HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is proposing legislation clarifying that domesticated horses cannot be considered vicious.
The state Appellate Court overturned a lower court ruling two years ago, saying the owner of a farm where a horse named Scuppy bit a child on the ear in 2006 demonstrated that the horse belongs to “a species naturally inclined to do mischief or be vicious.” The Connecticut Supreme Court heard an appeal in September.
Malloy told WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau his bill would mandate that civil cases involving horses causing personal injury be decided on a case-by-case basis.
“This might, under other circumstances, be a matter that a governor would not get involved in, but the reality is that there are so many folks who own horses and an industry built around horses in our state that I felt it incumbent on me to act,” Malloy said.
“I felt that it had a better chance if I got behind the legislation, if I proposed it myself, and that’s why I took the steps of doing it,” the governor added.
Malloy said he is concerned that if the court ruling is upheld Connecticut’s substantial horse industry would be damaged due to significantly higher insurance premiums. Horses could even be uninsurable.
Doug Dubitsky, a lawyer who represents farmers and horse businesses, said no other state has found horses to be inherently vicious.
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