There are a lot of differences in our 2 countrys but the love of the horse I think is shared by both countrys. I think we care about them just as much as Australians. I think if the 2 horse slaughter houses where closed in Australia it would effect the market there. Land use is also an issue here. Rural areas are becoming less available here because of population expansion. The US and Australia are about the same size in land mass, but Australia has a population of around 8 million versus the US at almost 300 million. I'm not sure on the statistics in Australia but the estimated horse population in the US is 9.2 million. We have been delt a multiple blow by the influx of Premarin mares from Canada, the closing of the slaughters, the fact that our wild mustangs are captured and adopted out versus Australian brumbies being "culled" by open shoots. The US opening ethenol plants that use 31% of the corn crop and of course our mutual drought problems causeing finacial problems for horse owners.
To say that we care less for our horses is incorrect. We have the same heritage in which the horse played a very valued role.
Edit: Wow that was tough info to come by, but the horse population in Australia in 2006 was 221,042
USA horse population 2006; 9,500,000 From FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS http://faostat.fao.org/site/291/default.aspx