Proposed Bill Tracks Horse Sales

In South Carolina

South Carolina Radio Network
December 26, 2018 - 7:35 am
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South Carolina Senator Paul Campbell (R – Berkeley County) has proposed a bill that would track the sale of horses.

“Most people don’t realize we have a horse thief problem,” he said.

Campbell said he proposed the bill after being contacted by a volunteer for Stolen Horse International, known as NetPosse.

“There’s a bit of an epidemic on stolen horses,” he said. “It’s easy to take them from one state to the other and in some ways it’s not easy to identify them. In most cases the horses that are stolen or go missing are found but they’re sold by a thief or finder for profit.”

Campbell said people who board horses have been known to sell horses without the owner’s permission by telling the owner the horse escaped the boarding facility.

“Current law exists, which we are amending, and it would be used to determine if the horse has been stolen or reported missing as well as maintaining a sales record so rescues can see when and if a horse is sold,” Campbell said.

Campbell said 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. It would require anyone selling a horse to check with rescue and stolen organizations to determine if it was reported lost or stolen.

“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.”

“If you’re going to sell a horse you’ve got to make sure the horse is a legitimate item that can be sold and not one that is stolen or lost and somebody’s trying to sell it,” he said.

The bill will establish penalties based on the horse’s value.

“If the horse is $10,000 or more, which could be the case easily, especially if it comes out of Aiken or some place dealing with Thoroughbreds, it is a felony. Upon conviction, prison not more than 10 years and fine not more than $2,500 could be registered against you,” he said.

Campbell said the crime is the same as receiving stolen goods.

“You need to make sure that the horse you’re buying is a free and clear horse and the person you’re buying it from owns the horse,” he said. “It’s easy to steal a horse.”

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