On the 6th of March 2020 the German Horse Law Day took place for the 16th time. It took place in Braunschweig as part of the Löwen Classico event. Despite Corona, the congress was completely booked out.
For the sixteenth time, Germany’s horse lawyers met at the central German Horse Law Day. The event is aimed at lawyers who have specialized in horse law, as well as horse experts and horse veterinarians with an interest in legal issues. The participants came from all over Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Austria.
Traditionally, the program began with an evening event on the day before the congress. This year it took place in cooperation with the international tournament Löwen Classico in the Volkswagenhalle in Braunschweig. The tournament’s sports director, Franke Sloothak, guided the participants through the course and explained the individual hurdles and their history. After a look behind the scenes, the Secretary General of the German Equestrian Federation (FN), Sönke Lauterbach, presented the status of the new guidelines on the handling and use of horses under animal welfare aspects for the first time outside the association. Dr. Andreas Franzky, Chairman of the Association of Veterinarians for Animal Welfare (TVT), then gave a detailed statement on the subject.
Main topics of the congress
The congress itself was completely booked out with over two hundred participants. Due to the corona virus, the organizers had taken extensive additional precautions to protect the participants. Prof. Dr. Ansgar Staudinger (University of Bielefeld) opened the congress with the 2020 update on the national and international horse trade. The presentation showed the effects of legal changes and jurisdiction within a year on the horse trade, the liability of animal owners and veterinarians. Afterwards, the president of the OLG Celle and chairwoman of the local horse senate, Stefanie Otte, presented a series of judgements of her senate. She also pointed out that horse cases should be processed and decided more quickly. This was followed by the audience’s approving applause.
Current developments in the law governing associations and federations and their effects on them were presented by attorney Jürgen Wagner, LL.M. from Constance. A large number of current judgements highlighted the recognizably urgent need for advice for equestrian sports clubs. The main veterinary topic was the liability problem from purchase examinations of horses, which was presented by forensic expert Prof. Dr. med. vet. Hartmut Gerhards from Munich. On the basis of a large number of his cases, he impressively presented which mistakes are at the expense of the client, to what extent the need for information is not or incorrectly satisfied and what the consequences are. The development of the liability risks of riding surfaces with regard to environmental law problems as well as health and animal protection aspects were the topic of the lawyer and environmental law expert Dr. Ira Janzen. She presented the relevant legal bases and special regulations as well as current developments of legislative projects. It became clear that there are considerable uncertainties – up to the EU Commission – with regard to further developments. These concern, for example, the waste characteristics of plastics in riding surfaces as well as the avoidance and containment of micro-plastics in soils.
The 17th German Horse Law Day will take place in mid-March 2021. The event in 2020 was chaired by the lawyer Thomas Doeser in cooperation with the German Lawyers Academy Berlin.