CAMP HILL, Pa. – Horse farms and other equine operations will have more opportunities to prosper now that Gov. Edward Rendell has signed legislation sponsored by Sen. Mike Waugh of York County and recommended by the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau.
The legislation will limit civil liability against equine operations for injury or death in connection with equine activities.
Assuming risk. “Some horse farms have stopped offering lessons, trail rides and hosting shows because they feared one accident involving an animal could result in a lawsuit that would bankrupt their operation,” said Farm Bureau President Carl Shaffer.
The new law will provide immunity to equine operations from liability for injuries to adult patrons that may result from their customary participation in equine activities.
“There is always going to be some level of risk when anyone engages in riding or handling a horse. The legislation simply means that participants in equine activities must assume some risk,” added Shaffer.
Benefits many. Farm Bureau believes the legislation will help nurture a competitive insurance market to create greater opportunity for equine enterprises, fewer barriers for people interested in sports involving horses, and growth for Pennsylvania’s horse industry.
“The new law should open things up for equine operations to offer more services, such as trail rides. The result of the law should also mean more available and affordable liability insurance for horse farm owners,” said Pennsylvania Farm Bureau equine committee chairman, Thomas Edgreen.
Signs must be posted. The immunity from liability provided under the legislation will only apply to equine operations that post signs in at least two locations on the premises notifying patrons that they are assuming the risk of equine activities.
Pennsylvania was one of only six states in the nation that did not limit liability for equine operations.
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