The following will present a list of current issues being pursued by the NYSHC. In some instances, it will be a short description; in others it will have accompanying documentation. In all cases, these are items that the horse world either needs to know about or that changes are needed to support the horse industry in New York.
Inherent Risk Legislation - Ongoing Importance.
Landowner Liability - This is additional verbiage to strengthen the position of the landowner and allow trail riding on private lands. New York State Horse Park - We are working actively with the Horse Park Association in attempting to get a world class horse park for the state.
Registering/Licensing/Regulating Rescue Farms - At the present time anyone can hang out a shingle and claim to be a rescue farm. This has resulted in some being raided and prosecuted for abuse and many just up and going out of business. Something must be done to provide education, business assistance and regulation for this portion of the industry, especially with the increased emphasis on the Unwanted Horse.
The department into the 21st Century and have it address what is going on within its sphere of influence. The first item is the creation of an enforcement office within the department. The department has a whole section of the general law, but has no enforcement responsibilities. The result is that when someone in arrested on one of these laws, it is an irritation for the local authorities and is normally given short shrift. This needs to change and the department needs to know what is happening and follow through on cases.
The department needs to develop an Unwanted Horse Task Force. This will be tasked with central reporting of Unwanted Horse reports, maintenance of data bases and prosecution if required. It would also have an education requirement to educate the backyard horse owner and the owner who boards his horses.
The department needs to develop a "Dairy to Equine" support program. With the rapid demise of dairy farms due to poor dairy pricing policy, the state would do well to encourage some of the dairy farmers to investigate converting to horse boarding or breeding farms. This has been done elsewhere with excellent results.
Trailer Tolls - The council is actively attempting to have the trailer tolls for gooseneck animal trailers rolled back to those charged for the same size RV trailer.
Boarding Farm And Farrier Tax Relief - Currently boarding farms and farriers are required to collect sales taxes for their services. We have been and will continue to attempt to obtain relief from this requirement.
Creation Of An Equine Checkoff Program eation Of An Equine Checkoff Program - The council has long been a proponent of a surcharge on each bag of feed as a check off program for the equine world. The moneys collected would be used for promotion of the equine industry in the state, creation/maintenance of trails, assistance for an Unwanted Horse program and maybe - just maybe - the development of a horse park.
Creation Of An Integrated State Wide Trail System - The council supports the creation of a state wide map which shows all horseback riding trails (state, county and municipality) within the state. Then once this has been published and is in use, a strong move forward to create a totally integrated east-west and north-south trail system for long distance riding and camping.