Are Horses Considered Cattle

Brent Mccoy
• Wednesday, 09 December, 2020
• 10 min read

Cows and horses can both be found on many farms and ranches across the country. Their owners are either avid horse lovers, dire cattle enthusiasts or a combination of both.

horses ranch matador horse cattle el lodge hunting company
(Source: www.matadorcattlecompany.com)


One thing you may hear passionately discussed around the campfire is the never-ending cow versus horse debate. Pitting cows against horses can create passionate arguments and many ranch owners opt to just agree to disagree.

Cows and horses have several similarities and differences that make them each appealing to certain people and unappealing to others. Comparing cows and horses may not sway your mind at all about which one ranks higher in your view.

(source) You can expect a 1200-pound cow to eat approximately 24.6 pounds of average quality forage each day. This means that a horse will eat slightly more than a cow on average, but the exact totals can vary between animals.

Despite being two completely different animals, cows and horses have several similarities that are undeniable. In fact, they both need to eat forage, plant material, to keep their digestive systems working correctly.

A hoof is a keratin covering that helps protect their feet as they walk. Animals in a herd create natural social hierarchies and protect each other from predators.

horses wagonhound livestock land
(Source: www.wagonhound.com)

Both cows and horses are grazers, meaning they prefer to graze on grass if possible. In the United States, horses and cattle are considered livestock, which means they are domesticated animals owned for a purpose.

Horses are kept for riding, breeding popular bloodlines, and for farm work. Horses rip grass from the ground by grabbing it close to the roots.

Cows and horses have completely different digestive systems. Horses have hind gut digestion where fermentation occurs in the cecum as well as their large ingestion.

Cows can safely eat and digest low quality hay. Hay that gets wet can get moldy, a recipe that can be dangerous for a horse’s digestion.

(source) Cows are a member of a completely different family of animals known as Bovine. Usually, cows and horses can live together, with the occasional rift or episode.

cow horse head angus beef cattle meat cows mating livestock animals bull themselves body farm any animal strangest marianne hereford
(Source: www.mariannegutierrez.com)

More often than you would imagine, ranchers find that their horses and cows can live in harmony in the same pasture. Cows and horses both have positive aspects that may make them better in different people’s eyes.

Now that horses are no longer needed for transportation and farm work, they are often regarded as companion animals. The ASPCA also specifies “species suitable to be companion animals include dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, ferrets, birds, guinea pigs, and select other small mammals, small reptiles and fish.

The Missouri Horse Council maintains that horses are livestock and “supports the legal definition of all domesticated equines to remain as livestock and opposes the current social trend of referring to them as pets or companion animals.” This is a stance taken by many similar associations in the United States and Canada. Those who make their living as trainers, breeders, dealers and running boarding stables and schools may lose the benefit of being an agricultural endeavor if a horse were regarded solely as a companion animal.

A good deal of research into equine diseases, vaccines and husbandry is government funded. Husbandry and humane treatment laws might not apply if horses were designated companion animals.

Many states are passing limited liability laws, which protect livestock owners and livestock event organizers (like cattle and horse shows) from lawsuits from anyone who is injured by a potentially large and dangerous animal such as a (cattle) -beast or horse. Considering that most of us do regard our horses not just as companions, but family members, our ultimate goal should be the best possible care, in addition to protecting ourselves.

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(Source: www.agri-pulse.com)

Livestock is most commonly considered animals kept or raised in a farm or ranch setting and used in a commercial enterprise. The raising of livestock is an agricultural endeavor that promotes the preservation of green space and a way of life that many in today’s society desire.

Traditionally, and legally, horses have been considered livestock in the United States. Even today, horses are still kept and raised on a farm or ranch and are used in a commercial enterprise.

The United States horse industry is a major business that makes a significant contribution to the economic well-being of the entire country. Many state departments of agriculture are also providing valuable assistance to the horse industry through research and regulatory programs.

If livestock status is taken away from horses, there is a possibility of losing the already limited financial support equines receive from the USDA for research, regulation, and disaster relief. If horses are legally considered non-livestock, livestock anti-cruelty laws will no longer apply.

Many states are now passing what are commonly referred to as “limited liability laws.” One of the purposes of these state laws is to provide stable owners, equine event organizers, and trail ride organizers protection from lawsuits that may arise if an individual is injured while attending or participating in such an event. However, many of these state laws are not limited only to horses ; they encompass all livestock or farm animals.

roping steer horse cowboy cattle saddle rodeo riding team cowboys tie down sheep calf away bus each very britannica transportation
(Source: william-oakes.com)

Currently, under federal tax law, commercial horse owners and breeders are treated as farmers. The decision to send a horse to a processing facility where it will be slaughtered, like other livestock, for human consumption is a personal one that should not be mandated by law.

In most cases, county or state laws make it illegal simply to bury a horse on your property or dump the carcass in a landfill due to human health concerns. To some, the cost of disposal for horses might be so high that they are simply left to stand in a field until their death.

These facilities must comply with strict federal and state codes designed for the care of these horses. These codes govern euthanasia, as well as the methods used, and provide for the safety of the meat produced.

· Horses are omitted from the definition of livestock in the Local Coastal Program (LCP) for San Mateo County, which has left the door open for special regulations of horses in the unincorporated part of the County. · The federal government uses a “food or fiber” test to determine whether livestock qualifies for certain grants, and considers horses “agricultural” if they work on a cattle ranch or otherwise “recreational”.

However, in most federal references on waste management, Nodes, etc the horse is considered along with other commercially raised food production livestock. In support of our contention, we offer the following references and citations that classify horses as livestock.

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(Source: blogs.ifas.ufl.edu)

“Livestock means any cattle, sheep, swine, goat, or horse, mule or other equines”. (b) The term “livestock” includes cattle, sheep, swine, horses, mules, and goats.

As used in this article, the following definitions shall apply: (a) “Livestock” means any cattle, sheep, swine, goat, or any horse, mule, or other equine, whether living or dead. (b) “Meat packer” means an establishment where livestock are either slaughtered, the carcasses thereof are prepared, or meat is processed and where state or federal inspection is maintained.

Cal Business and Professional Code · Section 4825.1(d) in reference to veterinary practice: Animals raised, kept, or used for profit, and not including those species that are usually kept as pets such as companion animals, including equines1 (see end note) 1 The term “companion animal”, although used in the definition of “livestock” under Cal Bus and Prof Code 4825.1(d), was not found or otherwise defined elsewhere in the California Code. In a survey done by Multistage Associates, horses are defined similarly as Livestock in numerous other states.

Our thanks to them and Wayne State of the American Quarter horse Association for providing this helpful data. Judy Tacoma of Marinated has provided the following research that may prove useful the equestrians in the future (2001).

Upon application to the Department of Transportation, a flood control district, county, or city, and subject to any conditions imposed by it, permission may be granted to any person, or riding club to enter, traverse, and use for horseback riding, any trail, right of way, easement, river, flood control channel, or wash, owned or controlled by the state, a city, or county. An equestrian group may be granted the right to erect and maintain suitable trail markers for the convenience and guidance of horseback riders, but a structure shall not be erected on state-owned property without the approval of the State Lands Commission.

horse cow cattle cows making
(Source: www.horseillustrated.com)

An owner of any estate or any other interest in real property, whether possessor or nonpossessory, owes no duty of care to keep the premises safe for entry or use by others for any recreational purpose or to give any warning of hazardous conditions, uses of, structures, or activities on such premises to persons entering for such purpose, except as provided in this section. A “recreational purpose,” as used in this section, includes such activities as fishing, hunting, camping, water sports, hiking, spelunking, sport parachuting, riding, including animal riding, snowmobiling, and all other types of vehicular riding, rock collecting, sightseeing, picnicking, nature study, nature contacting, recreational gardening, gleaning, hang gliding, winter sports, and viewing or enjoying historical, archaeological, scenic, natural, or scientific sites.

An owner of any estate or any other interest in real property, whether possessor or nonpossessory, who gives permission to another for entry or use for the above purpose upon the premises does not thereby (a) extend any assurance that the premises are safe for such purpose, or (b) constitute the person to whom permission has been granted the legal status of an invitee or licensee to whom a duty of care is owed, or (c) assume responsibility for or incur liability for any injury to person or property caused by any act of such person to whom permission has been granted except as provided in this section. This section does not limit the liability which otherwise exists (a) for willful or malicious failure to guard or warn against a dangerous condition, use, structure or activity; or (b) (b) for injury suffered in any case where permission to enter for the above purpose was granted for a consideration other than the consideration, if any, paid to said landowner by the state, or where consideration has been received from others for the same purpose; or (c) to any persons who are expressly invited rather than merely permitted to come upon the premises by the landowner.

Nothing in this section creates a duty of care or ground of liability for injury to person or property. Livestock and the Federal Government What USDA in California uses for the definition of “agricultural” is “animals for food or fiber”.

This designation has been arrived at for the purposes of the Farm Bill for USDA cost share program). In other states horses can be slaughtered for their meat, used for both human consumption and made into pet food.

Horse products, particularly mane and tail hair, are available at tack stores and through catalogs. Because the horse is a small player on the field of food production agriculture, it has not been considered worthy of research investment through federal government grants.

horse sheep cattle
(Source: www.impactss.com.au)

Operations dealing with horses will encompass a variety of end results. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, most U.S. horse meat is exported to Europe where it is especially popular in Belgium and France.

It is also commonly consumed in Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands, but it is most popular in Belgium and France. Ancillary operations for training and boarding will also be included in this SSP segment.

Race horses, whether thoroughbreds, quarter horses, walkers, trotters, or other types, will be provided appropriate training over a period of time. These services will be priced out on a daily basis with special charges for unusual care situations as they arise.

Emphasis on the work characteristics of the horses is common with purebred considerations downplayed. Working horses would be those used in other operations for draft purposes or herding and rounding up other animals.

Riding fences in rugged terrain to determine and execute repairs would be another function of work horses. Special purpose horses would include those trained for rodeo, riding, hackney, or other such uses.

cattle horses corral horse cowboys roundup smaller shutterstock herd attached cows clip bringing cornville horseback az near april hd lot
(Source: www.shutterstock.com)

The market for these horses is not extensive but lack of record keeping might result in tracking difficulties. Race and show horses will likely be 100-percent registered purebreds with detailed tracking information available in the taxpayer's records and through the breed associations.

Seldom will a horse with an unproven lineage rise to the top of the sport. When this does occur, these animals will be highly documented to ensure profitability from future breeding activities.

Expenses related to horse breeder operations will include purchases of animals, veterinary fees to keep the animals in the best health condition, facilities for boarding, feeding, and training, fees for breeding services (either stud or artificial insemination, ) insurance coverage of the animals to compensate for losses due to injury or accident, advertising and promotion, and specialized feed materials. Events, shows and races, involving the animals will require entry fees which are deducted as current expenses.

These payments are also deducted currently even though the animal may be unable to participate for any number of reasons. Race horses have been subject to “syndication,” the partitioning of ownership among, typically, up to 40 shareholders.

See IRC section 464 for the technical definition and application of rules for farming “syndicates.” Stud services are a common source of income for owners of recognized successful animals.

cattle farm herding horse riding dartmoor
(Source: www.zarasplanet.com)

The live foal guarantee likely carries a higher stud fee due to the additional financial risk to the stallion owner. Eventual addition of saddle and bridle will prepare the foal for being mounted by the age of two years when it has achieved the majority of its growth.

Individual sales are the norm and factors related to subjective characteristics of the horse greatly affect pricing. IRC Section 1231 Transfer of an interest percentage in an animal in exchange for training or other services is considered a sale or exchange which results in the recognition of gain or loss for the fair market value of the interest transferred compared to the basis of the animal.

Section 1.1231-2(c)(1) provides that”* * *Whether a horse is held for racing purposes shall be determined in accordance with the following rules: IRC Section 61 Animals not fitting the requirements of the operation will be culled and sold.

EnviroHorse assumes no responsibility and disclaims any liability for any injury or damage resulting from the use or effect of any product or information specified in this publication.

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