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AVMA Opposes Use of Double-Deck Trailers for Transporting Horses and Other Equines

SCHAUMBURG, Ill., May 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has reinforced its opposition to the use of double-deck trailers to transport horses and other equines by approving a new policy on the Humane Transport of Equines.

The policy, approved by the AVMA Executive Board on April 12, 2008, states that due to animal welfare and safety concerns, the AVMA opposes the use of double-deck trailers to transport equines. The AVMA previously has supported U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulations prohibiting the use of such trailers for transport of horses and other equines to slaughter and submitted written comments to the USDA on this issue earlier this year. The new AVMA policy is more far reaching, extending opposition to the transport of equines for other purposes.

"Creating this policy simply formalizes recommendations made by the AVMA during the past 10 to 15 years as the Association has engaged in discussions and responded to regulatory proposals regarding transport of horses and other equines," explained Dr. Gail Golab, director of the AVMA Animal Welfare Division. "The scope was broadened because the AVMA believes that humane methods of transport should apply regardless of the destination of the animals."

The new Humane Transport of Equines policy also provides some guidelines on assessing the appropriateness of trailers for equine transport. Pertinent considerations include: affording sufficient headroom so that horses and other equines can stand with their heads extended to their fullest normal postural height, providing appropriate ventilation, ensuring there are no protrusions in the trailer that might cause injury, confirming that doors and ramps are of sufficient size to allow safe loading and unloading, ensuring that horses and other equines have appropriate footing and enough space to redistribute their weight as needed should the trailer shift during transport, and allowing for the segregation of stallions and other aggressive equines.

The complete policy may be accessed at For more information about the Association and its efforts to ensure animal health and welfare, please visit

The AVMA and its more than 76,000 member veterinarians are engaged in a wide

variety of activities dedicated to advancing the science and art of animal,

human and public health. Visit the AVMA Web site at for
more information.

SOURCE American Veterinary Medical Association
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