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State Law Would Prevent ‘Vicious’ Label For Horses

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Photo by WTIC's Matt Dwyer.

Photo by WTIC’s Matt Dwyer.

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is proposing legislation clarifying that domesticated horses cannot be considered vicious.

The state Appellate Court overturned a lower court ruling two years ago, saying the owner of a farm where ahorse named Scuppy bit a child demonstrated that the horse belongs to “a species naturally inclined to do mischief or be vicious.” The Connecticut Supreme Court heard an appeal in September.

Malloy said Tuesday that if the case is upheld, Connecticut’s substantial horse industry would be damaged due to significantly higher insurance premiums. Horses could even be uninsurable.

Malloy’s legislation would clarify that civil cases related to horses causing personal injury should be evaluated individually.

Doug Dubitsky, a lawyer who represents farmers and horse businesses, says no state has found horses to be inherently vicious.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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