Governor Pataki Signs Bill- Closes Loophole in Horse
NY - On July 23, 2002 Governor Pataki signed into law Act 191 closing
a "loophole" in New York's Horse Transport Law that often
allowed illegal horse haulers to escape prosecution. It states that
every vehicle used to transport more than six horses shall have
no more than one tier, further strengthening NYs landmark
law against shipping horses in cruel and inhumane double deck trailers
originally passed in 1981. The horses shipped in these cruel trailers
are often destined for slaughter in Canada for human consumption
overseas. Due to a loophole in the law there have been
several instances when the haulers were able to escape arrest, have
the charges dismissed or entered a plea agreement involving fines
substantially lower than the law allowed. With the passage of Act
191 this will no longer be the case.
a leader in pressing for passage and enforcement of the current
horse transport laws both in Pennsylvania and New York, the Equine
Protection Network, (EPN), formerly the Equine Placement Network,
heartily applauds the Governors action. The NYS Horse Councils
support of our proposed changes to this law aided in its passage.
every Monday for the past twenty years at a horse auction in New
Holland, PA at least 2 double deck trailers owned by NY killer
buyers were loaded with horses destined for slaughter in Canada
and transported illegally through New York. The EPN brought the
deplorable situation to the attention of the New York State Police
(NYSP) in 1997 and urged them to step up enforcement. The dedicated
efforts of the EPN and NYSP, led by Superintendent McMahon, resulted
in numerous guilty convictions and $8000.00 in fines.
Essex County District Attorneys Office prosecuted a landmark
case in April 1994, nicknamed the Horse Popsicle Case. David Carper,
an agent for Frank Carper and Sons, Cranbury, NJ was convicted after
trial on 110 counts and fined $11,100; this fine remains unpaid.
The Broome County District Attorneys Office has also successfully
prosecuted several cases. In April 1998 Kevin Nickerson, an agent
for Nickerson Livestock, Bainbridge, NY was convicted after trial
and paid the maximum fine of $3000. In June 1998, Arlow Kiehl, Watertown,
NY convicted in 2 separate cases paid fines totaling $2500.00. Kiehl
was later convicted again in December 2000 and December 2001.
July 22, 1998, New York Governor Pataki signed into law Senate Bill
6332 raising the fines for violating New York State's Agriculture
and Markets law, Section 359-a, the illegal transport of horses,
from $100 to $250 for a first violation and from $500 to $1000 for
a second conviction; the fines are PER horse, PER violation. Another
important change was the requirement that the courts report convictions
to the Department of Agriculture and Markets, enabling prosecutors
and law enforcement to check for prior convictions. This tracking
is important because in the January 1998 Nickerson case, the defendants
told Broome County Assistant District Attorney (ADA) Echan that
this was their first offense and they had no knowledge of the law.
However ADA Echan learned from NYSP and Essex County ADA Debra Whitson,
that Nickerson Livestock had another case pending.
Yorks new law takes effect 60 days after signing and again
puts New York at the forefront of protecting horses. The EPN asks
that you send an email thanking Governor Pataki for his support
of this legislation.
write to the Governor at: Governor George E. Pataki, State Capitol,
Albany, NY 12224
The EPN is 501(c)3 non-profit organization