Legislation proposed in South Carolina would require sales companies in that state to check with local and national horse-rescue organizations to make sure horses consigned to auction aren’t stolen. It also would make them keep sales records.
Stolen Horse International, Inc., also known by NetPosse, a North Carolina-based nonprofit, is advocating for the bill filed Dec. 12, 2018, by South Carolina State Sen. Paul Campbell, a Republican from Berkeley County.
“The bill amends the current law pertaining to livestock with an amendment related specifically to horses, making the law similar for both horses and cattle,” Sen. Campell said in a statement issued by Stolen Horse International. “It would require anyone selling a horse to check with rescue and stolen organizations to determine if it was reported lost or stolen.”
In the statement, officials from Stolen Horse International said one of the problems with horse theft in the United States is that it is easy to take horses from state-to-state without any proof of ownership. It sought to have legislation proposed that would ensure people are buying the horse from the person who owns it.
In addition to requiring sales companies to check with local and national rescues for every horse it consigns, the proposal also would require the companies to maintain records for five years.
The legislation reads, in part:
“A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 47-11-85 OF THE 1976 CODE, RELATING TO THE IDENTIFICATION OF ANIMALS SOLD IN THE PUBLIC LIVESTOCK MARKET OR AN EQUINE SALES FACILITY, TO PROVIDE THAT, PRIOR TO THE SALE OF A HORSE, A PERSON OPERATING AN EQUINE SALES FACILITY MUST DETERMINE WHETHER THE HORSE BEARS IDENTIFICATION, COORDINATE WITH LOCAL RESCUES TO PROVIDE INFORMATION TO THE PUBLIC ONLINE, PROVIDE A COGGINS CERTIFICATE AND BILL OF SALE AND MAKE SUCH INFORMATION AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST, CHECK WITH NATIONAL AND LOCAL HORSE RESCUE ORGANIZATIONS TO DETERMINE WHETHER THE HORSE WAS REPORTED AS MISSING, LOST, OR STOLEN, AND MAINTAIN RECORDS FOR AT LEAST FIVE YEARS; AND TO PROVIDE FOR PENALTIES.”
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