Pa. Bill to Allow Transportation of Horses to Slaughter

An amendment to Pennsylvania House Bill 590 could legalize transportation of horses to slaughter that are sick, pregnant, and unable to stand on four legs, among other controversial specifications. The amendment is said to be designed to "prevent cruelty to animals." The measure could be voted on in late September.

Language was eliminated from the original bill, which passed the House 160-33 on June 15, that would mandate vehicles used to transport slaughter-bound horses have adequate ventilation, non-skid flooring, and have an interior height of no less than 78 inches from the lowest overhead protrusion. Also stricken was language that would require that transport vehicles meet all public health and safety standards.

The largest auction in Pennsylvania for horses is in New Holland, which is at least a day's travel to the closest slaughterhouses in Texas and Canada.