Houghtaling & Murphy Bill to Allow Equine Farm Workers to Live in Facilities with Horses Under Certain Conditions Goes to Governor

(TRENTON) – Stable managers on farms often work from before dawn until well into the evening, including on weekends and holidays. To meet the demands of their work, stable managers often live close to the farm.

Full-time equine workers on commercial farms would be allowed to live in the same building in which horses are housed or boarded, so long as they live on a separate floor or addition of the building, under legislation which received final legislative approval on Monday, passing the full Assembly 73-1.  The bill passed the Senate in July 39-0, and now goes to the Governor’s desk.

The measure (A-2768) would provide that the separate area where a worker lives must have a ventilation system separate from the ventilation system where the horses are kept. Only full-time employees who care for and ensure the safety of horses would be permitted to live in the same building; seasonal and migrant workers would not be eligible for this housing.

Sponsors of the bill, Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling (D-Monmouth) and Assemblywoman Carol Murphy (D-Burlington) released the following joint statement:

“Equine work doesn’t take a day off. Horses require a tremendous amount of care, and stable managers must also be available for appointments with horse owners, trainers, farriers and veterinarians any time of day or night. This type of work requires equine workers to live close to the stables to effectively perform their job. The goal of this legislation is allow stable managers to reside as close as possible to the horses they care for, while also prioritizing the workers’ health and safety.”