Make it Illegal to Work Horses in Poor Health

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With over 500,000 horses in the state of Florida per the American Horse Council, it shows that horses are a common feature among the Sunshine State. Many people love horseback riding as a hobby while others may also work in the horse industry. The state of Florida has laws that require basic care of the horses such as not killing them, starving them, or neglecting them to a certain extent. There are many horses that are kept in poor health just above the line of neglect in which outside sources are unable to interfere.

With this petition, I am proposing that it should be illegal for horses to be worked in poor health. The term “work” stands for riding, pulling carriages or carts, or physical exercise potentially resulting in injury of the horse.

Poor health indicates malnutrition, extreme weight loss, saddle sores or wounds that would cause discomfort to the horse if worked, swelling of the legs or lameness, or any other medical condition determined by a licensed veterinarian. Although many equestrians understand some medical conditions would make a horse uncomfortable during work, there are individuals who continue to work horses with medical conditions causing them immediate harm or discomfort.

We propose:

1. Evaluation criteria being established by the state to determine poor health.

2. Cases of concern be evaluated by a licensed veterinarian and an animal control representative.

3. Penalties for animal owners that do not complete required treatment deemed necessary by a licensed veterinarian.

4. Make it illegal for animals under investigation to be moved from their location without animal control being aware of the new location.

5. Mandatory follow up on the concerned animal by a licensed veterinarian and an animal control representative to declare the animal is being cared for properly and progressing.

6. A state-wide database which shows information on all cases for animal control to have consistent information on the subjects no matter location of those involved.

Thank you for your consideration.



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