On Tuesday, December 11, Congress passed the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (H.R.2), which is now pending President Trump’s signature to make the bill law. The bill is a revision of the Pet and Women’s Safety Act (PAWS Act), which protects pets, service animals, emotional support animals and horses of victims of stalking and domestic violence.

Previously, horses were listed as “pets” under the PAWS Act but under the new legislation, horses will be under their own category while still being included in the protected animals act. This new category removes any ambiguity related to horses that are considered livestock in other contexts. It allows horses to still be considered livestock while allowing them to also fall within the scope the PAWS Act.

Here in Maryland, state law has included horses under the “livestock” category for many years.