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The Hoof Beat March 2007

Assembly Bill AB 576 Could Have Wide Impact on Recreational Horse Usage in State Parks

Aseembly Bill AB 576 proposed purportedly to keep a dairy farm from close proximity to a state park in Tulare County and resolve a local dispute could have state wide impact on recreational equestrian use in state parks.

AB 576 may have been proposed to prohibit a particular dairy farm, but according to Beth Palmer from Malibu Farms, the term "Animal Feeding Operation" is a federally defined term that includes horses. Everyone knows that if this bill passes it will be applied to horse facilities. No animal facility, including horses, will be able to exist within 2.5 miles of a state park.

According to Palmer, "First, a court in Sonoma County issued a ruling that horses are not agriculture. In November, the Coastal Commission used that case to argue that Malibu Valley Farms was not exempt under the agricultural exemption of the Coastal Act because horses are not agriculture. We have all personally seen how one decision affects everyone in the state and how every agency will use one small item to back up its position and move its agenda forward."

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