U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen Ushers Horse Transportation Safety Act to Passage

Animal Wellness Applauds Cohen’s Tireless Work for Horses 


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1400, the Horse Transportation Safety Act, authored by Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN-09), 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.

“I applaud Rep. Steve Cohen for his tireless work and dedication to horse protection — he’s a knight in shining armor to the voiceless we care so deeply about,” said Marty Irby, executive director at Animal Wellness Action, and past president of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ & Exhibitors’ Association. “The horses that have transported millions of Americans for centuries, themselves deserve to be transported in a humane manner while they continue to bring joy, emotional support, and economic benefits to horsemen and women across the nation.”

“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,” said Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN-09). “I’m pleased this important measure is included in HR. 2, the Moving Forward Act.”

Double decker trucks and trailers present tremendous transportation risks to both the horses on board, and motorists sharing the state, federal, and local roadways with them. Numerous crashes that have occurred along interstate highways have resulted in not only the deaths of the horses, but innocent travelers as well. Even the U.S. Department of Agriculture has openly declared that these vehicles “do not provide adequate headroom for equines,” and that equines are far more likely to face injury in double decker trailers than in one level trailers that can better transport them.

With 132 cosponsors in the House, the Horse Transportation Safety Act is backed by nearly every major animal protection group in the country including Animal Wellness Action, the Animal Wellness Foundation, Horses for Life Foundation, Animal Welfare Institute, American Veterinary Medical Association, and the American Horse Protection Society.

The bill’s passage marks the second equine protection measure that Cohen’s shepherded through the U.S. House during the 116th Congress – the first being the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, H.R. 693, that cleared the chamber one year ago this month, and would eliminate the painful practice of soring Tennessee Walking, Racking, and Spotted Saddle Horses.


Animal Wellness Action (Action) is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(4) organization with a mission of helping animals by promoting legal standards forbidding cruelty. We champion causes that alleviate the suffering of companion animals, farm animals, and wildlife. We advocate for policies to stop dogfighting and cockfighting and other forms of malicious cruelty and to confront factory farming and other systemic forms of animal exploitation. To prevent cruelty, we promote enacting good public policies and we work to enforce those policies. To enact good laws, we must elect good lawmakers, and that’s why we remind voters which candidates care about our issues and which ones don’t. We believe helping animals helps us all.

The Animal Wellness Foundation (Foundation) is a Los Angeles-based private charitable organization with a mission of helping animals by making veterinary care available to everyone with a pet, regardless of economic ability. We organize rescue efforts and medical services for dogs and cats in need and help homeless pets find a loving caregiver. We are advocates for getting veterinarians to the front lines of the animal welfare movement; promoting responsible pet ownership; and vaccinating animals against infectious diseases such as distemper. We also support policies that prevent animal cruelty and that alleviate suffering. We believe helping animals helps us all.

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