A hearing is set for the Connecticut Supreme Court today to consider whether horses are a naturally vicious species.
The appeal stems from a case that arose when a boy tried to pat a horse named Scuppy at a farm in Milford, Connecticut, in 2006.
The horse bit the boy on his right cheek, causing an injury.
The case went to the New Haven Superior Court. The judge sided with the owner of the horse, saying the child’s father had failed to prove the owner knew of past aggression by the horse.
However, a midlevel appellate court looked at the case, and found that the injury suffered was foreseeable and the farm owners had a duty to use reasonable care to restrain the animal to prevent injury.
That February 2012 ruling suggested Scuppy belonged to “a species naturally inclined to do mischief or be vicious”.
It is that observation that has the state’s $US221 million a year horse industry concerned. It had the potential to jeopardize insurance cover and threaten activities involving children and horses.
The court is expected to reserve its decision.