Horses: Related Statutes
|Statute by category||Citation||Summary|
|TN - Equine Activity Liability - Chapter 20. Equine Activities--Liability||T. C. A. § 44-20-101 to 105||This act stipulates that an equine sponsor or equine professional, or any other person, including corporations and partnerships, are immune from liability for the death or injury of a participant, which resulted from the inherent risks of equine activities. However, there are exceptions to this rule: a person, corporation, or partnership will be held liable for injuries of an equine activity participant if he or she displays a willful and wanton or intentional disregard for the safety of the participant and if he or she fails to make reasonable and prudent efforts in ensuring the safety of the participant. In addition, a person will be held liable for the injury of an equine activity participant if he or she is injured on the land or at a facility due to a dangerous latent condition of which was known to the equine sponsor, professional or other person.|
|The Equine Identification (England) Regulations 2018||The Equine Identification (England) Regulations 2018||Owners have two years to ensure all equines born before 30th June 2009 are chipped. Some wild and semi-wild equids are exempt. Non-compliant owners risk being fined.|
|UT - Equine Activity Liability - Part 2. Limitations on Liability for Equine and Livestock Activities||U.C.A. 1953 § 78B-4-201 - 203||This Utah section states that it is presumed that participants in equine or livestock activities are aware of and understand that there are inherent risks associated with these activities. Thus, an equine activity sponsor, equine professional, livestock activity sponsor, or livestock professional is not liable for an injury to or the death of a participant due to the inherent risks associated with these activities. The section also requires an equine professional to give notice to participants of the limitation of liability, either by the posting of a sign or by the execution of a written release.|
|MO - Equine Activity Liability - 537.325. Definitions--liability for equine or livestock||V. A. M. S. 537.325||This Missouri statute provides that an equine activity sponsor, an equine professional or any other person shall not be liable for an injury to or the death of a participant resulting from the inherent risks of equine activities and no participant shall make maintain an action against an equine operator. Statutory definitions are provided, including "participant," "inherent risk," and who is considered an "equine sponsor" or "equine professional." The term "engages in an equine activity" does not include being a spectator at an equine activity, except in cases where the spectator places him or herself in an unauthorized area. The statute also requires the visible displaying of warning signs that alert participants to the limitation of liability by law.|
|TX - Horse - Sale of Horsemeat (Chapter 149. Sale of Horsemeat for Human Consumption)||V. T. C. A., Agriculture Code § 149.001 - 007||These statutes prohibit the sale of horsemeat, the possession of horsemeat with the intent to sell, and the knowing transfer of horsemeat to a person who intends to sell it for human consumption. Horsemeat is defined as the flesh of an animal of the genus equus. Prima facie evidence of an offense is prescribed by these statues and includes, for example, the presence of horsemeat in a restaurant or cafe. The penalty for an offense may be a fine of up to a $1,000, confinement for not less than 30 days and not more than two years, or both a fine and confinement.|
|TX - Equine Activity Liability - Chapter 87. Liability Arising from Equine Activities or Livestock Shows.||V. T. C. A., Civil Practice & Remedies Code § 87.001 - 005||This Texas section provides that any person, including an equine activity sponsor, equine professional, livestock show participant, or livestock show sponsor, is not liable for property damage or damages arising from the personal injury or death of a participant in an equine activity or livestock show if the property damage, injury, or death results from the dangers or conditions that are an inherent risk of an equine activity or the showing of an animal on a competitive basis in a livestock show. The statute also requires the visible displaying of "clearly readable" warning signs that alert participants to the limitation of liability by law.|
|VA - Equine - Chapter 62. Equine Activity Liability/Chapter 63. Ox Activity Liability||Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6200 - 6302||This Virginia section provides that an equine activity sponsor, an equine professional, or any other person shall not be liable for an injury to or death of a participant resulting from the intrinsic dangers of equine activities. Liability is not limited where the equine professional intentionally injures the participant, commits an act or omission that constitutes negligence for the safety of the participant, or knowingly provides faulty equipment or tack that causes injury. The statute seems to imply that a waiver should be executed when a participant engages in equine activities to adequately insulate the equine professional.|
|TX - Racing - Art. 179e, Texas Racing Act||Vernon's Ann. Texas Civ. St. Art. 179e||This Texas Act was enacted for the purpose of strictly regulating horse racing, greyhound racing, and pari-mutuel wagering. The Act created the Texas Racing Commission which is charged with regulating and supervising every race meeting that involves wagering on the result of greyhound or horse racing. The commission must adopt rules for conducting greyhound or horse racing as well as rules for administering the Act. A person is required to apply for a license from the commission in order to conduct a greyhound or horse race where wagering is to take place. A person is also not allowed to participate in racing involving pari-mutuel wagering unless they obtain a license form the commission.|
|WY - Livestock - Chapter 30. Offenses Concerning Livestock and Other Animals.||W. S. 1977 § 11-30-101 to 115||This Wyoming chapter of laws covers such offenses from misbranding livestock to a prohibition on the desertion and abandonment of sheep. Specific horse offenses are detailed, such as taking possession of any horse or mule found running at large on the open range with the intent of working or riding it, and the use of horses by a stable keeper without consent of the owner. The chapter also makes it a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $750 and/or imprisonment for up to 6 months for willfully or maliciously killing a wild horse.|
|WY - Horses - § 11-30-115. Unlawful killing of wild horses||W. S. 1977 § 11-30-115||This Wyoming statute provides that it is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $750 with possible imprisonment of up to six months to maliciously kill a "wild horse" (one that is unbranded and unclaimed and lives on state or public land). This was signed into law in March of 2001.|
|WI - Racing - Chapter 562. Regulation of Racing and on-Track Pari-Mutuel Wagering||W. S. A. 562.001 - 13||Wisconsin's department of administration is responsible for issuing licenses for occupations of participants in horse racing and dog racing. In order to own and operate a racetrack where pari-mutuel wagering is conducted a license must be obtained. Before a license is obtained, a public hearing must be held and the city in which the racetrack is to operate must adopt the resolution. The Department is required to appoint an administrator that has experience in gaming management and knowledge of animal racing and pari-mutuel wagering. Greyhounds are required to be registered with the National Greyhound Association of Abilene, Kansas in order to enter into a race. This statute also prohibits the use of live lure or bait in the training of race dogs. A dog may not be entered into a race if it was trained with live bait.|
|WI - Equine Activity Liability - 895.481. Civil liability exemption; equine activities||W. S. A. 895.481||Under this Wisconsin statute, a person is immune from civil liability for acts or omissions related to his or her participation in equine activities if a person participating in the equine activity is injured or killed as the result of an inherent risk of equine activities. Notably, the statute provides that a person whose only involvement in an equine activity is as a spectator shall not be considered to be participating in the equine activity. The statute also requires the visible displaying of warning signs or bold print in a written waiver that alerts participants to the limitation of liability by law.|
|WV - Racing - Article 23. Horse and Dog Racing||W. Va. Code, § 19-23-9 - § 19-23-30||This Act requires a license from the West Virginia Racing Commission in order to conduct horse or dog racing. Anyone who participates or has anything to do with dog racing or horse racing at a licensed track, such as employees and horse/dog owners, must have a permit from the commission. This Act allows for the West Virginia Racing Commission to continue its existence as a public corporation. The Commission has full jurisdiction over and must supervise all horse and dog race meetings and all persons involved in the holding or conducting of horse and dog race meetings. Each county that already permits horse racing must vote and approve dog racing in order for the Commission to issue a license for a racing facility.|
|WV - Equine Activity Liability - Article 4. Equestrian Activities Responsibility Act.||W. Va. Code, § 20-4-1 to 7||This West Virginia section expressly recognizes the value of equestrian activities to the state. Thus, in order to limit liability to those who provide equine services, the duties of both the horsemen who provide such services and the participants who engage in such activities are stated. Each participant in an equestrian activity expressly assumes the risk of and legal responsibility for any injury, loss or damage to person or property which results from participation in an equestrian activity. Horsemen are required to ensure the safety of the participants and the equipment provided.|
|WV - Humane Slaughter - Article 2E. Humane Slaughter of Livestock.||W. Va. Code, §§ 19-2E-1 to 7||The West Virginia humane slaughter provisions apply to livestock, defined as cattle, swine, sheep or goats. Humane methods of slaughtering livestock include those where the animal is rendered insensible to pain by a single blow, gunshot or by electrical, chemical or other means, or by slaughtering in accordance with the ritual requirements of the Jewish faith or any other religious faith that prescribes a method of slaughter by the simultaneous and instantaneous severance of the carotid arteries. The section provides a graduating scheme of penalties for violation; a first offense results in a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $100 - $500; a second offense results in a misdemeanor with a fine of $500 - 1,000 and suspension of the license to do business as a slaughtering establishment until the facility is in compliance.|
|WV - Horse Slaughter - Article 2B. Inspection of Meat and Poultry.||W. Va. Code, §§ 19-2B-1 to 12||The stated purpose of this article is to provide for the inspection, labeling and disposition of animals, poultry, carcasses, meat products and poultry products which are to be sold or offered for sale through commercial outlets for human consumption, the licensing of commercial slaughterers, custom slaughterers and processors, and the inspection of slaughterhouses and processing plants located in the state of West Virginia. With regard to horse slaughter, the article makes it unlawful to add kangaroo meat, horse meat, mule meat or other equine meat to any animal meat, meat product or poultry product to be sold or offered for sale through commercial outlets or distributors for human consumption.|
|WY - Equine Activity Liability - Chapter 1. General Provisions as to Civil Actions||W.S.1977 § 1-1-122 to 123||The Wyoming equine liability provisions immunize equine professionals by declaring that those who engage in equine activities or any recreational activities assume the inherent risks in the sport or recreational opportunity. However, actions based upon negligence of the provider wherein the damage, injury or death is not the result of an inherent risk of the sport or recreational opportunity shall be preserved pursuant to W.S. 1-1-109.|
|WI - Horsemeat - 97.45. Labeling of horsemeat||W.S.A. 97.45 (97.45. Repealed by 2015 Act 243, § 59, eff. March 3, 2016)||[97.45. Repealed by 2015 Act 243, § 59, eff. March 3, 2016]. This former statute states that no person shall sell any horsemeat, unless it is conspicuously labeled, marked, branded or tagged “horsemeat.” Violation is a Class H felony.|
|CA - Burro - § 4600. Killing or capturing undomesticated burro; prima facie evidence||West's Ann. Cal. Fish & G. Code § 4600||
This section makes it unlawful to kill, wound, capture, or have in possession any undomesticated burro. An undomesticated burro is a wild burro or a burro which has not been tamed or domesticated for a period of three years after its capture.
|CA - Humane Slaughter - Chapter 6. Slaughter||West's Ann. Cal. Food & Agric. Code § 19501 - 19503||
This California section constitutes the humane slaughter provisions for cattle, calves, horses, mules, sheep, swine, goats, fallow deer, and poultry. The law provides that the animal shall be rendered insensible to pain by a captive bolt, gunshot, electrical or chemical means, or any other means that is rapid and effective before being cut, shackled, hoisted, thrown, or cast, with the exception of poultry which may be shackled. Note that despite the section covering poultry, it does not apply to the slaughter of spent hens and small game birds, as defined by the department by regulation.
|CA - Rodeos - § 596.7. Rodeos; veterinarians present at performances; violation of section||West's Ann. Cal. Penal Code § 596.7||
This statute regulating rodeos requires that animals involved have access to veterinary care and mandates treatment of injured rodeo animals. This statute forbids the use of an electric prod once an animal is in the holding chute, unless necessary to protect participants or spectators. Violations of this section are infractions punishable by a fine.
|CA - Abandonment - § 597.2. Equines; abandoned or relinquished; auction and adoption programs||West's Ann. Cal. Penal Code § 597.2||This California statute sets forth the requirements for the sale of equines at a private or public auction and that the minimum price must be above the animal's slaughter price. It also provides that a sale to an individual who buys an equine under the personal use provision shall submit a written statement declaring that the person is adopting the equine for personal use and not for purposes of resale, resale for slaughter, or holding or transporting the equine for slaughter.|
|CA - Horse Tripping - Poling or tripping a horse; offenses; exceptions||West's Ann. Cal. Penal Code § 597g||
This section makes it a misdemeanor to pole or trip a horse for entertainment or sport. Poling is a method of training a horse to jump by forcing, persuading, or enticing a horse to lift its legs higher over a jump by hitting its front legs with a pole, rope, stick, etc. Tripping a horse is using a wire, pole, stick, rope, etc. to cause a horse to fall or lose its balance.
|CA - Horse tack - § 597k. Bristle bur, tack bur, etc.; use on animals||West's Ann. Cal. Penal Code § 597k||
This section makes it a misdemeanor to use a bristle bur, tack bur, or similar device, to be used on a horse or any other animal. A violation is punishable with imprisonment and/or imprisonment.
|CA - Docking - § 597n. Docked horses; prohibition of docking; importation or use of unregistered animals||West's Ann. Cal. Penal Code § 597n||
This law was amended in 2009 to prohibit the docking or cutting of the solid part of any horse or cattle. Violation of the law constitutes a misdemeanor. The new law does provide an exclusion for the docking of any cattle's tail in an emergency for the purpose of saving the cattle's life or relieving the cattle's pain provided that the emergency treatment is performed consistent with the Veterinary Medicine Practice Act.
|CA - Horse slaughter - § 597o. Humane transportation of equine to slaughter; vehicle requirements;||West's Ann. Cal. Penal Code § 597o||
This statute outlines the requirements for transporting equine to slaughter, including, but limited to, proper ventilation, sufficient space for equine to stand, and the use of ramps and floors with nonskid surfaces.
|CA - Horse docking - § 597p. Docked horses; registration; time; fee; certificate||West's Ann. Cal. Penal Code § 597p||
This statute requires every owner, or user of any docked horse, within the State of California, to register his or her docked horse.
|CA - Horse docking - § 597q. Docked horses; unregistered; prima facie evidence||West's Ann. Cal. Penal Code § 597q||
This statute provides that driving, working, keeping, racing or using any unregistered docked horse 60 days after the passage of this act is prima facie evidence of the fact that the party engaged in such activity docked the tail of such horse.
|CA - Horses docking - § 597r. Docked horses; exception of imported stock; registration||West's Ann. Cal. Penal Code § 597r||
This statute makes it a misdemeanor to violate any of the horse docking provisions, but creates an exception from the provisions of Sections 597n, 597p, and 597q, to persons owning or possessing any docked purebred stallions and mares imported from foreign countries for breeding or exhibition purposes only.
|CA - Horse transportation - § 597x. Disabled equine; sale or transport for commercial slaughter; misdemeanor||West's Ann. Cal. Penal Code § 597x||
This statute makes it a misdemeanor to sell, load, or transport, any live equine that is disabled, if it is intended to be sold, loaded, or transported for commercial slaughter out of the state.
|CA - Horse slaughter - § 598c. Horse slaughter for human consumption||West's Ann. Cal. Penal Code § 598c||
This statute makes it unlawful to possess, to import into or export from the state, or to sell, buy, give away, hold, or accept any equine with the intent of killing it for the purpose of human consumption. Violations could result in a felony conviction with a prison sentence of up to three years.
|CA - Horse slaughter - § 598d. Sale of horsemeat for human consumption||West's Ann. Cal. Penal Code § 598d||
This statute prohibits the sale of horsemeat for human consumption. No restaurant, cafe, or other public eating place may offer horsemeat for sale for human consumption. A first time violation is a misdemeanor.
|CA - Euthanasia - § 599e. Killing unfit animals after notice by officer;||West's Ann. Cal. Penal Code § 599e||This statute requires an owner of an animal deemed to be unfit for employment to kill the animal within 12 hours, after being notified by any peace officer, or be subject to criminal penalties.|
|CA - Slaughter - § 599f. Nonambulatory animals; slaughter houses, stockyards, auctions, market agencies, or dealers; transaction||West's Ann. Cal. Penal Code § 599f||
As used in this section, "nonambulatory" means unable to stand and walk without assistance. This statute prohibits a slaughterhouse that is not inspected by the United States Department of Agriculture, stockyard, or auction shall buy, sell, or receive a nonambulatory animal. Effective July 2008, the law also states that no slaughterhouse shall sell meat from non-ambulatory animals for human consumption. The penalty was also increased from an unspecified misdemeanor to a penalty of up to one year in jail or a fine of up to $20,000 or both.
|CA - Service Animal - § 600. Horses or dogs used by peace officers or volunteers;||West's Ann. Cal. Penal Code § 600||
This statute makes it an offense to willfully, maliciously and with no legal justification harm, injure, obstruct, or interfere with a horse or dog under the supervision of law enforcement in the discharge of official duties or a volunteer under the direct supervision of a peace officer. Violations are punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment. Punishment depends on the seriousness of the injury to the animal. Upon conviction, a defendant must also pay restitution for damages.
|CA - Horse - § 21759. Caution in passing animals||West's Ann. Cal. Vehicle Code § 21759||This California law provides that the driver of any vehicle that approaches a horse drawn vehicle, any ridden animal, or livestock must exercise proper control of his vehicle and shall reduce speed or stop as may appear necessary to avoid frightening the animal and to insure safety of the person in charge of the animal.|
|FL - Equine Activity Liability Statute- Chapter 773. Equine Activities.||West's F. S. A. § 773.01 - 773.06||
This Florida statute provides that an equine activity sponsor, an equine professional, or any other person shall not be liable for an injury to or the death of a participant resulting from the inherent risks of equine activities. Liability will not be limited by statute, however, where the equine professional or sponsor knew the tack or equipment was faulty, failed to make reasonable and prudent efforts to determine the ability of the participant to engage safely in the equine activity, owns or is otherwise in lawful possession of the land or facilities where the injury is attributable to a known dangerous latent condition, commits an act or omission that constitutes willful or wanton disregard for the safety of the participant, or intentionally injures the participant. Posting of warning signs alerting participants to the limitation of liability by law is also required.
|FL - Horse Slaughter - Chapter 828. Animals: Cruelty; Sales; Animal Enterprise Protection.||West's F. S. A. § 828.125||
Florida Governor Charlie Crist signed this amendment into law on May 17, 2010 making it a second-degree felony for any person to willfully and unlawfully, by any means whatsoever, kill, maim, mutilate, or cause great bodily harm or permanent breeding disability to any animal of the genus Equus (horse). Any person who commits a violation of this subsection shall be sentenced to a minimum mandatory fine of $3,500 and a minimum mandatory period of incarceration of 1 year.
|WA - Equine Activity Liability - Chapter 4.24. Special Rights of Action and Special Immunities.||West's RCWA 4.24.530 - 540||This Washington section provides that an equine activity sponsor or an equine professional shall not be liable for an injury to or the death of a participant engaged in an equine activity, nor may he or she maintain an action against or recover from an equine activity sponsor or an equine professional for an injury to or the death while engaged in an equine activity. Liability is not limited by this statute where the equine professional knowingly provided faulty tack or equipment, failed to make reasonable and prudent efforts to determine the ability of the participant to engage safely in the equine activity, owns or otherwise is in lawful possession of the land or facilities upon which the participant sustained injuries because of a known, dangerous latent condition, or if he or she commits an act or omission that constitutes willful or wanton disregard for the safety of the participant or intentionally injures the participant.|