New York’s Legislature is considering two bills concerning horse slaughter. This legislation is of interest to anyone practicing equine law. Equine law is an area of law governing horse transactions and horse-related torts, including veterinary malpractice and injuries sustained while riding.
Assembly Bill 5109-A/Senate 2163A would ban the slaughter of horses in New York. It would become a strict liability misdemeanor, with fines imposed on anyone who slaughters a horse, with separate violations for each horse slaughtered. There is a separate misdemeanor under the proposed legislation for importing, selling, or otherwise transferring a horse with the intent to slaughter it.
Next, Assembly Bill 6947/Senate Bill 6796 addresses the slaughter of thoroughbred and standardbred racehorses and racehorse breeding stock. This proposal focuses on the practices of livestock auctions.
As of June 7th, 2023, this law has been extended to horses other than racehorses, including injured and/or ill horses. This means that in New York, killing any equine for human or animal consumption is illegal. They cannot be bought, sold, or transported for slaughter.
In 2006, the US House of Representatives passed the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, which prohibited the slaughter of horses in the US for human consumption. Now, legislators need to identify horse breeds more likely to be slaughtered. Though New York seems to be taking great measures to ensure the preservation of all horses in the state, there is still the matter of being shipped to other states.
Segal McCambridge’s Equine Law practice group will continue to monitor the progress of this legislation and its impact on the equine industry.
Ilana S. Hanau is a shareholder in our New York office licensed in both New York and New Jersey. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. For further inquiry contact us at email@example.com.
Chanel “Nellie” Francis, M.S. Candidate ’23 Columbia Sports Management, assisted in the preparation of this post.