Connecticut Supreme Court to decide if horses are a 'naturally vicious species'
The Connecticut Supreme Court will decide whether horses in the state should be classified as a " naturally vicious species", in a court case that dates back to 2006.
Timothy Astriab, owner of Glendale Farms, will speak in court today after one of his horses bit a toddler on the cheek seven years ago.
In February 2012, an Appellate Court ruled that the horse in question, Scuppy, belonged to a species "naturally inclined to mischief or be vicious".
Horse owners and farmers are now mobilizing as the state Supreme Court hears the appeal in the case today.
Such a classification would make owning horses uninsurable and jeopardize the state's sizable horse industry, farmers and horse owners say.
The one year old child was taken to the farm by his parents, who held their son up to the fence where the animals were grazing.
Mr Astriab has suggested that the family could have tried to feed the animal some grass, when a sign that states "do not feed or pet the horses" was visible.
According to court papers, when the child tried to pet the horse it stuck it's head out from behind the fence and bit the child on the cheek, "removing a large chunk of it".
Although he had no knowledge of Scuppy biting anyone before, Astriab testified that Scuppy was no different than other horses that would bite if a finger was put in front of him.
“Significantly, Astriab acknowledged his concern that if someone made contact with Scuppy, whether to pet or feed him, they could get bit,” the justices said.
Farmers and horse owners are arguing if the state Supreme Court does not over-turn the ruling that horses are a "naturally vicious species" this new classification would make horses uninsurable, leaving the horse industry in jeopardy. The industry already contributes $221m (£138m) a year to the state's economy.
"We would be the only state in the nation that would define horses as vicious," Astriab argued.
The Connecticut Farm Bureau and Connecticut Horse Council filed a friend of the court brief, arguing that under common law, viciousness is judged individually, not as an entire species.
Fred Mastele, the acting president of the state's horse council, said they did not believe horse are vicious animals. "They are certainly not attack animals", he added.
If allowed to stand, Connecticut would be the first US state to consider horses as inherently dangerous.
Additional reporting by agencies
- 1 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 2 Watch: Man takes selfie every mile of 2,600 mile hike, creates amazing timelapse video
- 3 The day I starred in Only Fools and Horses
- 4 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 5 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
Germanwings captain Patrick Sondenheimer tried to break into locked cockpit door 'with an axe' as plane was descending
Saudi Arabia says it won't rule out building nuclear weapons
The battle for the Middle East's future begins in Yemen as Saudi Arabia jumps into the abyss
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
#FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
Germanwings plane crash: Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz wanted to 'do something people would remember him for'
Andreas Lubitz: Knee-jerk reaction to 9/11 enabled mass murder
£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...
£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...
£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...