New Jersey's 8th Legislative District

Senator Dawn Marie Addiego

Senator Dawn Addiego

Addiego Measure Adding Safeguard to Horse Auctions Clears Senate

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Owners of stolen or lost horses would have the means to relocate them before their sale under a bill sponsored by Senator Dawn Marie Addiego (R-8) that passed the Senate on Thursday, June 26, 2018.

Owners of stolen or lost horses would have the means to relocate them before their sale under a bill sponsored by Sen. Dawn Marie Addiego that passed the Senate on Thursday, June 26, 2018. (SenateNJ.com)

The measure, S-455, requires a horse auctioneer or seller to determine whether the horse has an implanted microchip or has been tattooed or branded and, if so, to display the information online for at least 72 hours before the sale.

“Horses that are stolen, or lost during times like a terrible storm, or rented out by a trainer and not returned, often find their way to auctions or sales with the rightful owner never knowing of the horse’s whereabouts,” Addiego said.  “Horse rescues and owners have decried the lack of resources to locate and get these horses back, most of which are sold and sent off to slaughter.”

Hundreds of horse auctions are held each year in every state, and while some people are looking for inexpensive riding horses, the majority of horses are sold to “killer buyers” who represent or sell to horse slaughterhouses, according to The Humane Society.

Under the bill, horse auctioneers and sellers would be able to work with local rescues to photograph and post online any horses that have a microchip or brand. Records on the date and time of the posting and the date and time of when the horse was sold would have to be kept for a minimum of one year.

Any violation of the law would be subject to a civil penalty of up to $200 for the first offense and $500 for the second and each subsequent offense.

The bill is currently pending further consideration in the Assembly.

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