Georgia’s Humane Care For Equine Act
This article may be cited as the “Georgia Equine Act.”
As used in this article, the term:
(1) “Bond” means a written instrument, issued or executed by a bonding,
surety, or insurance company licensed to do business in this state,
guaranteeing that the person bonded shall faithfully fulfill the terms of the contract of purchase and guarantee the payment of the purchase price of all equines purchased by him, made payable to the Commissioner for the benefit of persons sustaining loss resulting from the nonpayment of the purchase price or the failure to fulfill the terms of the contract of purchase.
(2) “Dealer” or “broker” means any person, firm, or corporation engaged in the business of buying equines of any kind for resale or in selling equines of any kind bought for the purpose of resale or in buying equines of any kind for slaughter; and every agent acting for or on behalf of any dealer or broker or livestock market operator is, for the purpose of this article, a dealer or broker; provided, however, that any persons acquiring equines for the purpose of using them as a part of their operations or for pleasure only are exempt from the definition herein applicable to dealer or broker.
(3) “Equine” includes horses, mules, asses, and any other members of the Equidae species.
(4) “Livestock market operator” means any person, firm, or corporation
engaged in the business of operating public auctions or sales of equines or of operating barns and yards for the containment of equines held for the purpose of auction or sale.
(5) “Special sale” means any sale by a dealer, broker, or livestock market
operator held at a time other than a regularly scheduled time; provided,
however, that any sale by any individual of his own entire stock of equines or part thereof on his own premises shall not be considered a special sale.
No dealer, broker, or livestock market operator shall sell, auction, transfer, or move any equines which are infected with any infectious or contagious disease or which have been placed under quarantine by the authority of the Commissioner. No dealer, broker, or livestock market operator shall sell, auction, transfer, or move any equines which are infected with or which are suspected of being infected with or which are likely to have been exposed to an infectious or contagious disease until all such equines have been inspected by a veterinarian approved by the Commissioner.
No dealer, broker, or livestock market operator shall sell, auction, transfer, or move any equines from any barn, yard, or premises unless all sanitary practices and precautions prescribed by the rules and regulations of the Commissioner have been observed in such premises, barn, or yard.
(a) No livestock market operator engaged in the sale of equines shall engage in or carry on such business without first applying for and obtaining a license from the Commissioner; no equine dealer or broker who buys or sells through a livestock market operator shall engage in or carry on such business without first applying for and obtaining a license from the Commissioner, provided that such licenses shall be permanent until canceled, suspended, revoked, or surrendered; such licenses shall be nontransferable and free of charge. Any person, firm, or corporation commencing operation of a new sales establishment for the sale of equines at auction and any dealer or broker commencing such a business shall, prior to obtaining a license, post a bond as required by this Code section. The provisions of this Code section requiring the posting of a bond shall not apply to any authorized agent of a person, firm, or corporation having posted the bond required by this Code section, when such agent is acting for and on behalf of such principal.
(b) No person shall operate a sales establishment for the sale of equines at auction unless he has then in force a bond in an amount calculated as follows:
(1) If the annual sales of the establishment are $2,600,000.00 or less, the amount of the bond shall be one fifty-second of the amount of annual sales but not less than $10,000.00;
(2) If the annual sales of the establishment are more than $2,600,000.00, the amount of the bond shall be $50,000.00 plus one fifty-second of the amount of annual sales in excess of $2,600,000.00 times a factor of 0.20; or
(3) An amount calculated under paragraph (1) or (2) of this subsection, if not a multiple of $5,000.00, shall be rounded to the nearest higher multiple of $5,000.00.
(c) No dealer or broker shall purchase equines at any sales establishment or directly from producers unless he has then in force a bond in an amount calculated as follows:
(1) Determine a number which is the number of days during the preceding year on which the dealer or broker did business;
(2) Divide the total dollar value of livestock purchased by the dealer or broker during the preceding year by the lesser of:
(A) One-half of the number determined under paragraph (1) of this
(B) One hundred thirty;
(3) Adjust the amount obtained under paragraph (2) of this subsection as
(A) If the amount obtained under paragraph (2) of this subsection is
$10,000.00 or less then the amount of the bond shall be $10,000.00;
(B) If the amount obtained under paragraph (2) of this subsection is more than $10,000.00 but not more than $75,000.00 then that amount shall be the amount of the bond; or
(C) If the amount obtained under paragraph (2) of this subsection is more than $75,000.00 then the amount of the bond shall be the sum of
$75,000.00 plus 10 percent of the amount by which the amount
obtained under paragraph (2) of this subsection exceeds $75,000.00; and
(4) An amount calculated under paragraph (3) of this subsection, if
not a multiple of $5,000.00, shall be rounded up to the nearest multiple of $5,000.00.
(d) Any equine dealer, broker, or sales establishment operator who would otherwise be required by this Code section to post a bond and who has posted a current livestock dealer’s, broker’s, or sales establishment’s bond under Chapter 6 of this title shall not be required to post any bond under this Code section if such livestock dealer’s, broker’s, or sales establishment’s bond, in addition to meeting all requirements of Chapter 6 of this title, meets the requirements of paragraph (1) of Code Section 4-4-111.
(e) In calculating amounts of bonds under this Code section, the total amount of annual sales or annual purchases for the preceding calendar year shall be used; but, if an applicant for a license does not have an annual sales history, the Commissioner shall estimate the amount of annual sales or annual purchases which will occur.
(f)(1) As used in this subsection, the term “special sale” means any sale of equines, except a regular sale at an establishment and any sale by a farmer of equines owned by the farmer, with payment made directly to the farmer.
(2) The Commissioner is authorized to prescribe rules and regulations for the operation of special sales. No person shall hold a special sale without obtaining a permit therefor from the Commissioner or his duly authorized representative, which shall be granted without charge upon submission of proof satisfactory to the Commissioner that the person applying for the permit is bonded in an amount equal to one-fourth of the anticipated proceeds of the sale; provided, however, such bond shall be not less than $10,000.00 and not more than $150,000.00 in amount.
(3) Associations holding sales of equines consigned by members of the association only shall not be required to procure a bond if the directors of the association accept full responsibility for financial obligations of sale and release the Commissioner, in writing, from any responsibility.
Every licensed dealer, broker, livestock market operator, or other person subject to this article who shall violate this article or rules and regulations established by the Commissioner pursuant to this article shall have his license revoked, canceled, or suspended, upon a notice and hearing.
The Commissioner is authorized to have inspections conducted of the equines, of any premises where equines are kept or sold, or of any licensed dealer, broker, livestock market operator, or any other individual to whom this article is applicable. Any licensed dealer, broker, livestock market operator, or any other individual subject to this article shall maintain equines in good, healthy condition.
No dealer, broker, livestock market operator, or other individual to whom this article is applicable shall hold or conduct any sale of equines, whether a regular sale or a special sale, without complying with the terms of this article and all rules and regulations promulgated under this article.
All licensed dealers, brokers, livestock market operators, or other individuals to whom this article is applicable shall furnish at all sales, including special sales, the services of a licensed, accredited veterinarian, who shall provide veterinary services necessary and consistent for animal health. Such veterinarian shall be paid reasonable fees for services rendered by the person on whose behalf such services are rendered.
The Commissioner may enact, promulgate, and enforce rules and regulations prohibiting or regulating the use of drugs, tranquilizers, or medications which he determines may conceal defects, falsely enhance the appearance of quality, or otherwise result in misrepresentation in the sale of equines. Such regulations may provide for tests to determine the presence of such drugs, tranquilizers, or medications in equines within a reasonable period prior to sale and may provide for the cost of such tests to be paid by the buyer.
The Commissioner is authorized to require any person, firm, or corporation transporting an equine into this state from any other state to furnish him with a certificate from an accredited veterinarian from the state of origin of such equine, certifying that such equine has not recently been exposed to any contagious or infectious disease, that the animal’s temperature is normal, and that the animal is free of any contagious or infectious disease.
In the control, suppression, prevention, and eradication of equine diseases, the Commissioner or any duly authorized representative acting under his authority is authorized and required to quarantine an animal, premises, or any area when he shall determine that equines in such place or places are infected with a contagious or infectious disease, that the unsanitary condition of such place or places might cause the spread of such disease, that the animal has or has been exposed to any contagious or infectious disease, or that the owner or occupant of such place or places is not observing sanitary practices prescribed under the authority of this or any other equine law of this state.
(a) Whenever it is determined by the Commissioner that a contagious or infectious disease should be eradicated, the Commissioner is authorized to take whatever steps are necessary to eradicate the disease. Owners, renters, or persons in possession of equines or premises infected with such a disease are required to disinfect the premises and to destroy the cause or causes of the contagious or infectious disease, including the destruction of those equines within the premises, under the supervision and direction of the Commissioner or his duly authorized representative.
(b) The cost of destroying the cause or causes or sources of infection of a contagious or infectious disease which is sought to be eradicated shall be borne by the owner, renter, or person in possession of the infected equines or premises; except that, when budget conditions permit, the Commissioner may participate in the cost of eradication and is authorized to expend such funds as are available.
The Commissioner is authorized, to the extent of funds available, in the eradication of any infectious or contagious disease, to indemnify the owner of equines destroyed in eradicating the disease, upon such basis and appraisal as the Commissioner may prescribe, provided that any person, firm, partnership, or corporation which shall violate any quarantine or rule or regulation under this article shall be ineligible for indemnity.
OCGA § 4-4-123: Establishment of Compounds Where Animals May be Taken to Control, Suppress, Prevent and Eradicate Equine Infectious Anemia; Research Programs
(a) Any person, firm, corporation, company, cooperative, association, or other entity is authorized to set up or establish compounds at various places in the state where animals may be taken in order to control, suppress, prevent, and eradicate the equine disease known as “equine infectious anemia” (also known as swamp fever, EIA, and slow fever). It shall be unlawful to establish or operate any such compound without a license issued by the Commissioner. The Commissioner is authorized to issue licenses and to establish, promulgate, and adopt rules, regulations, and standards governing the establishment, construction, design, maintenance, and operation of such compounds. The fee for such licenses shall be $25.00 per annum, and such licenses shall be renewable annually.
(b) The Commissioner is authorized to establish research programs for the purpose of developing a vaccine or method for the control or eradication of such equine disease in this state.
Whenever a program of eradication of a contagious or infectious disease requires funds in excess of funds available for the purpose of eradicating such disease, the Governor may transfer from any available funds in the state treasury such sum of money as may be necessary to meet such emergency; and such money so transferred shall be repaid to the fund from which transferred when money becomes available for that purpose by a legislative appropriation or otherwise.
The Commissioner is authorized to formulate, adopt, promulgate, and enforce rules and regulations for the purpose of implementing this article.
The Commissioner is authorized to seek an injunction against any person, firm, or corporation to which this article is applicable for violation of any provision of this article or any rules or regulations promulgated thereunder. The superior court of the county in which venue is proper shall have jurisdiction upon hearing and for cause shown to grant a temporary or permanent injunction restraining any person from committing such violation, notwithstanding the existence of an adequate remedy at law.
Any dealer, broker, livestock market operator, or other person subject to this article who violates any provision of this article, any quarantine provision, or any rule or regulation established by the Commissioner under the authority of this or other laws for the protection of the general public in the prevention of equine diseases shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.