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Connecticut House Passes Bill Declaring Horses Aren’t ‘Inherently Vicious’

File photo of horses (credit: Getty Images)

File photo of horses (credit: Getty Images)

HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Members of Connecticut’s House of Representatives want to make it clear they don’t believe horses are inherently vicious, a response to a recent state court ruling.

By a unanimous vote of 138-0, the House on Thursday passed legislation clarifying Connecticut law by saying domesticated horses are not wild animals and therefore are not inherently dangerous.

Last month, the state Supreme court upheld an Appellate Court ruling in a case involving a boy bitten in 2006 by a horse named Scuppy in Milford. The ruling said a horse belongs to “a species naturally inclined to do mischief or be vicious.”

Rep. DebraLee Hovey, R-Monroe/Netown, a horse enthusiast, said the ruling put a billion-dollar industry at risk due to increased insurance premiums and legal liabilities.

The bill now moves to the Senate.

In February, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy told WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau the 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.

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