Not directly relevant to the OP's original concern; but as someone who has put down horses by both methods, I can assure you that shooting is not cruel to the horse. If done correctly, it is *quicker* than lethal injection. The horse is literally dead before it hits the ground when shot; lethal injection takes several minutes, and in a couple of cases I've had the vet check vitals after a few minutes and then administer another injection to finish the job.
If we're honest with ourselves, it's us *as owners* that are traumitized by shooting, and we prefer lethal injection because it's easier on us, not the horses.
And I know I'm opening a can of worms here, but horses for slaughter is a similiarly fraught, less than rational, completly emotional issue. If the horse was euthanized in the kindest, least painful way, does it truly matter how the body is disposed of? I'm not immune to this particular irrationality; I have several beloved horses in marked graves at various farms. But I'm honest enough to know I did it for *me*, to help me deal with my grief, and that it was immaterial to the animal. Before you post in angry response to this, let me ask how you would dispose of a horse in your current situation - in my area, the vet's fee for the euthansia is $200; and the fee to have someone come with a backhoe, dig the grave and bury the horse is $200. That's if you have enough property of your own to bury the animal on! The other alternatives are 1.) the landfill or 2.) sending the horse to the hound kennel for the local hunt. Emotionally, if it's a horse I've been very attached to, I prefer euthansia and a marked grave. Intellectually, sending the horse to the kennels makes better sense but is hard to endorse for a beloved companion. The landfill's horrible from every perspective, but it's the only option available to certain suburban horse owners.
***Be very slow to criticize if you've been lucky enough not to have to make these decisions***
End of rant. Sorry.
Ohh, I totally agree with you on some points. I think that any animal should be put down if that animal is suffering, the manner to do this is not that important if it is just a short pain for him. For example when you are on trails and one of the horses is hurt in a way that he can't be cured you should end that horse's life without a second thought. If you can do this with a knife it will be just fine. I think that is something stupid to not do it because you can't bare the sight or because you think that you can't do it.
I think that some horse owners would better shoot or put down the horse when they can't take care of him than let him starve on streets. It will be better for the poor animal.
In my country shooting an animal isn't that common, they don't use this method. having a gun is not common either.
If that mare would be mine I would euthanize her without a second thought because I understand that the animal is suffering. But it's not mine, and I can't oblige someone to do this if they don't want to.
The problem of horse slaughter is another thing. If they would kill the animals in a proper way it will be ok, but they don't do this. And not just the way that they kill them bothers me but the way that they transport and treat them. But I would prefer to see someone send the horse to slaughter than let the animal starve. I saw some horses in a very bad shape, I saw horses starved and beaten and it is awful.
Ehh, that's all. The most important thing is that people are different and see those things in a different way. We can't oblige them to think in a way that we find proper. Some people think that they treat their animals just fine, and sometimes they make efforts to do this even if it's not the proper way. We can just tell them an opinion or give them some advice.