Horse Transportation Requirements in New York

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Pursuant to N.Y. Agric. & Mkts Law § 359-a, there are specific requirements in New York for transporting horses.  These requirements are New York specific.  If you are interested in the requirements in your state, you should contact a local attorney.

Pursuant to section 359-a(1), “[e]very vehicle utilized for the transportation of more than six horses shall meet the following requirements”:

a.     The interiors of compartments containing horses shall be constructed of smooth materials, containing no sharp objects or protrusions which are hazardous;

b.     The floors shall be of such construction or covered with abrasive material so as to prevent horses from skidding or sliding;

c.     There shall be sufficient apertures to insure adequate ventilation;

d.     There shall be sufficient insulation or coverings to maintain an adequate temperature in the compartment containing horses;

e.     Partitions of sturdy construction shall be placed a maximum of ten feet apart in vehicles which do not have stalls;

f.     Doorways shall be of sufficient height to allow safe ingress and egress of each horse contained in the compartment;

g.     Each compartment containing horses shall be of such height so as to allow sufficient clearance above the poll and withers of each horse in the compartment;

h.     Ramps sufficient for loading and unloading horses shall be provided if the vertical distance from the floor of the compartment containing horses to the ground is greater than fifteen inches; and

i.     There shall be at least two doorways for ingress and egress, which shall not be on the same side.

Additionally, the statute requires that vehicles used for the “transportation of more than six horses over a highway shall have no more than one tier.”  See N.Y. Agric. & Mkts Law § 359-a(2).  Violating these requirements results in a criminal fine of no more than $250.  See id. at § 359-a(3)(a).  However, subsequent violations result in a misdemeanor conviction of no more than 1 year of imprisonment and/or $1K fine.  See id. at § 359-a(3)(a)   Therefore, horse breeders who have already been ticketed should be particularly vigilant.

If you have any questions whether your vehicle for transporting horses complies with this statute, you should seek guidance from a Cornell University Equine Specialist or a local attorney.  Criminal violations can have serious implications for horse producers in New York.

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