State Sen. Joseph J. Crisco, D-Woodbridge, talks Tuesday with 'Cheyenne' and Fiona Hynes, 12, of Woodbridge at Locket's Meadow Farm in Bethany just before the ceremonial signing of a new state law designed to help reduce insurance costs for horse owners and horse stables. Hynes testified earlier this year before the General Assembly in favor of the new law./ Contributed photo
BETHANY - State Sen. Joseph J. Crisco, D-Woodbridge, Tuesday joined horse owners and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy 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.
Crisco, Malloy and others were on hand at Locket's Meadow Farm for the re-signing of Public Act 14-54, which 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.
“I was alerted to this issue earlier this year by calls from my constituents in Bethany, many of whom own horses or board their horses at places like Locket's Meadow,” Crisco said, who co-sponsored the legislation.
“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.”
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.
“Connecticut has a large population of horse owners and handlers, and as such, I’m happy to sign this legislation so that we can ensure their operations can continue without possible negative consequences,” Malloy said.
“I am proud of Connecticut’s growing agricultural sector, and I remain committed to the growth of this industry and to the hard working farm families of Connecticut.”
This is a press release from Crisco's office.