Lawmakers sign law to protect horse owners


HARTFORD — State Sen. Joe Crisco (D-17) joined horse owners and Gov. Dannel Malloy last week for the ceremonial signing of a new state law that will protect horse owners and equestrian businesses from paying significantly higher insurance premiums for owning or boarding horses and other, related animals.

Public Act 14-54 requires that in any civil action brought against the owner or keeper of any horse, pony, donkey or mule to recover damages for any alleged personal injury, the animal shall not be found to belong to a species that possesses a naturally mischievous or “vicious” propensity. The bill passed the General Assembly in early May on a unanimous and bipartisan vote.

“From a personal perspective, insurance coverage for these animals would have become unaffordable if they were automatically deemed to be vicious in nature. And from an economic standpoint, horse farms, stables and training centers, which contribute quite a lot to Connecticut’s economy, could have been put out of business. So I think this new law gives everyone a little peace of mind,” Crsico said in a press release.

The new state law was passed in reaction to a state Supreme Court ruling earlier this year which found that an owner of a domesticated animal has a duty, under a two-part test, to use reasonable care to restrain the animal so as to prevent it from doing injury, according to the release.