535.01 License for the public sale of thoroughbred horses.
535.02 Minimum requirements; rules.
535.05 License fee.
535.08 Thoroughbred sales; administration of medications prior to sale; testing.
535.11 Prohibition against administration of drugs; testing; search powers of department; penalties.
535.12 Horse shows or sales; penalties for violations.
535.13 Inapplicability to horseracing.
535.16 Sale and purchase of horses; unfair or deceptive trade practices.
535.01 License for the public sale of thoroughbred horses.—All persons holding, sponsoring, or conducting a public sale at which thoroughbred horses are offered for sale shall obtain a license from the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Persons shall apply to the department for a license no less than 2 months prior to the date of sale. The request shall be in compliance with department rules and shall include the name and address of the applicant and the location, dates, and details of the public sale. The request shall be accompanied by the application and license fee as provided in s. 535.05.
History.—s. 1, ch. 65-414; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 1, 10, 11, ch. 83-13; s. 4, ch. 92-151; s. 2, ch. 93-28.
535.02 Minimum requirements; rules.—The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall establish by rule minimum requirements for financial responsibility and for sales facilities with respect to the public sale of thoroughbred horses as provided in s. 535.01.
History.—s. 2, ch. 65-414; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 10, 11, ch. 83-13; s. 5, ch. 92-151; s. 2, ch. 93-28.
535.05 License fee.—The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall assess an application and license fee of $300 for the public sale of thoroughbred horses provided in ss. 535.01 and 535.02. This fee shall be paid when a request is made for a license for the public sale of thoroughbred horses.
History.—s. 5, ch. 65-414; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 2, 10, 11, ch. 83-13; s. 6, ch. 92-151; s. 2, ch. 93-28.
535.08 Thoroughbred sales; administration of medications prior to sale; testing.—
(1) No person shall administer to any thoroughbred horse offered for licensed public sale at a thoroughbred horse sale any substance that is recognized as an injectable, oral, or topical medication within 72 hours of the start of the sale session in which the thoroughbred horse is offered for sale unless the person is a licensed veterinarian and the medication is therapeutic or necessary for the treatment or prevention of an illness or injury.
(2) The administration of any such medication must be reported to the sales organization on a form provided for this purpose by the sales organization, signed by the attending veterinarian, which shall set forth the following information:
(a) Identification of the medication, amount, and strength.
(b) The date and time of administration.
(c) Identification of the horse’s name, age, sex, and entry number.
(d) The reason for administration.
The form must be filed with the sales organization no later than 12 hours after administration or 1 hour before the start of the sales session in which the thoroughbred horse is offered for sale, whichever would require the earlier filing. The sales organization shall make all such forms available to the public, and the availability of this information shall be publicized in any applicable sales catalog.
(3)(a) The state veterinarian, or any veterinarian designated by the department, may collect a blood sample from any thoroughbred horse offered or sold at a licensed thoroughbred horse sale for the purpose of determining if the horse has been administered a substance in violation of subsection (1). Such a test shall be performed at the request of the purchaser of any thoroughbred horse sold, if the purchaser makes such a request before taking physical possession of the animal and within 24 hours of the time of sale. The purchaser shall be solely responsible for the cost of the test, and payment shall be made to the sales organization. The sales organization shall then remit the cost of these tests to the department.
(b) Any such blood sample shall be delivered for initial testing to an official laboratory approved by the department. One-half of any such blood sample shall be used for initial testing, and the remaining one-half shall be stored for possible followup testing for a period of not less than 2 weeks after receipt of the initial test results.
(c) The seller may request followup testing in response to any positive test result within 48 hours after receiving actual notice of such a result. The seller shall be solely responsible for the cost of any followup testing. Upon request of the seller, the original laboratory and an additional laboratory selected by the seller and approved by the state veterinarian shall test the stored sample.
(d) If initial testing reveals that a horse has been administered a substance in violation of subsection (1) and followup testing by both laboratories confirms this conclusion or the seller does not request such testing within the 48-hour period provided, the consignor must accept return of the horse as unsold.
(e) The department shall, by rule, establish those medications and depressants for which a tolerance may be set that, if found in the blood sample, may be construed to be forbidden substances; shall establish procedures for the collection, handling, and storage of blood samples; and shall specify the type of test to be used. Until such time that a tolerance or test is established, a zero tolerance will be enforced.
(4)(a) Any person who violates subsection (1) commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in ss. 775.082 and 775.083. For a second or subsequent offense, such person commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in ss. 775.082 and 775.083.
(b) In addition to the penalties provided in paragraph (a), any person convicted of a violation of subsection (1) shall be barred from showing, exhibiting, or offering for sale at a licensed public sale any horse in this state for a period of 2 years from the date of the conviction.
History.—s. 1, ch. 98-396.
535.11 Prohibition against administration of drugs; testing; search powers of department; penalties.—
(1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Depressant” means any medication that depresses the circulatory, respiratory, or central nervous system.
(b) “Forbidden substance” means any stimulant, depressant, tranquilizer, analgesic, local anesthetic, steroidal or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, or drug or drug metabolite that could affect the performance of a horse. The term includes any substance, regardless of how harmless or innocuous, which could interfere in detecting the presence of a stimulant, depressant, tranquilizer, analgesic, local anesthetic, steroidal or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, or drug or drug metabolite that could affect the performance of a horse.
(c) “Horse show,” “horse exhibition,” or “horse sale” means any event in which horses compete for awards, prizes, points, ribbons, or money or are made available for public sale other than through a public sale of thoroughbred horses that requires licensing under s. 535.01.
(d) “Stimulant” means any medication that stimulates the circulatory, respiratory, or central nervous system.
(e) “Trainer” means any adult who has the responsibility for the care, training, custody, or performance of a horse. Such person may be an owner, rider, agent, or coach, as well as a trainer.
(2) It is unlawful for any person to conduct any horse show or exhibition in which the person knowingly allows to be shown or exhibited a horse that has been administered any forbidden substance in violation of this section. A horse may not be entered, shown, or exhibited in any class in any horse show or exhibition, or entered, exhibited, or sold in a horse sale, if it has been administered, in any manner, any forbidden substance, in violation of this section. The full use of modern therapeutic measures for the improvement and protection of the health of the horse is permitted if those measures comply with subsection (5).
(3) In the absence of substantial evidence to the contrary, trainers are responsible for a horse’s condition and for compliance with all laws and rules concerning the showing and exhibiting of horses and the sale of horses. If any trainer is prevented from performing her or his duties, including the responsibility for the condition of the horses in her or his care, by illness or other cause, or is absent from any show or sale where horses under her or his care are entered and stabled, the trainer must immediately notify the management of the horse show or sales company and, at the same time, appoint a substitute. The substitute and the regular trainer are equally responsible for the condition of the horses. When a minor exhibitor has no trainer, a parent or guardian must assume the responsibility of trainer.
(4) Any trainer or other person who administers, attempts to administer, instructs, aids, or conspires with another to administer, or employs anyone who administers or attempts to administer, a forbidden substance to a horse, either before or during a horse show or sale, without complying with subsection (5), is subject to the penalties provided in s. 535.12.
(5) Any horse being exhibited at a horse show or entered in any sale which receives any medication that contains a forbidden substance is not eligible for competition in such show or to be sold at such sale unless the following requirements have been met and the facts requested are furnished in writing:
(a) The medication must be therapeutic and necessary for treatment of an illness or injury.
(b) The horse must be withdrawn from competition or from any sale for at least 24 hours after the medication is administered.
(c) The medication must be administered by a licensed veterinarian.
(d) A written statement setting forth the following information must be furnished:
1. Identification of the medication, and the amount, strength, and mode of administration.
2. Date and time of administration.
3. Identification of the horse’s name, age, sex, color, and entry number, if available.
4. Diagnosis and reason for administration.
The statement must be signed by the veterinarian administering the medication and must be filed with a representative of the management of the horse show or sale within 1 hour after administration, or within 1 hour after such representative returns to duty, if administration is made at a time other than during show or sale hours. The statement must be signed by such representative, who must also record the time of receipt on the statement.
(6) Any horse entered in any horse show or exhibition or entered in any horse sale is subject to examination by an approved veterinarian representing the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The veterinarian may appoint a technician to perform certain duties under her or his direction. The examination may include physical, saliva, urine, and blood tests, and, with the trainer’s consent, the administration of a drug to induce urination, or any other test or procedure, in the discretion of the veterinarian, necessary to effectuate the purposes of this section. The veterinarian may examine any or all horses in a class or in all classes in a show, or any horse entered in any class, whether in competition or not and whether or not on the show ground, or any horse withdrawn by an exhibitor within 24 hours prior to the class for which it has been entered, or any horse entered in any horse sale. Each exhibitor, trainer, and consignor must, upon request of the veterinarian, permit such test specimens as are necessary to be taken. Any person who refuses to submit a horse for examination or to cooperate with the veterinarian or her or his agents is subject to the penalties provided in s. 535.12.
(7) A representative of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services may enter the stable, tack room, automobile, van, or any other place within the enclosure of a horse show or horse sale to inspect or examine the personal effects and property of each trainer and each of her or his employees or agents. If a forbidden substance is found in any of such locations, the trainer responsible for the area in which the drug is found is subject to the penalties provided in s. 535.12. If such representative has reason to believe that bottles or containers contain a forbidden substance, the bottles or containers may be removed from the custody of any trainer or her or his employees or agents for testing. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services or its agents or any veterinarian representing the department is not liable for any actions lawfully taken in carrying out this subsection.
(8) Each horse show and sales company must set aside suitable facilities conveniently located for the veterinarian representing the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to make tests under this section.
(9) The chemical analysis of saliva, urine, or other samples taken from a horse which indicate the presence of a forbidden substance constitutes prima facie evidence that the forbidden substance has been administered to the horse. If an analysis indicates the presence of a forbidden substance, and all the requirements of subsection (5) have been fully complied with, the information contained in the statement required by paragraph (5)(d) and any other relevant evidence must be considered in determining the guilt of any person charged under this section.
(10) The owners of a horse found to have been administered a forbidden substance in violation of this section must forfeit all prize money, sweepstakes, trophies, and ribbons won at any show by the horse, and the money, sweepstakes, trophies, and ribbons must be redistributed accordingly. If, following the sale of a horse, the horse is found to have been administered a forbidden substance in violation of this section, the consignor of the horse must accept return of the horse as unsold.
History.—s. 2, ch. 71-166; s. 1, ch. 77-213; s. 220, ch. 79-400; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 3, 10, 11, ch. 83-13; ss. 1, 2, ch. 93-28; s. 740, ch. 97-103; s. 2, ch. 98-396.
535.12 Horse shows or sales; penalties for violations.—
(1) Any person who violates the provisions of subsection (2), subsection (4), subsection (6), or subsection (7) of s. 535.11 is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in ss. 775.082 and 775.083. For a second or subsequent offense, such person is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in ss. 775.082 and 775.083.
(2) In addition to the penalties provided in subsection (1), any person convicted pursuant to subsection (1) shall be barred from showing, exhibiting, or offering for sale, at a public sale, any horses in this state for a period of 2 years from the date of the conviction for the violation.
History.—s. 3A, ch. 71-166; s. 2, ch. 77-213; s. 1, ch. 78-395; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 4, 10, 11, ch. 83-13; s. 2, ch. 93-28.
535.13 Inapplicability to horseracing.—No provision contained in s. 535.11 or s. 535.12 affects in any way existing statutes governing horseracing.
History.—s. 4, ch. 71-166; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 5, 10, 11, ch. 83-13; s. 2, ch. 93-28.
535.14 Rules.—The department may make all necessary rules to carry out the provisions of ss. 535.11 and 535.12.
History.—s. 3, ch. 77-213; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 6, 10, 11, ch. 83-13; s. 2, ch. 93-28.
535.16 Sale and purchase of horses; unfair or deceptive trade practices.—
(1) The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall examine the conditions surrounding the sale and purchase of horses and shall adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to prevent unfair or deceptive trade practices. Vertical integration of services and employees, in and of itself, shall not be considered an unfair or deceptive practice. The department’s examination shall include the following: the disclosure of the legal owner and buyer of the horse and any dual agency to the buyer and seller; the disclosure of relevant medical conditions, defects, and surgeries; the conduct or alterations that could affect the performance of a horse; and the need for a written bill of sale or similar documentation.
(2) This provision shall not apply to sales resulting from claiming races at licensed pari-mutuel facilities.