Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy has introduced legislation designed to protect horse owners and the state’s associated agriculture industry by clarifying that domesticated horses are not wild animals and, as such, are not “inherently dangerous”.
The proposal, currently being considered by the state General Assembly’s Environment Committee, stems from a 2012 Appellate Court decision, which found as a practical matter that all horses were wild.
That ruling, currently being appealed to the state Supreme Court, could negatively impact thousands of horse owners and associated farmers in Connecticut, whose livelihoods may be jeopardized due to significantly larger insurance premiums or even the possibility of becoming uninsurable.
Under the governor’s legislation, the law would clarify that civil cases involving horses who cause personal injury should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
“Connecticut’s agriculture sector contributes $US3.5 billion to our economy, accounts for about 28,000 jobs in our state, and is an industry with tremendous growth potential,” Malloy said.
“This legislation will protect owners of domesticated horses from a precedent-setting state court decision that unfortunately used too large of a brush to paint an entire species of animals as wild, threatens an industry, and would treat these owners unlike any other state in the nation.”
The legislation is House Bill 5044.