SB 262 could wipe out horse industry

The Oregon State Senate has introduced a bill (SB 262) that will severely impact the horse industry in our state. This bill has been introduced as a replacement for the Brand Inspection, but in fact creates many onerous requirements and restrictions on horse owners, breeders, trainers and traders.  It gives the State Department of Agriculture carte blanche authority to enforce these regulations as they see fit, when they see fit, at your facility or barn. All of this, of course, comes with a price tag.

The cost of registering a horse in Oregon “will not exceed $100″.  Horses must be re-registered every time there is a change of ownership. A horse must be registered if it resides in the state for more than 30 days.  All horse bills of sale must be notarized.  Fines begin at $500 and skyrocket to $1000 for a second offense.  The legislation allows the “Department” to change these fees and fines as they see fit.

There are additional provisions for inspection of facilities. There is vague language regarding facilities “meeting the minimum requirements” for the health and safety of the animals. Those requirements are not listed in the legislation and are to be determined by the “Department”.

The legislation goes on to regulate the types of vehicles that may transport horses. It then specifies hours a horse may be in a trailer (8) before a mandatory rest period, out of the trailer, of 6 hours.

There are also many sections pertaining to regulation of horse traders and rescues.

This is not a replacement for the brand inspection. This seems to be a huge money grab for the state. This was already in committee  and may very well become law (as an act).  It will have a devastating effect on the already crippled horse industry in Oregon.

“SB 262 is an abomination at best,” said Sen,.Whitsett’s office. “We have received more calls and email son this bill than all the others combined to date.” Staff said they area actively working to see that the bill does not having a hearing or dies in committee if it does have a hearing. “If passed into law, it would virtually destroy the equine industry in Oregon,” said Sen.Whitsett.

Horses were once a commodity in our country. They were a means of doing work as well as a food source. Hence, the need for a brand inspection. Horses are no longer a commodity and have become a hobby or a luxury item.  This is simply a tax on horse owners as well as another needless layer of bureaucracy. We already have laws to protect horses as well as all other animals in this State. Why do we need more? Is it for the money?

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