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IL Horse Transport Legislaton of 2008
Died in the Senate even though the Senate sponsor was the Majority Whip. For a bill sponsored by the Majority Whip to die in committee means the sponsor of the bill was unwilling to expend any political favors/chips on the bill.
How can a bill sponsored by the Senate Majority Whip die in committee in the Senate???
When a majority leader wants a bill to move, it moves because the politician is willing to expend their political power/favors/connections to make the bill move. If the bill dies, it is because there was no incentive for the majority leader to expend their "chips" on the bill. The supporters of this bill in Illinois did not put enough pressure on the politicians to move this bill. The Farm Bureau called the shots and they were allowed to get away with it because no one stood up and told the residents of Illinois who were outraged by the double deck crash that killed 17 horses that the Farm Bureau was playing the old, "slippery slope" argument. The Farm Bureau needed to be held up in front of the Public and exposed for their opposition to the IL Horse Transport Bill.
The EPN has the support of the Commercial Horse Transportation industry, The Paper Horse, Stolen Horse International and others for our efforts to pass horse transportation legislation in Illinois that will ban the use of double deck trailers for horses, no matter what their final destination.
The EPN has links below to the IL General Assembly so you can keep apprised of IL Horse Transport Legislation. We are also posting all the twists and turns so that you can keep up with what is happening and so that you can see how legislation winds its way through the legislative process. The bill will be attacked by the enemy and it is up to the supporters and the adovcates to keep the bill in line with its original intent. The sponsor of the legislation will be approached by both sides requesting changes be made to satisfy their goals.
If the sponsor is truly on board with the issue they will repel all attacks at compromising the legislation and they will be willing to expend political favors and chips to keep the bill intact and keep it moving. This is the way legislation works, no matter what the state or if at the federal level.
HB4162- SUPPORT - Hostile House Amendment 02 has been withdrawn so we can again support.
HB4166 - Molaro Bill - Due to the accident that sparked the introduction of this legislation occuring in another representatives's district, Molaro has not gone forward ith his bill. Molaro is responsible for introducing and passing the 2007 legislaton that ended horse slaughter in Illinois.
and HB4489 -OPPOSE (This bill is a sheep in wolves clothing)
The pro slaughter forces are hard at work attempting to repeal the IL House Bill 1171 signed into law in May of 2007 that put an end to slaughter in Illinois. They are using a bill introduced under the auspices of banning double deck trailers in Illinois as a means to repeal the Illinois Horse Meat Act. IL HB4489 is nothing more than a means to repeal the IL Horse Meat Act.
There is dangerous political activity going on in IL with three IL Horse Transport Bills introduced in the House. The pro slaughter forces are going to attempt to attach their repeal language to any bill that is moving and if there is not careful observation they will attach it at the last minute. Senator Conrad Burns successfully gutted the Wild Horse and Burro Protection Act of 1972 by attaching a rider.
Double Deck Trailer Facts
IL Horse Transport Bill History
EPN updates on this issue from introduction to eventual passage
Three Hills Rodeo, whose drivers pled guilty to 36
violating the PA Horse Transport Law in 2005 and paid
Saccia's argument is the economic hardship for killer buyers transporting horses long distances to slaughter. What Saccia fails to understand is that it is against the Commercial Transportation of Horses to Slaughter Act, Federal Regulations, Volume 66, No, 236, published Dec. 7, 2001 to transport horses to slaughter in double deck trailers. (the doubles ban went into effect 5 years from effective date) Also according to the USDA,
stated previously, commercial shippers typically charge
owners a flat rate to transport their equines, so the
possibility of fewer
equines per shipment should not result in less revenue
shippers." Regarding Saccia's statements on overcrowding on single
can also occur in single-deck (also called straight-
deck) trailers, which are used to transport equines
to a lesser
extent than double-deck trailers. The requirement concerning
space could translate into fewer equines per conveyance." Regarding
questions on the number of equines carried on a double
versus a single or straight deck trailer: Pg. 63594:
from those opposing regarding how many doubles are
utilized. From pg 63613:
for Representatives Reiss questions as to whether or
horses know what deck they are on, and if they do not
what does it
matter, the EPN's Christine Berry responds,
IL Horse Transport Bill Passes IL House 80-29
Great News for the horses and time to ride onto the Senate! The record will show the three Republicans arguing against this issue at the behest of the Farm Bureau, Pork Producers, and Beef Association with facts that are not valid. Too bad no one stood up and let the opposition have it with the facts proving that they were speaking out of their hind parts.
On the IL House Floor, three Republicans spoke against this bill.
Their concerns were that it would be an economic detriment to those hauling horses to slaughter and that now horses had to travel farther to slaughter since Cavel closed.
One Rep even asked Rep Osmond if the horses "knew what deck they were on" and if they didn't what did it matter.
The EPN’s Christine Berry responds,
"I know that horses realize they are not in a van designed for horses from the moment they are forced with electric cattle prods, whips, or biting dogs into a dark trailer by means of a “trap door” in the rear of the trailer, forced to lower their heads & jump down into the pitch blackness of the lower deck. As they slip and fall on the slippery metal floors and then slam their heads into the 3" I beams supporting the top deck as they fight to regain their balance by raising their heads, I can assure you those horses know that they are not on a van that is designed, safety tested, manufactured, or marketed to the horse industry!"
Rep Reis and Saccia also directed questions to Osmond regarding the number of horses on a straight deck versus a double deck, overcrowding, etc.
In response to those comments I offer the USDA's statements from the Commercial Transportation of Horses to Slaughter Act of 1996 Regulations dated December 7, 2001, Vol 66, No, 236,pg 63613:
"In fact, it is estimated that double-deck trailers in general carry equines no more than about 10 percent of the time they are in use."
Regarding the number of horses on a double deck versus a straight deck:
"This assumes 45 horses on a double-deck trailer and 38 horses on a single-deck trailer."
Further on the issue of overcrowding and the economic cost to shippers:
"Overcrowding can also occur in single-deck (also called straight-deck) trailers, which are used to transport equines to a lesser extent than double-deck trailers. The requirement concerning adequate space could translate into fewer equines per conveyance. As stated previously, commercial shippers typically charge owners a flat rate to transport their equines, so the possibility of fewer equines per shipment should not result in less revenue for commercial shippers."
On banning doubles:
The USDA has acknowledged that more horses can be transported in a double as opposed to a straight deck . Even so, the USDA banned doubles for horses because, even if modified they cannot be made safe and humane for horses.
"We acknowledge that double-deck trailers can carry more equines and other livestock than single-deck trailers. We are allowing the continued use of double-deck trailers for the next 5 years in order to minimize economic losses to those dependent on the use of doubledeck trailers. We do not believe that equines can be safely and humanely transported on a conveyance that has an animal cargo space divided into two or more stacked levels. As stated in the proposal, double-deck trailers can continue to be used to transport other commodities, including produce and livestock other than equines. Also, owners can sell their serviceable trailers at fair market value to transporters of commodities other than equines."
It is time for the Farm Bureau to step aside and leave the horses alone. Get a life guys - the horse transportation industry is opposed to these trailers, the horse industry is opposed to these trailers and the vets are opposed to these trailers. Do the honorable thing and walk away from this issue. As for the Republican Representatives, if you are going to argue an issue, get your facts straight on the issue unless of course you want to be like Hillary who is dodging imaginary sniper fire.
Update 3/24/08 - IL Horse Transport Bill Update
Equine Protection Network
IL HB 4162 modeled after the PA Horse Transport Law, is a good clean bill as currently written. The successful enforcement and prosecution of the PA Horse Transport Law indicates the language works. Prosecutors and law enforcement officers alike praise the PA Horse Transport Law for its simplicity and specificity which allows any law enforcement officer to make an arrest and prosecute; no expert witnesses or special training is required for law enforcement officers.
Gone are the days when animal welfare organizations introduced an animal friendly bill and before the legislative process was done so many hostile amendments had been accepted that the bill was now an industry bill that legitimized, legalized, and regulated the very practice that the original bill was introduced to prohibit. Supporters were never informed of the Facts and blindly continued to support a bill that was unrecognizable to the original bill.
PA HORSE TRANSPORT LAW
The EPN did not bow to the pressure from animal welfare organizations urging us to accept a bill that compromised the goal of the legislation, which was to ban double deck trailers to transport any horse, no matter what their final destination. Instead, individuals and groups who would have accepted a compromised bill denounced the EPN for our refusal to compromise and accept language that would have regulated their use and legitimized horse slaughter.
If it were not for EPN alerting the public to the facts, the People would have remained silent, the lobbyists would have achieved the goal of the exemption of their clients, and the animal welfare groups, and the politicians would have had their publicity victory and, a basis for more fundraising.
There would have been no press releases announcing the arrest of Three Hills Rodeo or Sugarcreek Livestock, only press releases congratulating everyone on the passage of the PA Horse Transport Law and calling for more donations so they could address the still remaining problems. The old, “come back and fix it later” rhetoric that animal welfare groups are famous for.
The EPN wants our supporters and allies to read the Facts for themselves and understand an issue so that they can articulate the issue to their legislators, the media, law enforcement, and the public. The EPN strives to provide our supporters with the Facts of the situation by posting the federal regulations, state statutes, proposed bills, and legislative proceedings such as committee hearings or house debates verbatim, and by providing the links to government websites.
The Facts of an issue can stand on their own merit and do not need a spin put on them by those who stand to benefit. Those who are afraid of the Facts and the Truth attempt to silence those who provide the Facts. The first line of defense is to keep the Facts out by silencing the speaker. If that does not work the next step is to discredit the speaker of the Facts by referring to them as, “well intentioned, but uninformed or emotional” or “That is not the way it works in this state”. If that fails the Facts are referred to as “false or misleading”.
We urge our supporters to never blindly follow without reading the Facts for yourself. The Internet provides advocates the means to provide the People with the Facts. It is our job as advocates to keep the People updated on the behind the scenes maneuverings of lobbyists and the political climate changes.
Advocates should not and must not be silenced. Silence is the friend of dictators and corruption, and the foe of the truth and the will of The People.The People deserve the Facts, and the horses deserve better. No matter what the situation...be informed.
UPDATE 3/12/08-Kill ILLINOIS HORSE TRANSPORT BILL HB 4162
The EPN has withdrawn our support for the Illinois Horse Transport Bill due to the addition of House Amendment 02 that will LEGALIZE the use of double deck trailers in Illinois for horses. We are very disappointed with Rep JoAnn Osmnod's acceptance of this hostile amendment from the Il Farm Bureau. Anyone who is a friend of horses would never accept such a blatant move to legalize doubles for horses.
EPN Letter Witdrawing Support to Rep Osmond
Dear Representative Osmond,
Rep. JoAnn D. Osmond Filed: 3/12/2008
Illinois Vehicle Code 15-103:
As written this bill legalizes double deck trailers for horses because anyone can claim, as did Arlow Kiehl in New York, rodeo stock contractors in Indiana, and others, that their double deck trailers were "specifically designed for horses".
There is no regulatory body that sets standards for horse trailers. The horse industry demands trailers that are safe and humane for horses and manufacturers respond to that demand because if they did not, they would not sell any trailers. Horse trailer manufacturers do not design, safety test, manufacture or market doubles to the horse industry.
Individuals can request manufacturers to build a trailer to their specifications and the manufacturer will build what the client is willing to pay for. Thus the owner of a double can claim to law enforcement that their trailer was "specifically designed for horses."
Law enforcement officers will not be able to arrest because they will not be able to prove that the trailers were not specifically designed for horses. Prosecutors woud have to prove beyond a reasonable double in court that these trailers were not "specifically designed for horses".
Current Illinois law allows law enforcement to arrest and prosecute. In court they can utilize horse transport experts, horse vets, and horse experts to testify that doubles are inhumane. There is published documentation from the USDA supporting these statements, along with documentation from court cases in other states.
If passed, IL HB 4162 would LEGALIZE the use of double deck trailers for horses.
The EPN is strongly urging everyone to OPPOSE IL HB 4162.
Update 2/18/08- Hearing Drivers Education and Safety Committee February 21, 10:30 AM - Passed!
EPN Calling for Amendments to Close Loophole in Proposed Il Horse Transport Law _ Press Release November 7, 2007
The EPN has recommended to Representatives Osmond and Molaro, that the loophole in the two bills introduced in Illinois be amended so as to prevent a repeat of what happened in NY from happening in Illinois.
Update 2/21/08! - Thank you Rep Osmond for closing the loophole in HB4162
The following is from our press release dated November 2, 2007,
“ the two words, "of equidae" following “levels”, and before "one" be removed to prevent a loophole in the IL Horse Transport Law, similar to the one Arlow Kiehl used in New York State for several years. Kiehl avoided prosecution and was able to enter plea agreements that reduced his fine significantly. In some cases, Kiehl faced possible fines of close to $40,000, but due to the loophole, he was able to enter a plea agreement resulting in a $300.00 fine.
Kiehl argued to the NY State Police, NYSP, and District Attorneys on several occasions, that because he only had horses on one level of the double deck trailer, NY law did not apply. At the time NY law stated,
“Every vehicle utilized for the transportation of more than six horses over a highway shall have no more than one tier holding animals in the compartment containing horses."
NY closed this loophole in 2002 by passing Act 191 removing the language, “holding animals in the compartment containing horses”. To close the potential loophole in IL, the words, “of equidae” need to be removed. For more information on passage of Act 191:
EPN Press Release - IL Horse Transport Law Passes Committee Unanimously!
EPN Press Release -IL Horse Transport Law Introduced
"It is incumbent for advocacy groups all over the nation to be vigilant regarding any piece
of equine legislation which could weaken other existing laws even if in another state".
Cathleen Doyle -HoofPAC, Save The Horses, CA Equine Council
The slaughter of America's Horses has continued for 40 years because it was hidden and the media kept silent. The advent of the Internet gave the people opposed to slaughter a voice. The California Initiative Proces gave the People a voice and in 1998 62% of California voters "Just Said Neigh" to horse slaughter.
When Americans as a whole are given a voice, the Slaughter of America's Horses will end as Americans overwhelmingly vote to outlaw the slaughter.
Since 2000 the issue has been handled by animal welfare organizations unwilling to hire the best professional lobbyist in Washington D.C. so the slaughter and the fundraising at the expense of the horses continues.
Anytime one remains silent it allows the practice in question to continue and as history shows, anytime attempts are made to silence people's voices no good comes from it. People need to find their voices and Speak Up For the Horses.
Silence = Complaceny
"People deserve to be informed and certainly the horses deserve better. No matter what the situation...be informed."
Cathleen Doyle -HoofPAC, Save The Horses, CA Equine Council
PA Horse Transport Law Cards | NY Horse Transport Law Card | Vermont Horse Transport Law Card |MD Horse Transport Law Card
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