Trailer Carrying 59 Horses Involved In Crash

HorsesA tractor-trailer carrying 59 Belgian draft horses was involved in a collision with a pickup truck in Northern Illinois this past Saturday.

41 horses have survived, while eight were killed in the accident, and 10 were euthanized because of the extent of their injuries.

Many of the horses have bruised legs, swollen eyes, and other injuries. The horses have been taken to a private farm to recover.

State and federal officials are investigating the crash. The driver had been hired by the horses’ owner to drive them from Indiana to Minnesota for an auction. The horses had numbered stickers taped to their backs.

Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran said, “We don’t have any concrete evidence that they were on their way to slaughter.”

Illinois investigators also are looking into the ways the horses were transported. The trailer that the horses were found in is suited for cattle and pigs.

“We’ll be looking at whether there was any violation of the Humane Care for Animals Act,” said Mark Ernst, the Illinois state veterinarian, whose office is part of the state Department of Agriculture. “If there was animal cruelty, when we get done with our investigation we’ll provide that information to the Lake County state’s attorney.”

A memorial has been made at the scene of the accident. Flowers, horse trophies, stuffed animals, and carrots have been placed in memory of the horses that have died.

A volunteer who helped at the scene said, “We were trying to do whatever we could. We were able to see inside the trailer. Those horses were just stacked like bodies on top of each other. They were crying and kicking. . . . It’s in front of you, but you don’t believe what you’re seeing.”

Vicki Carney, who volunteered up her stables as a shelter, said the remaining horses are expected to survive and recover from their injuries.

A veterinarian who has been helping the horses added, “This is not something that’s going to be swept under the carpet.”

Source: Chicago Tribune

(Thanks Amanda)

23 Responses to “Trailer Carrying 59 Horses Involved In Crash”

  1. Nora and Rufus says:

    The beautiful Belgians might have been bound to slaughter? That is so horrifying…..Those poor horses. The “owner” and the “driver” should be throughly investigated. Possibly the investigators could uncover a HUGE death operation pipeline for the slaughter of Equines. SICKENING.

  2. Nancy G. says:

    Most were 1 to 2 years old; they couldn’t even stand or lift their heads in that trailer. I think it’s time for a horse “underground” for cases like this– spirit the horses away to farms all over the US where they’ll be safe and no one can find them and return them to the slaughter truck. What was the “owner” doing with so many young draft horses? Are they bred for slaughter, bringing in more money due to their size? This whole thing needs to be thoroughly investigated.

  3. Cathy says:

    Nancy, that sure sounds like a truck they use to take animals to slaughter. No reputable horse person would transport horses in a truck like that. How the hell do you fit 59 draft horses in one semi? I don’t think I want to know.

  4. BUC says:

    Actually the ONLY time it is illegal to haul horses in a double decker is when they are headed to a slaughter plant. Otherwise there is nothing illegal about it. Most Rodeo companies use double decker’s to haul their stock. 30 young horses on each level, nothing cramped about that. I’m glad no humans were killed in the accident.

  5. Nora and Rufus says:

    BUC! Your tone implies that you have no concern about those horses and that it is OK to haul them as they were. It is not OK and I am under the impression you might know more about these operations than the average BUC. Belgians exceed the size of any normal Rodeo stock horse even as yearlings or 2 yr olds. They were most definitely cramped and put into a perilous transport situation. Just the top heavy characteristics of the swaying Belgian load would have caused the Truck to overturn or loose control at any given change of direction on the road or attempting to change lanes. I hope someone is held responsible for this incident and pays dearly for it. Those horses did not deserve this type of abuse and death. Bless those people who helped the horses and are going to help pursue and prosecute the offenders.

  6. Jane Anderson says:

    MIGHT be on the way to slaughter? Oh please, that’s a given. I remember reading something about an Illinois breeder around the Chicago area sending his draft horses quite often to slaughter. The selling to Amish is a pretty tall story. If anybody takes the time to raise horses, with the objective of selling them for such a purpose of becoming a driving horse, then you take care of them before they get there. The last thing you would want to do is to endanger their lives by giving the ok for a double decker transport.

    With the last remaining horse slaighter plant in the US now closed (in DeKalb), horses are now put through a perilous trip to Canada or Mexico. In Mexico, the horses die in agony. The bolt used to stun them works maybe half the time.

    Now don’t get me wrong. I am glad there are no horse slaughter plants in the US. But now we have to ban horse transport out of the country for any reason. Well you could, if you pay a fee just a little over what the horse would bring per pound. I think you will see a sudden drop in horses being brought out of our country. And the fees collected can be used to create refuges for horses. Not every horse that ends up on a double decker is unwanted. There are a lot of horses that are stolen right out of their pasture. These thieves are stealing some kid’s horse. And they are heartbroken.

    I am reminded of those 6 Arabian mares from Minnesota that were sent to the Polish import, *Bask. Several men stole these exquisite animals from Lasma Arabians and sent them to a sale. The ONLY thing that saved them - the man running the sale was suspicious that horses of that quality ended up at a sale. That is the only way they were saved.

  7. janet says:

    If they were mares, maybe they were from Wyeth who makes Premarin from pregnant mares’ urine. They are confined to stalls.. with catheters attached and bred every year until they can no longer breed. Their foals are sent right to the slaughter house. Don’t ever fill a prescription for hormone replacement therapy unless it’s for bioidentical hormones if you are concerned with animal cruelty.

  8. Nora and Rufus says:

    The more I envision this accident and the circumstances, I want to puke my guts out. These gentel, beautiful, noble young Belgians being bred for and then taken to slaughther is just too horrific. I will pray to GOD that the so called owner and the driver are pursued until their skin BURNS OFF. They will incinerate in Hell, and it cannot be too soon!!!!!!!! The fond memories of the awesome Draft Horses of my youth that I marveled at and the yearly classes for show at our State Fair every summer………….And good lady Vicki Carney, if I could come and help you muck stalls and feed those big precious babies, I WOULD!

  9. Furbabies says:

    Once more I feel the need to express myself in the clearest way possible. I hate people. People who can thoughtlessly cause pain and anguish. Who harm living things and don’t even care the grief they cause. People who just don’t give a damn about anything other than themselves and the money they can make. Education isn’t helping, how about a slap upside the head? Do you think that would wake them up?

  10. Lynne says:

    I agree with all those who feel anguish and anger for the horses. Only one question: would you feel the same way if the animals had been cattle or pigs?

  11. Siameselover says:

    I am discusted and worried about our society. I understand this happens daily in the world in more ways then one; with animals and with people. If slaughter houses would have glass walls — no one would sit there and eat a 18 oz steak. We are a throw away society in more ways then one. We don’t care about our future - future generations and animals that go extinct. Eventually we will all pay for the senseless suffering we have brought onto other living species and the senseless suffering we have caused to hundreds and millions of living souls that occupy this planet.

  12. Nora and Rufus says:

    Yes, Lynn. I feel so much guilt and pain for any animals raised for food. I drive by the Slaughter Houses in my city in an area called “The South Side Bottoms” on my way home from the Gym several times a week and I feel like I am driving down “Death Row”.

  13. Jane Anderson says:

    >>>Lynne says:

    October 30th, 2007 at 2:41 pm
    I agree with all those who feel anguish and anger for the horses. Only one question: would you feel the same way if the animals had been cattle or pigs?>>>

    Yes, I do. That’s why I stopped eating pork, never ate lamb, only eat beef once in a great while. I eat chicken only from Smart Chix, as they are killed very humanely.

  14. Shelly says:

    Let’s skip all the ‘if these were cattle’ hypotheses and get to the point - these young hourses are most probably the castoff byproducts of Wyeth’s Premarin manufacturing operation. They have likely never even been handled, brushed, or talked to. They have not been socialized and were probably frightened beyond imagination by the noise and rescuers trying to help them - a huge thanks to these people for their outstanding rescue operation! The whole PMU issue is well-documented - just look on the web. The PMU mares have a terrible fate as well. Incidentally, I have been told that this was one truck of a convoy - the other trucks kept going - gee, could it be because they didnt want to get caught transporting horses to Canada for slaughter?? Ladies, please suffer your hot flashes - skip the PMU-derived drugs and spare more innocent colts and fillies the same fate. Wyeth obviously could care less about these unfortunate animals that are deemed feeder horses for the culinary pleasure of the disgusting people who eat horsemeat. We should not support Wyeth.

  15. Shelly says:

    Let’s skip all the ‘if these were cattle’ hypotheses and get to the point - these young horses are most probably the castoff byproducts of Wyeth’s Premarin hormone replacement drug manufacturing operation. They have likely never even been handled, brushed, or talked to. They have not been socialized and were probably frightened beyond imagination by the noise and rescuers trying to help them - a huge thanks to these people for their outstanding rescue operation! The whole PMU issue is well-documented - just look on the web. The PMU mares have a terrible fate as well. Incidentally, I have been told that this was one truck of a convoy - the other trucks kept going - gee, could it be because they didnt want to get caught transporting horses to Canada for slaughter?? Ladies, please suffer your hot flashes - skip the PMU-derived drugs and spare more innocent colts and fillies the same fate. Wyeth obviously could care less about these unfortunate animals that are deemed feeder horses for the culinary pleasure of the disgusting people who eat horsemeat. We should not support Wyeth.

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  18. Amanda says:

    I just revieved my rescue TB today and let me tell you, he looks gross. He is 200lbs under weight and he has NEVER been loved. Yet I took his halter off and let him go and he would not leave my side, he still trusted me to put his halter back on, he gave me a chance at cleaning him up and giving him fresh water. People like “buc” have never been around an animal who has suffered because if he had been he’d realize they are just like people, they want someone to love them and care for them. You need to realize animals such as horses where put on this planet because people like you. They where bred for whatever reason, they didnt ask to be made, but stupid people like you seem to think it is allright to let them suffer. I hope your christmas is wonderful, I hope you get all that you want, but some how I bet you wont, because deep down your a real piece of shit!

  19. marissa lawler says:

    i really feel bad for these horses. i rescued 5 belgian draft horses from slaughter. now we’re doing logging, pulling, and showing with all 5. 1 of them is a 2 tr lod foal. i really hope you guys keep helping the belgians

  20. marissa lawler says:

    i really feel bad for these horses. i rescued 5 belgian draft horses from slaughter. now we’re doing logging, pulling, and showing with all 5. 1 of them is a 2 tr lod foal [we’re not pulling him yet] i really hope you guys keep helping the belgians.

  21. Lauren says:

    Lynne-

    No, more than likely, we wouldn’t, because most cows and pigs are raised for human consumption. Horses, not so much.

  22. Jeremy says:

    There is nothing wrong with taking horses to the slaughter house as long as they are old and good for nothing! I am thinking of doing that as a summer job this year to make money for college.

  23. Scooter says:

    So what ARE all you people going to do about something that you supposedly care so much about? If you don’t like it pony up the cash and put it where your mouths are. Don’t just go out and light some candles or leave a cute little stuffed animal. I’m disgusted when I hear you whining. Shut-up or put-up.


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