The North Carolina Department of Agriculture has clarified agriculture workers to include equine workers and caretakers. Please copy both documents below and have in your car should you need to travel for this purpose during a mandatory shelter in place.
Please note: The NCHC is making every effort to keep the website updated. Additional information can also be found on Facebook.
The NCHC is receiving questions regarding the availability of equine feed and the ability of horse owners to travel to another property to feed their horses. In response to these questions, we are continually monitoring the situation and can report the following. There is specific recognition that animal care, including suppliers of feed and bedding, are considered essential on a federal level. and expected to continue operation. As the caretaker of your livestock, you are also considered essential and are expected to continue your care. To date, that same ruling applies to North Carolina. But states can make additional rules so please visit the NC Department of Agricultures website for more information on COVID-19.
The American Horse Council has a great resource page for information on the COVID-19 Pandemic. Remember that the NC Horse Council also has grant dollars available through our Equine Safety Net Grant for horse owners who may find themselves in need of assistance. The application form is on our website: https://nchorsecouncil.com/grants/
The link to the American Horse Council is below:
Equine Facilities and COVID-19
What should equine facilities do in response to social distancing and other COVID-19 recommendations. The NC Department of Agriculture has been contacted regarding this issue and we are awaiting their official comment. The NCHC is prepared to give the following information as advice only at this time. However, this could become a mandate as we move forward.
Advice to Equine Boarding facilities and Training and Breeding Facilities (and any other operation that caters to outside clients of any kind), to cease all unnecessary operations and activities, engage in horse care activities ONLY, and close your facilities to all but essential staff. If a facility has clients that engage in self-care for their horses these individuals should be allowed to come to the facility for horse care activities ONLY. Moving forward, the facility owner or manager should take control of developing a schedule in which clients are assigned a time to visit the facility to care for their horse(s). This will minimize the number of individuals at the facility at any given time. If a client has a horse on full or partial care (whose needs are being met by staff), those individuals are asked to refrain from visiting the facility. In addition, if it is possible to decrease the amount of staff at a facility in order to minimize the number of individuals coming and going, an employer is asked to do so.
(Adapted from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture)