Readers Respond: Double-Decker Dilemma

More than 2,400 readers of TheHorse.com responded to a poll asking, "Do you support federal legislation banning equine transport in double-decker trailers for any purpose?"

results of poll on double-decker trailers

Results were as follows:
  • Yes: 93.94% (2,296)
  • No: 6.06% (148)

In line with the results, many of the comments reflected strong support for such legislation. Some readers also mentioned banning the trailers for transporting other species, such as cows. Others commented on the effect such a ban would have on the horse slaughter industry.

All comments submitted by poll respondents are listed below.

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  • Our horses deserve better than what is happening to them.
  • Absolutely! There is no benefit to anyone but the slaughterhouses for this.
  • absolutely!
  • These trucks are not designed to transport horses properly
  • sorted and loaded accordingly texas a&m studies show less injuries on a double decker
  • This could not happen in Australia
  • are people totally crazy?
  • Anybody who allows this is not a normal human being. They are evil & they rot in hell
  • Too dangerous for the horses & people using the same highways
  • not sure, look at the increase in horses being abused due to closing slaughter houses.
  • Not all DD trailers are bad some are designed for horses Parelli uses DD trailers
  • horses can weigh a whole lot.
  • Yrs ago in CO, a double decker lost control on a mtn road, killed several people & flung horses out
  • It's inhumane
  • This inhumane practice has been banned in several states and should be a federal ban
  • and ban horse slaughter, too
  • Horses are totally different than other animals, in how they move and stand. They need plenty of roo
  • I oppose for all animals. Cattle are cognizant also.
  • yes
  • WE ARE AGAINST USING THE DANGEROUS DOUBLE DECKER TRAILERS FOR TRANSPORTING OUR EQUINE COMPANIONS.
  • As long as the double-decker is safe, what's the problem with them?
  • Absolutely! People know right from wrong, and when they are being cruel.
  • how frightening this must be for horses!
  • This is a no brainer
  • because they are too low for horse transport
  • I oppose the use of double decker trailers for transporting horses. However I support the slaughter
  • there are cases such as the recent fires that double deckers could be utilized to evacuate.
  • too dangerous!
  • No horse no matter what size should be transported in a trailer that is more than one level.
  • Horses transported this way are usually on the way to slaughter.
  • They are not designed to haul horses!! They are strictly built to haul cattle and other livestock.
  • This should have done a long time ago. This is a disgrace to the horse and the industry.
  • There is not enough room in a double decker to safely transport horses!
  • these trailer are top heavy and moving weight is ask for trouble
  • Hauling horses in double deckers is inhumane and cruel! AND UNSAFE for them and other vehicles!
  • Isn't this a no-brainer?
  • common sense and being humane
  • Heck yes, what kind of person wouldn't!
  • It is cruel to put a horse in a double decker - no matter what the reason. Horses are uncomfortable
  • Absolutely! How could one not support legislation such as this?
  • Its about time this comes to an End..
  • This will help stop slaughter.
  • Absolutely. Horses are require more head room than cattle.
  • Only if not enough head clearance
  • There are too many horrific accidents with horses and double decker trailers!
  • oh for cryin' out loud! anybody w/ 2 brain cells could answer this the same way!
  • Transporting equines in this way is inhumane and has an obvious affect on thier well being.
  • Double decker trailers are not made with the intention of transporting horses
  • Unsafe Practice!!
  • Double deckers are inhumane for transporting horses as they cannot stand erect. Ban them now!
  • HSUS video shows horses cannot put heads up-even cutting and bruising themselves with the movement.
  • terrible injuries occur in these trailers
  • they are NOT designed for horses
  • focus should be transport not slaughter
  • Apalling
  • double deck trailers are safe when properly secured.
  • IT IS CRUEL AND HORRIFIC SUFFERING FOR HORSES . WE MUST END IT...
  • They are designed for cattle-horses must ride in the upper deck with their heads and necks lowered.
  • It is cruel and inhumane.
  • And don't haul stallions with others
  • horrible
  • there is no dilemma, it is just plain cruelty.
  • just unsafe & unpredictable
  • transporting of ALL animals should be done in a humane way
  • I thought it was already a law that double decker transport was illegal
  • They flat out, were NOT designed for that purpose. Most livestock are not the height of an equine.
  • it would be a good thing so less horses will die
  • Too dangerous!!
  • Horses are too tall and should never be subjected to such inappropriate transportation
  • Find a Humane way or nothing at all!
  • Ban for all animals.
  • Absolutely!
  • These trailers are roomy enough to handle horses. What's the big deal?
  • I thought it was outlawed several years ago actually.
  • should be banned for all animal transport
  • It is inhumane to make animals travel like that. Also they were not made for transporting horses.
  • Unequivocally.
  • ABSOLUTELY!!!
  • How do you fit 40 or 50 horses in a single vehicle anyhow?
  • Horses do not fit in those trucks and if you see one on the road with horses in it call for help.
  • Definitely!!!!!
  • how money hungry are these people?
  • I thought it was a done deal. Sad to find out differently.
  • It SHOULD be against the law.
  • I really don't even like that they do livestock in double deckers either
  • All states need this!!
  • I Believe it is inhumane and very dangerous and uncalled for . The most cruel should be band
  • truly cruel, no concern for safety of the horses, totally stressful.
  • Trailers designed for cattle are not designed for horses.
  • Double decker vans are inhumane.
  • Legislation on equine affairs has reached a level of total stupidity
  • Is anyone actually studying facts to determine if they are at higher risk in a dble decker?
  • Transporting horses in such trailers for ANY purpose is barbaric & inhumane.
  • Clearly, these vehicles are not safe for any horse -- the accidents prove that
  • As a rescuer at the crash scene in Wadsworth IL--you bet I support a Federal ban!
  • Its time to learn that all animals are living creatures and not trash cans!
  • Horses do not belong in this type of transport!!!
  • double deckers are unnecessary!!
  • Its almost as barbaric as the slaughter of our horses!!!!
  • This is a NO-BRAINER!
  • How would humans like to be put in a double decker crowded?
  • Only humane transportation should be allowed
  • For all animals
  • Its inhumane, load those who don't believe it wrong and let them see how it feels
  • they are very cruel
  • double decking is inhumane
  • if double deckers were so great, trainers would use them for their big, valuable show/race strings
  • This is one simple way of keeping the transport of horses humane!
  • come on people accidents can and do happen in any size horse trailer.we only hear bout the semis
  • I thought that had already passed but guess it was just slaughter bound horses. Ban It!
  • absolutely it's a no brainer!
  • Feds should have no say in this; let the shipper beware.
  • end the suffering & barbaric treatment of our beautiful horses !!!
  • It's cruel & inhumane
  • Horses shouldn't be transported without protective wraps much less a dd transport!
  • Its about Time !
  • it should ALWAYS have been banned!!!
  • Extremely cruel!
  • Depends - if the horses fit comfortably, then no. Humane is the key.
  • very dangerous
  • Yes, I feel this is mainly for horses headed for slaughter. Stop! Crossing country/state lines
  • Yes!!!
  • NO animal should be transported in double-decker trailers!!!
  • accidents of double deck trailers is a rare occurrence.
  • Absolutely!!!!
  • Some outfits like pack stations transfer 60+ horses at a time. Without this they wouldn't be able to operate
  • We should ban all double-decker and crowded animal transport.
  • I don't believe any four legged animals should have to be transported in double decker trailers.
  • This is a no brainer!
  • its inhumane
  • it was only an accident - people roll their vehicles and kill children everyday and no blinks an eye
  • No. All trailers can be in accidents... if dd's are condemned, which one will be next?
  • there have been too many resultant accidents in recently with catastrophic consequences for horses
  • This method of transportation in my opinion is totally inhumane!
  • One standard law would make the most sense rather than state by state.
  • absolutely!!!!!!! those trailers aren't made for horses, it is cruel treatment to haul horses this w
  • Humane treatment should be the priority!!
  • There is all ready a federal law. Lets enforce it.
  • Lets ban those double-deckers before families are killed on the road as well!
  • lets give these poor unfortunate animals SOME DIGNITY
  • Should be considered cruel, those who use should be prosecuted.
  • Come on people, common sense, it's a no brainer!
  • Double deck transport is showing absolutely no respect or caring for the feelings/comfort of horses.
  • Its hard enough for horses in a trailer but to have 2 levels its twice as much traumatic!
  • I can't conceive of any valid reason to put a horse through that kind of stress!!
  • Banning this type of transport may also lessen horses going to slaughter. (we pray!)
  • Double decker ("possum belly") trucks should NOT be legal for transporting ANY kind of livestock!
  • These are NOT for horse transportation talk about greedy people!
  • It should be a no brainer.
  • It is an absolutely inhumane way of transport.
  • horses should be transported in a single level trailer
  • They weren't designed to haul horses.
  • It is insane to transport horses in a double decker trailer
  • The "pot" trailers or triple decks should be banned not double deck.
  • Should have been banned before this horrific accident
  • It is inhumane to make a horse stand in a vehicle designed to transport cattle, hogs, or sheep.
  • It is so inhumane for double decker, their should be a limit to amount of horses hauled in 1 trailer
  • LONG AGO! this should have been in place before the slaughter ban!!!
  • horses center of gravity is not safe for double decker hauling
  • This is unacceptable and preventable, lets change it now!
  • Ky already has this ban
  • Straight Deck Trailers can serve the same purpose and are safer for the horse.
  • In case of accident, they are too unsafe.
  • it is unsafe for all hooved animals
  • It is already illegal in many states.
  • This is totally disgusting and inhumane! Put yourself in their situations and look at the accidents
  • Transport in a double decker or more, plus transport to out of country slaughter should be banned.
  • only in emergency evacuation like in wildfires
  • For a big animal like horse it becomes too high
  • I fully support legislation to ban these for horses in ALL states.
  • The risks to the horses/carers is increased unacceptably by this method, making rescues difficult
  • The only exception should be is if there was a need to evacuate an area for emergency reasons.
  • horses should NEVER be transported by double decker anything.
  • They have been illegal in Europe for many years already
  • I can't even imagine how horses are forced into this kind of holding, or how they endure the stress.
  • This should be a no-brainer for legislators!
  • Hell yes!
  • not only no but **** no, if we are going to let them do that then we should also put a ban on every
  • Double-Decker transport is inhumane for any creature!!!
  • it appears most inhumane and unhealthy
  • They should be banned for all animal transportation not just horses!
  • Horses have too high center of gravity to be double stacked.
  • It depends, some can be responsible, some can be careless
  • Good Idea: Transport humans that way.
  • Horses would experience immense terror from noise above. Absolutely no double deckers for horses.
  • Absolutely! Anyone that cares about horses at all should. No Exception!
  • Horses should NEVER be shipped in double deckers
  • isn't it obvious just the weight shifting is dangerous, not to mention their natural tendencies
  • There is no doubt that it is unsafe for the horses and an inhumane transportation method
  • Absolutely!!!!!!!!
  • Horses are too large for double-deckers. Transport humanely or don't transport at all.
  • I don't believe ANY large animal should be transported in double decker trailers for any reason !!
  • Here in Australia we don't use double decker haulage for horses thankfully.
  • Horses weren't meant to be transported in double deckers it's way to dangerous.
  • Just look at the statistics and it should be very obvious as to why double decker transport should b
  • It would never be allowed in Europe, that's for sure
  • Horses are not always well balanced in any transport, banning double deckers is an urgent "must do"
  • THIS IS MOST INHUMANE AS A HORSE CANNOT CARRY IT'S HEAD IN A NORMAL POSITION THESE TRAILERS ARE MA
  • Cattle and other livestock are transported that way. The truck driver's are what needs changing.
  • Safety for others on the road, safety for the horses
  • absolutely. its unsafe & cruel!!!
  • They are livestock, just like cattle & hogs, so should be able to be hauled in double-deckers.
  • Ban the slaughter houses, too!!
  • Horses have a high center of gravity, traveling on top exacerbates that difficulty in accidents.
  • DOUBLE-DECKERS ARE NOT SAFE FOR HORSES...IT'S A NO BRAINER
  • They were not designed for horses!
  • One accident shouldn't make everyone else have to suffer, accidents happen with single trailers also
  • What kind of dumb ass would think that that is a good way to transport horses!
  • Why does always take a tragic event before the government does anything
  • The only place horses should be going is to a loving home!!
  • double decker trucks should be outlawed for transport of any animals including horses they are killers
  • This stuff has gotta stop. Lets protect our horses.
  • I sure do think it's wrong. Heck, I wouldn't want to ride on a bus that was like that.
  • I CAN NOT BELIEVE SOM OF THE THINGS THAT ARE DON TO THESE AMAZING ANIMALS MY HEART GOS OUT 2 EM
  • These are just accidents waiting to happen, whether it is traffic or an internal breakdown.
  • absolutely!!!!!!!!!
  • To allow transporters to haul equines so they can't raise their heads is torture.
  • Absolutely YES!! The idea of treating equines like sheep, goats, etc. is horrifying & inhumane
  • Yes, there is no reason to transport any animal in a double decker trailer!! In-humane!!
  • They are VERY dangerous.
  • Its Dangerous
  • those are not made for horses, they are unsafe and unhealthy for any reason.
  • It is cruel and inhumane to fit such large pets for their last breaths of life ride.
  • The horse is not suited to this type of transport and it should definitely be banned by fed. action
  • These trailer where never designed with horse transport in mind. They are for cattle or smaller only
  • What's taking so long? how many have to suffer, day in/day out?
  • Horses should never be transported by double-decker trailers, for any purpose!
  • way overdue
  • New York has already done this.
  • This ban is imperative.
  • It is inhumane, no matter where to are taking horses, to make them crawl onto a double decker truck.
  • Cattle and sheep are also transported like this. It was an unfortunate accident
  • Double Decker trailers are inhumane transport for horses
  • yes, yes, yes, & yes!
  • these are cattle sheep ect trucks
  • This law should have been put into affect a long time ago.
  • From what I have read, the TRAILER was not at fault, but the DRIVER. Should we ban drivers?
  • that is terrible. they r already scared enough so they do not need to be crammed into them
  • horses should have room to raise their heads above their withers
  • This not a humane way to ship horses!
  • It's inhumane in any instance. I thought it was already outlawed, but that was just to slaughter!
  • Please....no more accidents and no more injured or dying horses.
  • Yes i support the ban on double decker trailers
  • They are not safe for horses.
  • absolutely! These type of trailers are a death trap!
  • Double decker trailers were meant for pigs and sheep, not horses.
  • No animal or human should be subjected to such dangerous and unpleasant conditions.
  • the more horses you have on a trailer the more horses you have in a wreck if something happens.
  • Double decker transports are NOT designed to transport equines!
  • unlike cattle horses have longer legs, which makes for very unstable riding up so height.
  • They are dangerous. Drivers drive too fast. Many animals can't stand up. Too many accidents.
  • Too risky with precious lives.
  • This method is cruel and inhumane!
  • Those trailers are very unbalanced. The drivers should be limited in the speed they can travel
  • cruel, barbaric, horrible
  • This cruelty should never have been legal
  • absolutely
  • Double decker trailers should NEVER be used to transport any horse or pony!
  • It's about time!!
  • And a really severe fine and mandatory jail time for those that break the law, it is abuse.
  • Horses are no longer viewed as cattle but as companions to be treated with respect
  • This is inhumane.
  • They are not meant for horses and are cruel.
  • no brainer
  • I can't believe they still do this. This sounds like something in a third world country, not the U.S
  • ABSOLUTELY!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • It is dangerous and should NOT be allowed under any circumstance!
  • I don't like double deckers for any animals; horses are too large for this to be safe.
  • I absolutely do support the ban. It is inhumane and dangerous
  • I thought this had been passed years ago, pushed thru by Jack Anderson OK, then Prez of AQHA
  • Absolutely !!!
  • Yes, absolutely barbaric to ship equines of any kind in double deckers.
  • And it's long overdue - for all fifty states.
  • Doesn't take a Rhodes Scholar to know the answer to this one.
  • horses can't fit in these types of trailers
  • double decker for any animal and even human beings is not safe. Potentially top heavy they will flip
  • Horses are naturally high strung and should not be subjected to these cramped quarters.
  • not if they are loaded properly
  • Way to unstable and inhumane for horses!!
  • POSITVELY, ABSOULUTELY YES!
  • it's barbaric!
  • Anyone who cared about a horse could NEVER transport ANY horse in this manner!!!!!
  • Absolutely.
  • has been proven to be more dangerous
  • I have friends who were part of the Illinois rescue -they must recover as well.
  • Slaughter is not the issue - TRANSPORT IS! Make slaughter legal, ban transport in double deckers!
  • Yes, but not worded as it is in the proposed IL Bill as it has a loop hole
  • Those are not designed for horses and unsafe for them
  • ABSOLUTELY
  • I can't think of anything more inhumane for horses
  • I don't think it is safe or humane under any circumstances!
  • Unless it's mini's or weanlings that would be able to stand up.
  • Emus shouldn't either. Birds have feelings too!
  • Horses are too big for double deckers, its just wrong to force horses into them
  • the health & safety of all horses must be protected
  • Simply too dangerous and inhumane to transport horses in this manner.
  • Absolutely
  • They are too top heavy!
  • Cows too? they're not as fragile but still
  • double-deckers are not designed to safely haul horses. They are for cattle
  • unstable top heavy load can only be a recipe for disaster
  • should have been outlawed years ago!
  • absolutely UN SAFE for too many reasons
  • Absolutely! It's cruel and inhumane--not just horses, either.
  • Anyone who would allow this should be shot!!!!
  • common sense
  • These trailers are not designed for horses, it's a bad fit even under the best of circumstances.
  • It is beyond Inhumane to transport any animals this way, much less horses
  • This is a grossly outdated and very dangerous practice that needs to be banned immediately.
  • The ill-fated results of these trailers should speak for banning them.
  • 5' head clearance = absolutely cruel!!!!
  • unsafe is unsafe -- period.
  • I am not anit-slaughter, but am opposed to the manner in which horses are transported to slaughter
  • Double decker trailers are not designed for horses. It's a disaster waiting to happen.
  • ALL horses should be able to raise their heads while in transit...no matter what the destination
  • Far too dangerous to the animals
  • I don't think the government should be involved, too many rules.
  • Double-deckers shouldn't be used to transport any kind of animals.
  • They are not meant to carry anything taller than a cow
  • It should be ban in ALL states, not just Illinois
  • Double decker trailers are barbaric and reflection of our greedy society at the experience of God's
  • There are too many reasons to list on why horses shouldn't be in double-decker trailers.
  • Horses should never be transported in such a manner! They need more head room than these allow!
  • This is a no brainer and should never have been allowed in the first place.
  • Definitely support it!! Truckers should know better and shame on them for doing it!!!!
  • definitely!!!
  • We recognize capacity limits for people in cars-why not for horses???
  • I would ban transport of any living creature in double deckers for any purpose
  • Double deckers are not designed for horse transport and are an accident waiting to happen!
  • I thought we already had that law.
  • I also feel this should be extended to ALL livestock
  • i thought it already was illegal!
  • Sam Farr got it banned in Calif but the Cattlemen and Flying U rodeo really fought it hard
  • Human transport is essential
  • Save the horses!
  • how in the heck did they get drafts in a double decker to being with?
  • Double deckers lend themselves to abusive handling in my opinion.
  • It is past due legislation!
  • Load shifting makes it too dangerous.
  • ABSOLUTELY!!!
  • ABSOLUTELY. Doubledecker is a horror!
  • should have already been banned!
  • Such legislation also should curtail shipment to Canada & Mexico unless proof of sale or showing
  • it should be up the owners . on how they transport their animals.
  • it may not be safe for accidents
  • Heck yes. It has to be terrifying for the horses and it's dangerous.
  • DOUBLE DECKER TRAILERS ARE INHUMANE TO HORSES AND ALL EQUINES!!
  • There isn't any justification for moving any livestock over long distances in cramped quarters.
  • They need to loved, or make a trailor that fits a horse right
  • Not economically feasible for rodeo stock, etc.
  • Horses' necks attatch differently than cattle's & pigs'

About the Author

Erin Ryder

Erin Ryder is a former news editor of The Horse: Your Guide To Equine Health Care.

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