Kentucky Horse Council
1500 Bull Lea Rd. Suite 214 C
Lexington, KY 40511
859.367.0509
FAX 866.618.3837


Locating Kentucky Laws That Apply to Horses

Citizens of Kentucky are protected by laws stemming from the US Constitution, Kentucky Constitution, and Kentucky Revised Statutes.   New and revised Kentucky laws are enacted when Kentucky lawmakers create or revise a Kentucky Revised Statute.  Therefore, most Kentucky laws can be located in the Kentucky Revised Statutes (KRS). 
 
For example the Farm Animal Liability Law is KRS 247.402 (http://www.lrc.ky.gov/KRS/247-00/402.PDF) & KRS 247.4027 (http://www.lrc.ky.gov/KRS/247-00/4027.PDF).  
 
Citizens of the Commonwealth often find it difficult to identify laws appropriate and applicable for horse owners.  This is especially challenging because equine and animals laws appear throughout a range or KRS chapters.  The reason the laws are spread among such a variety of chapters follows the timeframe and context under which the revised statutes were written.
 
The Commonwealth of Kentucky maintains a website (www.kentucky.gov) and all Kentucky laws including the Kentucky Constitution and Kentucky Revised Statutes can be found from that site.  
 
Information specific to searching Revised Statutes and how Revised Statutes are developed is available at http://www.lrc.ky.gov/Statrev/frontpg.htm. 
 
When looking for Kentucky laws, you may search Kentucky Revised Statutes by Chapter number (if known) or keyword. 
Visit http://www.lrc.ky.gov/krs/titles.htm to search by Chapter.  When searching by chapter you will need to scroll down to find the appropriate chapter as the chapters are listed numerically.
 
Visit http://www.lrc.ky.gov/search.htm to search by keyword or phrase.  When searching by keyword or phrase it is helpful to keep the keyword simple.  For example if you’d like to find information on laws pertaining to owners’ responsibility to keep horses contained on their property, you might try a keyword search for “fence”.   It is helpful to search several difference times using a variety of keywords that may have similar meaning i.e. fence, surround, contain,  hold, etc. 
 
When reading the statutes, it is important to understand the difference between the words shall and may.  "Shall" is translated to mean "must".  May is loosely translated to mean "could".