Connecticut court to decide whether horses are 'vicious'

A file photo of wild horses fighting in Sabucedo, Spain in July 2011 Connecticut could become the first state in the US to classify horses as a "vicious" species

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A US court is to hear a case that could result in horses being classified as a "vicious" species.

A boy's parents sued a farm owner in the state of Connecticut after he was bitten by a horse named Scuppy in 2006.

A lower court said Scuppy belonged "to a species naturally inclined to do mischief and be vicious". The state supreme court will now hear an appeal.

If upheld, the lower court's ruling could make horse ownership uninsurable, say equine industry figures.

The legal action began in 2006 after a boy tried to pet Scuppy at Glendale Farms in Milford.

The animal reportedly bit the child on his right cheek, inflicting a serious injury.

The boy's father, Anthony Vendrella, sued the farm's owners, but lost in 2010 at a New Haven court.

That court ruled there was no evidence the farm's owner knew of any previous incidents of aggression involving Scuppy.

But a Connecticut Appellate Court later overturned this ruling, finding that testimony suggested Scuppy's species was "vicious" and that the boy's injury had been foreseeable.

If upheld by the state's supreme court, the ruling would be the first in the nation to classify horses as a vicious species, say analysts.

Horse farmers say that could make it difficult to pair horses with children, and damage a $221m (£138m) a year industry.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 55.

    oh i hope the this court has some sense in it, it is a shame though there is not a victim's fund we could pass some recompense to the child while preserving the owner's right.

    because that is what is going on- people see the child -wish to compensate and that means branding the horse vicious- people think - well just an animal- and now this- a whole species

  • rate this

    Comment number 54.

    More likely the appellate court is a vicious animal that requires solitary confinement or culling.

    Kids and adults get bit by... fact anything they annoy!

    Are all those critters next on the list to ban from interacting with 'civilized' human company!

  • rate this

    Comment number 53.

    I think it is important to distinguish between liability, which applies in any accident, and wrong doing. Accidents happen that are for example caused by sand on the highway. The sand doesn't remove liability from the driver who runs into another car, but it does mean that a ticket for a moving violation will not likely be written. The horse owner is financially liable, but not guilty.

  • rate this

    Comment number 52.

    I do not consider horses to be vicious, however individual animals in any species may be vicious, although I doubt that was the case in this particular case. To see that I am right requires looking no further than at mankind, which has an abundance of vicious individuals but is not vicious as the species homo sapiens.

  • rate this

    Comment number 51.

    So 5Elements comment that calls this news Item “Drivel” has been referred for Consideration!!!

    Who decided to wipe this comment from the comments list - the editor (who could be described as any thing but)?

    This item is pap it is nothing more than filler and is NOT in any way news worthy.

    BBC get your act together and use the money we pay you to produce decent factual reportage.


Comments 5 of 55


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