Sponsor Tables Illinois Horse Transport Bill Amendment

The sponsor of a proposed Illinois measure designed to enhance horse transport safety has tabled a controversial amendment that equine advocates denounced as unacceptable.

"We're going to go back to the original bill," said Ill. Rep. JoAnn Osmond, sponsor of HB4162.

HB4162 would revise Illinois' Humane Care for Animals Act to prohibit the transport of horses in trailers of two or more levels. Osmond introduced the bill last November in response to a rollover accident involving a truck hauling 59 horses in a double-decker trailer.

But while in committee, an amendment that would allow horse transport in double-deck trailers specifically designed to haul horses was attached to the bill. This move raised the ire of horse welfare advocates.

"The Farm Bureau wanted wording relative to trailers made specifically for horses if those trailers ever became available," said Grassroots Coordinator for the Animal Welfare Institute Gail Vacca. "We all agree that the amendment is unacceptable and that nobody will support it if the amendment is in the bill. It's impossible to construct a double-decker humane for horses."

Osmond said the controversial amendment now resides in the Illinois House Rules Committee.

"And it will stay there until I take it out," Osmond said.

That means the HB4162 could come up for a vote minus the controversial amendment.

Osmond said it could take a month for the bill to reach the Illinois House floor. In the meantime, she said she will continue to talk with the Farm Bureau about alternate language.

"But if we can't get the language right," Osmond said, "we'll run with the bill without it."

About the Author

Pat Raia

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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