterinary care and general humane handling. It also prohibits transportation of horses that are “not fit for travel.” Slaughter-bound equines cannot be transported in double-decker trailers under these regulations. The law will be enforced by APHIS and state officials.

The APHIS has no transportation rules for horses that are not bound for slaughter.

Click here to read the full rule, including comments submitted during the rule’s review period.


  1. Hey, They are trying but, these donut heads driven the trucks should even be doing it! If I ever get a hold of them I have a Many choice words for you buddy!!!!!!!!!!

  2. It’s a start, good additions to the current law. Now it will just have to be enforced. From reading it, no economical stress will be placed on the transporters or the facilities that will be involved in the horrible activity. If only the “No horse to slaughter” would be approved. Guess that’s wishfull thinking though?????


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