January 7, 2021
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Home is where the horse is— at least that’s the case in New Jersey after Gov. Phil Murphy signed Assemblyman Ron Dancer’s bill permitting full-time, year-round farm employees to reside on premises where horses are boarded.
“Groomers, trainers and other full-time farm employees often need extended access to the horses they care for,” said Dancer (R-Ocean). “Permitting them to live on the premises will allow them to fully perform their duties and take better care of these animals.”
The legislation (A2768/S1245) amends the Right to Farm Act to allow housing for equine-related farm employees as long as it is in a separate area or level from the horses, has its own ventilation system and meets all uniform construction code standards, including fire ratings. The Right to Farm Act protects responsible commercial farms from public and private nuisance actions and unduly restrictive municipal regulations.
“Taking care of a horse is one of the most demanding and worthwhile jobs one could do,” said Dancer. “The horse industry is important to New Jersey’s economy, providing over 13,000 jobs, as well as to our environment with more than 7,200 horse farms providing 176,000 acres of green pasture land and open space.”
New Jersey has more horses per capita than any other state in the nation. Horses are so important to the state’s economy, history and culture that they are designated the state animal.