Michigan Governor Rick Snyder on Oct. 6 signed PA 87 of 2015, the Michigan Equine Liability Act, effectively protecting those hosting equine activities from law suits if an accident occurs, unless there is willful neglect. Until this Act, a riding stable, racetrack, park or horse farm owner was liable even for natural occurrences that could cause an accident, such as downed trees, a rodent hole or bee's nest. The act is retroactive to September 21, 2015, and now provides more protection for 35,000 Michigan Equine Partnership (MEP) members and equine operations in Michigan.
"Our MEP members, including Attorney Julie Fershtman, have worked diligently with State Representative Joel Johnson for this change," said MEP President Aaron Rice. "Michigan's 155,000 horses are estimated to be worth $531 million - we need to encourage outdoor activities and growth in this industry, and this Act is a step in the right direction."
Michigan horse people have $4.35 billion equine related assets, and the economy sees about $460 million in equine related expenditures annually, with approximately $150 million generated in annual income.*
"This change now brings Michigan in line with 38 other states for liability protection for equine enthusiasts," said Rice. "This support from Michigan's legislature and Governor Snyder strengthens and protects the equine industry in Michigan. People can now re-invest in their operations and enjoy horse related activities without constant worries about losing their farms because a horse steps in a ground-hog hole."
For more information on the Michigan Equine Partnership visit www.miequine.com