Horse health is in danger - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 03-09-2009, 08:50 PM Thread Starter
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Horse health is in danger

Was not sure what to title this message. However I do feel that for all horses in the US currently are under some extreme conditions that could lead to their deaths or being abused. Now please understand, I am not picking on anyone in particular or trying to single someone out. I actually do believe and pray that anyone that signs on to this message board is caring and providing good care for their horses whether it be extreme from pampered pets to providing care as far as nutritional and medical needs but no more.

Now to the point...

I have read at least several dozen articles in the past 6 months and most recently 2 in the last week about the horse industries dilemma dealing with 1). Economic hardship, 2). The industry that created horses as "little children" and the owners as parents, and 3). the elimination of the slaughter market.

*** At this point I want you to hold your tongue (or fingers) and finish reading this before posting against what I had just said. I will finish off on a good note and tie this all in together. ***

These things are creating a bigger problem for all horse owners. And I will explain each on individually and how it creates problems for horse health. Some examples will leave you hanging, but wait for the end.

1. Economic Hardship: This is one of many causes that have lead to the price of horses to fall. This has also created opportunities for liars and cheaters to sell problem or sick horses to families or individuals that have no experience. Also, with the flooded market of horses, this has caused even more problem for the horse owner that needs to sell or donate their horse because they can no longer care for this animal. With the combination of a flooded horse market and the economic times; horses are being left to defend for themselves... (Okay next topic)

2. Industry created horses as "little children" and owners as "parents":
This is a very ill thing for the horse or even livestock community. Animals are very different from a human child. An animal can and will hurt you quicker than a child will. These animals mature quicker than the child as far as advanced development... blah...blah...blah... (Another story). Horse are one animal that people kind have become more fond of and even the experience rider or handler can get seriously hurt or even killed from a 1000 - 1500 lb horse. These animals are not children, they are not even anything like a dog or cat that lives in the families home. Even though they are close as far as some personalities on some horses. This thought that has been created has made some people believe that they need to dump their entire life savings in to these animals even other options are available. For example, a lame horse that will forever be in pain is put up in a 12 X 12 stall and provided the best care. The horse lives for another 10 years, but in pain. In reality this animal's health is not good due to the amount of pain that he is forced to live with. What ever happened to natural selection? Where do we draw the line is it 1. With a vet bill that is estimated for be 2000 + 2. With an Outlaw animal that cannot be reasoned with (even when given every opportunity and taken to the best trainers in the world) or 3. When you’re loved one (human) is hurt or killed by this animal? ( Next topic)

3. Elimination of Slaughter Market...
How are horses to be culled? In some ways I am against this item and also for it the same time. When we have ranchers, breeders, and the common folk breeding horses it takes on a whole new meaning. They continue to contribute to the ailing market and economy. Now I am not saying that everyone should stop raising horses entirely. In one of the articles that I read, the rancher decided to cut back the number of mares that he is going to breed and raise foals out of. The mares that the removes from the broodmare band are put into training to become useable riding horses for another person. That is one way he is going to help reduce the number of horses that is contributed to the horse market... If these mares are usable riding horses then another person can reap the benefits of a mature, trained, and broke to ride animal... not a young animal. Again, the market continues to be flooded with broken down horses that are not usable, outlaws, and animals that are not cared for. When someone cannot cull, sell, or even give away their horse, it will end up costing the health of the horse, and others around them.

To tie this together, I will mention that there are ways that people could help to prevent the health or horses being jeopardized. I am not trying to say to lift the ban on the slaughter market. Trust me I have seen the videos and pictures of these animals being abused. However we are creating a larger problem by increasing the number of horses that are going to end up being abused in some way, either it be mentally, emotionally, physically, nutritionally, or in otherwise leading to the degrading their health and eventually their death. We also need to consider the needs of those that are around these animals. Remember the outlaw animals that are left to hurt your loved ones or the sick horse that is sold to a family that has no experience and end up costing them more money than they could afford

Good note: We need to find way to educate potential buyers and breeders. As some people do volunteer their services at the local animal shelter, why not volunteer your time or money to the horse resuce programs. Horse are beautiful and graceful animals and are apart of God's creation.

Last edited by Velvetgrace; 03-09-2009 at 08:57 PM.
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post #2 of 19 Old 03-09-2009, 09:10 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
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i believe the only solution is to reinstate legal horse slaughter, have never seen so many poor horses in my life, what are people supposed to do, heres what they do in my neck of the woods, turn them loose, so they can kill whomever slams into them on the road, let them starve, see a lot of those more than a dozen on my way to work, that i can see, i really like horses, but the bottom line is they are livestock, just like cattle, if someone years ago decided to start riding cattle instead of horses, the equasion we have today would be reversed.
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post #3 of 19 Old 03-09-2009, 09:23 PM
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People have the option of euthanizing their horses.
I don't have a problem with regulated horse slaughter,but it shouldn't happen as much as it did. I'm for the responsible breeding route. Horses are livestock, sure. However you can't ignore that people are going to be less willing to kill their navicular 35 year old horse they had since it was born than they would be to kill a cow they had since it was born. Horses have become more of a pet than livestock. Slaughter may be a solution, but it should not be the only steps being taken.
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post #4 of 19 Old 03-09-2009, 09:32 PM
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why do some people let a horse starve to death, instead of euthanizing them. are they hoping they might win the lottery and finally have enough money to buy feed, a lot of people that get into horses are in a fantasy world, they care for them and ride for a couple of months then find that it to much like real work. wish they would just get goldfish or a cat to begin with.
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post #5 of 19 Old 03-09-2009, 09:49 PM
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It costs money to euthanize, and the cost of disposal is not always included. Also, getting it disposed of may take a few days, and no one wants to see the carcass of beloved Nelly hainging around. Slaughter takes them "away" and you never see them flopping on the ground, or the remains and you can get money instead of just shelling out for a vet call or paying for a backhoe to come dig a hole if your area permits you to even bury it. THAT'S why many people don't do it. They can't deal with seeing the death, paying for it and dealing with ultimate disposal. An auction allows owners to pretend they went to nice loving homes instead.

Me? Pro-slaughter. Euthanasia is fine, too. I'm not against either method of disposal. I love horses, and I've never auctioned off any of my horses, though I know of one or two that still ended up that way(slaughtered) and it was sad, but by the time they reached that point, the only other option was euthanasia, and at least they were "recycled" instead of polluting the ground water somewhere. Death follows all life. They aren't family memebers, and even then, I'm for cremation instead of burial, personally. I just feel the land is for the living, not the dead. So it's a personal choice, but I don't think any group has the right to deny another the option of slaughter. If you don't want to slaughter your horse, don't. Simple as that. You can't control what another person wants to do with their property/animals, the exception being outright cruelty and neglect, which I'm seeing more of than when slaughter was an option. Once the horse is dead, it matters not to him what happens to his body.
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post #6 of 19 Old 03-10-2009, 09:29 AM
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Completely agree with barefoot. Putting horse down costs money, but removing carcass costs good money too in my area. So for some people it's just easier to let them go somewhere, or try to dump them to rescue and so on.

My horses ARE my pets and treated as such, but for someone (and I know some people in person) cows are the pets, for some - pigs, etc. Personally (please, don't attack me, it's just an opinion) I don't see anything horrible in other people (France...) eating horse meat. In the end we eat beef (I actually don't, but it's another story), pork, goose, and so on. I personally would NOT eat horse meat, but I can see why people do. Should be something may be not slaughter (I've seen pics and videos and was able to watch for about 10-20 secs before it made me sick), but cheap euthanasia AND removing the body for unneeded or sick horses to go. It's just over flooded and with this economy people don't care much and just either starve them or dump them to the auction.
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post #7 of 19 Old 03-10-2009, 10:02 AM
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When horses are ill or mean it is hard to know what to do. Even though horses are livestock it is hard to know that an animal that you love, and if you have horses I think most people love them, is going to die. But death is a natural part of living and the kill pen is a viable option. We've had horses that we've had to put down on the farm and some that have went to the auction. I feel it is more humain than just turning them loose to fend for themselves.
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post #8 of 19 Old 03-11-2009, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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Just simply putting down a horse (due to health related issues or something) is really not as easy as some people may think. The cost of farm calls, disposal, and cost of the drug and stretch anyone's budget thin.

In todays time, that possible $150 worth of vet bills and the added cost of disposal just causes too much trouble. To some people it is just worth it to recieve that $25 - $100 dollar check from the sale barn and call it done.

If we are not careful this continuing problem of sending horses to the rescue will eventually lead to putting down the "non useful" horses to make room for those that could be useful; as far as rideable and etc... May even lead to spaying mares and ensuring that stallions are gelded just like the they are trying to control the pet population.

However in the end it is not worth it to risk your family (children, spouse, brother or sister) to be hurt by these animals. Also is it not worth it to let these animals starved and be abused because someone cannot afford them anymore.
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post #9 of 19 Old 03-11-2009, 03:21 PM
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...There was supposed to be an extra part to that sentence.
"People have the option to euthanize horses. Too bad more people can't use it."

I don't know where it went.
I totally understand what you guys are saying though. The added cost of disposal and the vet call can be too much for an already strained family.

It may be off subject, and if it is, ignore it. But what do you think of the rescues/clinics that have been offering free Euthanasia to qualified owners? I really think it is great of these places, but not a feasible long term "solution".

Though I love my horse, I think slaughter has it's place. I just wish it could be carried out in a cleaner, less stressful way for the horse. Pipe-dream, that is.
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post #10 of 19 Old 03-11-2009, 03:31 PM
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I know in my area we have alot of ferril horses due to people just cant afford to care for them. This is unexcuseable as far as I'm concerned. I am totally for regulated slaughter houses. It is much more humane than letting a sick, old, or uncared for horse suffer.

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