Ok, so with the advent of horse slaughterhouses reappearing in the United States comes the worry of horse theft, and your horse being sold for meat. I have had this discussion with my barn owner...before this came up, and was of the opinion that since my girl is grade and not exactly the equine Helen of Troy, that I wouldn't have a problem with someone getting sticky fingers with her. She argued that if an animal is well trained and good tempered it might get stolen anyway. Now that the meat industry may be back in business....there is a new fear.
So I considered microchips. Having read this forum though, they seem to have their flaws. I believe that not all of them work with the same scanners/registries, and that they can migrate.
So the second option is branding. I personally do not like the way it looks, and the idea of marring my horse makes me very unhappy...but so does the potential alternative of losing her. She is a plain sorrel draft cross...no unique markings, nothing that would scream out to anyone if I had to post milk carton ads.
1) Is branding the best thing to do to avoid your horse being permanently lost to you?
2) Can anyone get a brand? If so, how do you get a brand?
I see that there appears to be some sort of registry that you pay yearly for within PA, would you just re-register in another state if you moved?
3) Assuming 1 and 2, how do you design a brand and make it yours? *scratches head*
All of this seems like a horrible pain, but once it's over, I imagine it would make it harder to lose your horse. I prefer the microchip, but if it would be ineffective due to migration or scanner issues...I'd rather not lose my girl.