TOTE MARINE - Stop The Inhumane Cargo Shipping of Horses to Puerto Rico

TOTE MARINE - Stop The Inhumane Cargo Shipping of Horses to Puerto Rico

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Horse Advocates of Puerto Rico started this petition to Puerto Rico Department of Agriculture Dr. Perez and

Help Us Stop the Inhumane Cargo Shipping of  Horses to Puerto Rico.

The Saltchuk Company and their subsidiary Tote Maritime Puerto Rico,  and Lagos Transport have been cruelly shipping horses to Puerto Rico on cargo ships.

These shipments are being approved by Dr. Alejandro E. Pérez Ramírez, Director Interino, Laboratorio de Diagnóstico Veterinario, from PR Department of Agriculture via an import certificate.

Why is this Inhumane?
12 horses are crammed into a 40-foot steel shipping container, that has been "modified" for horses by having windows cut out of the sides, metal hay racks welded inside, small wooden dividers installed to separate the animals, and (1) fan affixed to a small window on one end to circulate air. The horses have three feet of space and cannot turn around. The horses are in this box for more than three days.

As a comparison, when shipping horses by tractor-trailer from Kentucky to California (a straight 44-hour trip),  the horses are free to move around in 8-foot by 6-foot box stalls. Hay and water are continually available, and an attendant is present for the entire trip.

Horses shipped via cargo ship often arrive severely dehydrated, many lose 50-75 lbs during the voyage, are traumatized, sleep-deprived, with several arriving with severe respiratory infections, such as pleural pneumonia. Here is a video of a horse that developed pleural pneumonia after being sent via cargo ship

There is a more humane method to transport horses
A 2.5-hour plane flight, also operated by a Saltchuk company that specializes in equine aviation transport, is a much faster, safer, and humane method to transporting on and off the island of Puerto Rico. 

Total Carnage:  EIGHT dead horses arrive in Puerto Rico via Cargo Ship
On April 30, 2019, employees with the shipping agent Hermanos Ruiz loaded 12 Thoroughbred racehorses, ranging in age from 2 to 5, into a 40-foot steel shipping container at the Port of Jacksonville.

Upon its arrival, in San Juan Puerto Rico, 3 days later, dock workers discovered a shocking scene when they unloaded the container; 7 horses had trampled each other to death at some point during the journey. A Hermanos Ruiz employee decided to euthanize (1) severely injured horse and had all the carcasses transported to a farm and buried. Read the full story here.

How do we stop this?
1. Sign this petition and share it with everyone you know!

2. The Saltchuk group can simply decide that they will no longer ship Equines because it is unsafe and inhumane.  They already have more humane ways of shipping horses - Saltchuk also owns the air cargo plane ( that ship horses in/out of PR.  Use their ethics Hotline to let them know how you feel.

Send polite comments to:

Mike Noone
President, TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico

Eduardo Pagán
Vice President of TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico

3. Dr. Perez can simply decide NOT to issue import licenses to horses traveling via cargo ship. Make a request here:

4. The government of Puerto Rico can implement a ban on this type of shipping of horses. Contact them here (

0 have signed. Let’s get to 25,000!
At 25,000 signatures, this petition becomes one of the top signed on!