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Proposed California Legislation AB 233 would authorize local jurisdictions to adopt rules to
"Require the rider of a horse to collect and dispose of any waste deposited by a horse
on a street, sidewalk, or other public property
Santa Cruz County Horsemen's Association is OPPOSED to this proposed legislation.
If you would like to voice your opinion on this matter, a template letter has been developed for your use,
see below.  Your comments may be submitted directly to members of the committee that is currently considering this bill. Click here to use the California Legislature Position Portal to submit your opinion;
you will need to set up an "account" by providing your email address.

Additionally, it is advised that our local state representatives Gail Pellerin (Santa Clara/Santa Cruz)
and Robert Rivas (Hollister/Salinas) hear our opinions. You may click on the name of your
representative to access their "contact me" pages.

AB233 Letter Template

I am writing today to oppose AB 233. This proposed legislation would allow local jurisdictions to require horse riders to collect and dispose of horse manure deposited on public lands.

I am opposed for the following reasons:

Environmental benefits. Horse manure is beneficial. Grass-based manure is nutrient-rich, decomposes in about two weeks and blows away. While decomposing, it is a source of nutrition for insects and wildlife. It benefits the soil with rich organic matter.

No harm. Unlike waste from predator animals, such as dogs, horse manure does not carry harmful pathogens. Wildlife is known to move their nests and dens when a predator poops nearby. This is not the case with horses, which are prey animals.

Hardship. Many trail riders are between the ages of 50 and 75. A vast majority of us require assistance to mount, either a mounting block, stump, or step up. This is not available on trails. Most of us could not remount on the trail.

Dangerous. It would be dangerous for a rider to carry a shovel and manure bag. A shovel could enter certainly get caught on a tree or branch, hitting the horse making it bolt or spook. A manure bag could easily weigh more than 10 pounds at the end of a trail ride. This would be too cumbersome and dangerous to carry.

Unnecessary. Riders already collect and dispose of manure in parking lots and staging areas. We also kick manure from paved areas to the soil on the edge. Parking lots accommodating horses already have signs directing us how to dispose of the manure.

Again, I am opposed to AB 233. I hope that Assemblymember Wilson can be educated on the differences between manure from a prey animal and a predator animal. This legislation would make trail riding difficult, dangerous, and remove the benefits provided to the environment.

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