HORSES NEED STRONGER LAWS PROTECTING THEM FROM ABUSE AND NEGLECT
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New York has no laws protecting horses from abusive and neglectful living conditions as they are considered 'livestock'. In Brooklyn, Kensington Stables houses 32 horses poorly kept in pitch black stalls, some too small for them to even turn around or lay down in. We documented that only 2-3 horses leave the barn for outdoor light or exercise on a daily basis (not including the trail rides on weekends). Many of the horses sway their heads neurotically from side to side (a sign of distress) or injure themselves by kicking at their stalls. Some of the horses wear shin bandages, and some have layers of dust on their backs from being left in the dark neglected, never seeing daylight or being let out of their confined dark stalls for any exercise.
NY State law states in Article 26 of the Agriculture and Markets Law relating to Cruelty to Animals: 373: "...Any such police officer or agent or officer may also lawfully take possession of any animal...which for more than twelve successive hours has been confined or kept in a crowded or unhealthy condition or in unhealthful or unsanitary surroundings or not properly cared for..."
PLEASE ADD A MINIMUM STANDARDS FOR HORSES LAW STATING A MINIMUM STALL SIZE FOR HORSES THAT ALLOWS FOR THEM TO TURN AROUND AND LAY DOWN FLAT ON THEIR SIDES WITH THEIR LEGS FULLY EXTENDED, MANDATORY EXPOSURE TO SUNLIGHT, AND DAILY EXERCISE.
Do not allow horses to legally be kept in dark small windowless stalls without ever seeing daylight or being able to lay down or stretch their legs.
Minimum Standards Of Care For Horses were outlined in 2014 by the Center for Equine Health, School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California, listed here:
These address Minimum Standards for Horse Care including legal requirements for:
Shelter and space -
“Every person who keeps an animal confined in an enclosed area shall provide it with an adequate exercise area.” [California Penal Code Section 597(t)]
“Any enclosure where an equine is primarily kept shall be sufficient size to enable the equine to comfortably stand up, turn around, and lie down, and shall be kept free of excessive urine and waste matter.” [California Health and Safety Code 25988; Standards for Horses for Hire]
"Recommended floor space requirements for a horse are based on 2.5 times the height of the horse (at the withers) squared, which allows minimum essential movements in lying down and standing up. Horses require lateral recumbency (laying flat on its side) for Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, essential for proper brain function. Mares with foals require a larger area.
"Newly emerging veterinary research indicates that what was previously considered by the equine industry as adequate space for confined horses may, in fact, not be sufficient for optimum health and welfare.
"Horses confined in stalls with minimal space should receive at least 30 minutes of free time (turnout) or 15 minutes of controlled exercise per day (e.g., hand walking, lungeing, riding…)"
Health Care -
“Every owner, driver, or keeper of any animal who permit the animal to be in any… enclosure… without proper care and attention is guilty of a misdemeanor.” [California Penal Code, Section 597.1(a)]
RESOURCES used to compile these standards:
American Association of Equine Practitioners
American Horse Council
American Veterinary Medical Association
Animal Legal Defense Fund
American Journal of Veterinary Research
Applied Animal Ethology
California Department of Food and Agriculture
California State Laws, CCRs and Statutes
California Veterinary Medical Association
Center for Equine Health
Cooperative Extension, University of Delaware
Federation of Animal Science Societies
Humane Farm Animal Care Policy Manual
Horse Facilities Handbook
Institute for Animal Law
International Veterinary Forensic Sciences Association
Journal of Equine Veterinary Science
Journal of Thermal Biology
Large Animal Rescue Company
Merck, M.D. Veterinary Forensics, Animal Cruelty Investigations
Nutrient Requirement of Horses
State Humane Association of California
United Nations Farm Animal Welfare
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Thank you for your consideration and action on the behalf of suffering animals.
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