Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The "vicious" horse issue

Powerhouse Museum Collection / Foter
It first sight it may simply seem bizarre, the parents of an injured by trying to have a court determine that horses are innately vicious. From their point of view, it would allow them to make the farm pay for the child's medical treatment.  Because while the speicifc horse is not known to be aggressive, if all horses are vicious he would still be negligent and allowign the child near the horse.

This situation echoes the ruling by some courts that bit bull-type dogs are innately vicious (must be assumed to be vicious regardless of their personal history).  This ruling also stems from a suit to cover the costs of medical treatment of a child.  A suit not against the owners of the dog but the landlord that allowed their owners to become his tenants.

While I am sympathetic with parents needs help dealing with a serious injury and the resulting costs, this is not the way to deal with it.  "Vicious" rulings lead to the deaths of animals, draconian rules that punish responsible and irresponsible owners alike, and cutting choildren off from animals.

marystachowiak / Foter / CC BY-SA
If horses are deemed vicious there will be no insurance for people who use them a therapy animals, recreation animals or indeed pets.  People who benefit from horses will lose those benefits, horses will be homeless and often end up euthanized or in inappropriate housing.  And if all horses were innately vicious would we not all know about it?  Wouldn't the responsibility to keep kids away from them fall at least as much on the parents as the horse owner?

When will the US system of "justice" realize that not every harm has a corresponding blame?  When will there be a system to provide healthcare based on need not ability to pay (thus requiring people to sue their way out of crippling debt)?  How many ridiculous court cases will it take for reform to come?

No comments:

Post a Comment