Clarifications for Equine Board and Training Facilities

PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS A GUIDANCE STATEMENT ONLY. WE MAY ISSUE OTHER CLARIFICATIONS AS WE MOVE FORWARD.

Dear Members of our Equine Community:

The information regarding our Equine Boarding and Training Facilities is not a mandate. It is for guidance only. This is a highly fluid situation and may change as we move forward.

We sought clarification from our NC State Veterinarian regarding these issues and worked together to issue this joint document only as guidance. This is information for each owner/trainer to make decisions that are best for their situation.

It does not negate any precautions that are in place to maintain an essential business. All public health recommendations apply!

If an owner/manager, for other reasons, chooses to be more restrictive, they most certainly can do that.

We encourage all owners to contact their insurance agents to make sure that they have sufficient coverage for their business, etc.

Please remember to be respectful to each other and to respect the decisions that owners/trainers make in this difficult time.

Guidance for 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 North Carolina 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.