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The New York State Department of Agriculture’s Division of Animal Industry has implemented The New York State Horse Health Assurance Program (NYSHHAP) . The NYSHHAP, a voluntary certification program, is designed to promote and to teach a pro-active approach (or “an ounce of prevention” theory) to equine health, care, and welfare through the use of certain “best management practices” or standards.

The program addresses equine health and equine facility management issues.
The farm must be in 100% compliance with these basic equine management standards to be certified and once certified must pass an annual inspection to maintain their enrollment in the program.

The Standards and Certification Manual is provided free to anyone requesting a copy as well as an Addendum of Sample Guidelines which provides written protocols for implementing some of the standards.

Certification Process: The certification process involves the evaluation of each equine operation against the standards outlined in the Standards and Certification Manual. Steps to certification include the following:

  1. Request the Standards and Certification Manual from the NYSHHAP Coordinator: Contact Dr. Lyda W. Denney  at or call 315-430-2529
  2. Complete  the "Certification Self Study" form included in the manual on page 45; submit to NYSHHAP Coordinator: Dr. Lyda W. Denney, PO Box 809, Vernon, NY  13476
  3. The operation will be contacted by the NYSHHAP Coordinator to schedule a certification visit with the NYSHHAP Coordinator; the same standards are used at this visit that were evaluated in the Certification Self Study step by the operation
  4. Receive certification acknowledging the achievement at the time of the operation visit
The program differs from IEREP's Horse-Safe© program in that it addresses the health of the individual horse as well as the safety and design of the facility. Where IEREP's Horse-Safe© program only address the construction, design and safety of the facility where the horses are held and any property the horses have access to.

As Equestrian Real Estate Professionals we are focusing on the real estate and the facility not the animals housed in that facility. New York's program is a great idea as long as it remains voluntary, but as we all know; government usually seeks to force mandates once it has its foot in the door.

 The program also requires micro-chipping your horses, a practice that offers some hope for horse theft prevention. With this they also provide the farm with signage noting that animals on the premises are electronically identified.

Certified farms are required to undergo annual inspections to maintain their certification; they are listed on the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets website. While the program does include some examination of the property, it's primary focus is more on the management practices, health practices and horse care.

The program was established in 2002 and was featured in an article in Equss Magazine in 2005 (see file below); and now has certified over 75 facilities including several New York City Mounted Police Units.

It is our belief that the certification will be an asset to our certified Equestrian Real Estate Professionals in helping them market and sell equine property in the state of New York, and it will go hand in hand with our Horse-Safe© certification process.
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