The NCHC sought clarification on Essential Businesses, specifically as it related to our Boarding and Training Facilities. This resulted in the following statement:
The North Carolina Horse Council, in consultation with the North Carolina State Veterinarian, provides the following guidance regarding equine boarding, stabling, and/or training of horses:
Included in the umbrella of animal agriculture workers/animal production operations are those facilities and individuals associated with the boarding, stabling and/or training of horses throughout North Carolina. Horses are traditionally and legally considered livestock in the United States and as such, require the active engagement of caretakers/owners to ensure their health, safety and well-being. In many circumstances, the care and oversight required of horses is more demanding than is the case for animal agriculture production livestock.
Given those requirements, equine boarding, stabling, and/or training facilities are rightly characterized as essential business activities. As an essential business, these facilities could remain operational so long as the facility implements and adheres to public health guidance that includes maintaining/practicing social distancing and limits number of individuals in the facility at any given time. Additionally, all tools, tack and equipment handled by individuals is to be adequately cleansed/disinfected and frequent hand washing must occur. Insuring compliance of the individual borders will be the responsibility of the facility owner/operator/trainer.
The offering of group riding activities for the public or other such retail businesses are not considered essential business activities and should be discontinued.
The decision to remain operational is the responsibility of each barn owner/operator/trainer.