Letter to the Editor: Concerns about hauling horses in double deck trailers
September 8, 2014
If comments are still invited on the story Hauling horses in safety, you are welcome to plug in these:
1) Measuring from the withers to the hoof, which I assume is what your article is referring to in the average height being 60", is not a reliable indicator of what space is required. During transport, a horse's withers increase anywhere from one a half to four inches in height. That is why show stewards and handlers walk the horses around to "settle" before measurement for a class. Laser measurements done by the Sussex Equine Research station indicated that depending on the type of transport, the wither levels differed on unloading.
2) A more believable argument about the safety of the horse transport could be made if it were known how much weight the horses lost during transport in double vs single deck trailers.
3) The reference to guarded latches is commendable and I hope more trailer manufacturers take notice of this.
4) Because of the current law which references only those horses traveling to slaughter, I know shippers who use the double deck trailers to ship horses for export to the Caribbean. I have disturbing photos of the horses subjected to this transport and injured or killed during the transport.
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Yours for the horses.