Here’s a niche for the eager young lawyer: equine law (or might we say “equiny” — emphasis on the ‘whinny’ ). Makes sense, of course. There’s “a law” of pretty much anything of value in our culture. Horses, though their general use preceded the death of the buggy whip by a bit, are still with us, or some of us, that is, and are bought, sold, trained, treated, and, sadly, mistreated, all events that can have legal ramifications.
I happened across Equine Law and Horsemanship Safety, A resource for horsemen, lawyers and law students, a site at the University of Vermont, which got me wondering about this specialty. So far as I can judge from a cursory look, by comparison with the resources respecting the U.S., there’s precious little on the internet about Canadian equiny. I found a couple of lawyers who advertise that they practice equine law (Karen Thompson-Harry, Willson Lewis), and a pathfinder on the Osgoode Hall Great Library site, which lists texts from America, the U.K. and Australia. (Here’s a book opportunity for the new Canadian equiny specialist.) And that’s about it.
A little work on CanLII shows that if you exclude racing and betting there are a meagre six statutes and regs in English speaking Canada that have “horse” in their titles, but an ample 440 that have “horse” within their text, ranging from Nunavut’s Herd and Fencing Act (. . . “s.11(3) No person shall own or possess a horse that has not been given the Coggins test.” . . .) through Ontario’s Livestock, Poultry and Honey Bee Protection Act (the categorizer in me is delighted by this title, though the act leads off ominously with “When dogs may be killed.”) to the Newfoundland and Labrador Personal Property Security Act (. . . “s.35(9) A perfected security interest in fowl, cattle, horses, sheep, swine or fish . . .”). So, taken together with the nearly 3,000 cases that mention “horse,” there’s no shortage of raw material for a practice or a text.
So, young greenhorn, what are you waiting for? Giddyap!