"Beware of the "Business Pursuits" Exclusion" - The Greater Lansing Business Monthly, March 2013
"What Mare Owners Should Look for in a Typical Horse-Breeding Contracts." - America's Horse Daily, September 14, 2012
Should Exculpatory Agreements Relieve Liabilities Founded on an Equine Activity Liability Act? American Bar Association - TIPS Animal Law Committee Newsletter, Fall 2012
"Crop and Livestock Insurance Law from the Ground Up" - January 25, 2012
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We applaud the American Horse Council (www.horsecouncil.org) for its national marketing initiative for the horse industry. The AHC joined together ten national associations and large corporate industry stakeholders to make this happen. We await its marketing plan, which will propose ways to help people become more interested in horses and equine activities, either as participants or spectators.
Did you know Julie Fershtman has spoken at the American Horse Council Annual Meeting, Equine Affaire, Midwest Horse Fair, Equitana USA, US Dressage Federation Annual Meeting, North American Riding for the Handicapped (now PATH International) Annual Meeting, American Morgan Horse Association Annual Meeting, American Paint Horse Association Annual Meeting, US Pony Clubs, Inc.'s Annual Meeting, All-American Quarter Horse Congress, American Youth Horse Council Annual Meeting, American Riding Instructors Association Annual Meeting, CHA Annual Meeting, and numerous others? Consider signing her up for your convention. Contact Julie.
On October 1, 2012, a new Michigan law went into affect that has implications for certain people or businesses who engage in selling or transporting horses and livestock in Michigan. The law, HB 5784, was designed to control the spread of infectious diseases of livestock and animals in Michigan. It now requires those engaged in the buying, receiving, selling, transporting, exchanging negotiating or who solicit sale, resale, exchange, or transportation of livestock to be licensed bonded by the Michigan Department of Agriculture.
The new law states in Section 2:
“A dealer, broker, agent, or livestock trucker shall not engage in or carry on the business of buying, receiving, selling, exchanging, transporting, negotiating, or soliciting the sale, resale, exchange, transportation, or transfer of any animals within the state unless the person is licensed as provided in this act. A dealer, broker, agent, or livestock trucker is responsible for acts performed or contracts made by any person employed by the dealer, broker, agent, or livestock trucker in buying, receiving, selling, exchanging, transporting, negotiating, or soliciting the sale, resale, exchange, transportation, or transfer of livestock.”
Don’t seek licensure unnecessarily. Read and understand the law first. A brief summary follows.
The law defines “animals” or “livestock” to include “horses, ponies, mules, cattle, and others.” It defines a “dealer” or “broker” as “a person that, as a principal or agent, engages in the business of buying, receiving, selling, exchanging, buying for slaughter, negotiating, or soliciting sale, resale, exchange, transportation, or transfer of animals.” It exempts persons who are “permanently discontinuing the business of farming, breeding, or feeding animals.” It also exempts “a person that sells livestock that have been raised on the premises of the person.” Those who buy or receive animals for breeding, grazing, and feeding as well as the sale and disposal after a feeding and grazing period of not less than 21 days are also exempt.
Among the exemptions are occasional consignment sales that are sponsored and conducted by a breed association, 4-H, or FFA group, county fair or youth fair.
The law specifically provides that a “buying station” “does not include a livestock auction.” It also provides that a “livestock trucker” does not include a person who hauls livestock “on an occasional basis for persons participating in a livestock exhibition, fair, trail ride, youth livestock event, or similar activity.” Exemptions also include “hauling livestock on an incidental basis in connection with another business, such as a veterinary practice or a stable operation, which is operated by that person and which does not ordinarily involve the sale of livestock” as well as “[h]auling livestock for another person fewer than 6 times within the preceding 12 months.”
Contact the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Permits can be purchased through the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. The new law provides that annual, non-refundable fees range from $25 for a “livestock trucker” to $400 for a “livestock auction operator.” Licenses become effective October 1 of each year and expire on September 30.
The law imposes several requirements for livestock “auctions, collection points, or buying stations” such as pen and building construction, flooring, manure storage, auction rings, docks, pens, and scales. The law also has provisions affecting watering of animals and flooring.
Noncompliance with the law could involve steep penalties. The law provides for a total limit of fines of up to $25,000.
To learn more about the new law, visit the Michigan legislature’s web page.
Further information on the new law can be found here.
Julie Fershtman is considered to be one of the nation's leading attorneys in the field of equine law. A frequent author and speaker on legal issues, she has written over 200 published articles, three books, and has lectured at seminars, conventions, and conferences in 28 states on issues involving law, liability, risk management, and insurance. For more information, please also visit www.fershtmanlaw.com and www.equinelaw.net, and www.equinelaw.info.View All Posts by Author ›