9 CFR 88.4 - Requirements for transport.
(a) Prior to the commercial transportation of equines for slaughter, the owner/shipper must:
(1) For a period of not less than 6 consecutive hours immediately prior to the equines being loaded on the conveyance, provide each equine appropriate food (i.e., hay, grass, or other food that would allow an equine in transit to maintain well-being), potable water, and the opportunity to rest;
(2) Apply a USDA backtag 2 to each equine in the shipment;
2 USDA backtags are available at recognized slaughtering establishments and specifically approved stockyards and from State representatives and APHIS representatives. A list of recognized slaughtering establishments and specifically approved stockyards may be obtained as indicated in § 78.1 of this chapter. The terms “State representative” and “APHIS representative” are defined in § 78.1 of this chapter.
(3) Complete and sign an owner-shipper certificate for each equine being transported. The owner-shipper certificate for each equine must accompany the equine throughout transit to slaughter and must include the following information, which must be typed or legibly completed in ink:
(i) The owner/shipper's name, address, and telephone number;
(ii) The receiver's (destination) name, address, and telephone number;
(iii) The name of the auction/market, if applicable;
(iv) A description of the conveyance, including the license plate number;
(v) A description of the equine's physical characteristics, including such information as sex, breed, coloring, distinguishing markings, permanent brands, tattoos, and electronic devices that could be used to identify the equine;
(vi) The number of the USDA backtag applied to the equine in accordance with paragraph (a)(2) of this section;
(vii) A statement of fitness to travel at the time of loading, which will indicate that the equine is able to bear weight on all four limbs, able to walk unassisted, not blind in both eyes, older than 6 months of age, and not likely to give birth during the trip;
(viii) A description of any preexisting injuries or other unusual condition of the equine, such as a wound or blindness in one eye, that may cause the equine to have special handling needs;
(ix) The date, time, and place the equine was loaded on the conveyance; and
(x) A statement that the equine was provided access to food, water, and rest prior to transport in accordance with paragraph (a)(1) of this section; and
(4) Load the equines on the conveyance so that:
(i) Each equine has enough floor space to ensure that no equine is crowded in a way likely to cause injury or discomfort; and
(ii) Each stallion and any aggressive equines are completely segregated so that no stallion or aggressive equine can come into contact with any other equine on the conveyance.
(b) During commercial transportation of equines for slaughter, the owner/shipper must:
(1) Drive in a manner to avoid causing injury to the equines;
(2) Observe the equines as frequently as circumstances allow, but not less than once every 6 hours, to check the physical condition of the equines and ensure that all requirements of this part are being followed. The owner/shipper must obtain veterinary assistance as soon as possible from an equine veterinarian for any equines in obvious physical distress. Equines that become nonambulatory en route must be euthanized by an equine veterinarian. If an equine dies en route, the owner/shipper must contact the nearest APHIS office as soon as possible and allow an APHIS veterinarian to examine the equine. If an APHIS veterinarian is not available, the owner/shipper must contact an equine veterinarian;
(3) Offload from the conveyance any equine that has been on the conveyance for 28 consecutive hours and provide the equine appropriate food, potable water, and the opportunity to rest for at least 6 consecutive hours; and
(4) If offloading is required en route to the slaughtering facility, the owner/shipper must prepare another owner-shipper certificate as required by paragraph (a)(2) of this section and record the date, time, and location where the offloading occurred. In this situation, both owner-shipper certificates would need to accompany the equines for slaughter.
(c) Handling of all equines for slaughter shall be done as expeditiously and carefully as possible in a manner that does not cause unnecessary discomfort, stress, physical harm, or trauma. Electric prods may not be used on equines for slaughter for any purpose, including loading or offloading on the conveyance, except when human safety is threatened.
(d) At any point during the commercial transportation of equines for slaughter, a USDA representative may examine the equines, inspect the conveyance, or review the owner-shipper certificates required by paragraph (a)(3) of this section.
(e) At any time during the commercial transportation of equines for slaughter, a USDA representative may direct the owner/shipper to take appropriate actions to alleviate the suffering of any equine. If deemed necessary by the USDA representative, such actions could include securing the services of an equine veterinarian to treat an equine, including performing euthanasia if necessary.
(f) The individual or other entity who signs the owner-shipper certificate must maintain a copy of the owner-shipper certificate for 1 year following the date of signature.