Predictions on Equine Welfare Realized

Four years ago, a report by the Animal Welfare Council entitled, “The Unintended Consequences of a Ban on Humane
Processing of Horses in the United States”
made predictions as to the welfare of horses under a ban on processing activites in the U.S. While animal activist groups blindly continue on their march toward ending horse processing once and for all, some groups can still see the forest for the trees.

The Animal Welfare Council has taken a look at the predictions made in their study four years ago and current data suggests that they were and continue to be correct about the declining state of equine welfare under a ban on processing.

Here are the Facts:
1. Experts said the closure of American plants would lead to an increase in abandoned and unwanted horses, putting a severe strain on the budgets of rescue facilities, sheriffs departments, and local governments.It did.  In a recent national study conducted by the Unwanted Horse Coalition, over 90% of those polled indicated the number of neglected and abused horses is increasing. It requires about $2,340 to maintain a horse for one year.  With no provisions for the care of unwanted horses, the financial burden has fallen to local taxpayers.

2. Experts said the closure of the USDA-regulated plants would lead to increased equine neglect, abuse, and malnourishment.  It did. There are many reports documenting the rise in neglect, abuse and abandonment including the report from the Colorado Department of Agriculture stating that the number of equine cruelty investigations in Colorado rose 60 percent from 2005 to 2009.

3. Experts predicted then that the closure of the plants in the United States would devastate the market for horses.  It did. Livestock market owners now put the value of all horses at 40 percent of their 2005 price.

Despite the realization of these predictions, animal rights groups continue to push for a complete ban on horse processing in the United States and also for a ban on the transportation of horses for the purposes of processing. This would close off the last avenue to put unwanted horses to a dignified use in processing plants in Canada and Mexico.

Animal rights groups owe it to the welfare and wellbeing of horses in the United States to suspend their foolish campaign to end horse processing. By continuing to allow the narrow-minded and dogmatic view of horse processing to animate their every move, they walk directly past the declining state of horse welfare due in large part to the regulation they sought to enact. Its time for equine advocates and animal rights groups to put on their ‘big boy pants’ and make the tough but necessary choice to allow horse processing to continue for the betterment of horse welfare across the country.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Rowena Park on February 16, 2010 at 4:21 am

    Due to the fact that horses are constantly reproduced there are many unwanted animals. It is not unlike the over production of dogs and cats. Where are they to go? Leaving them to starve is not humane. I wish with all my heart that humans would be more concerned with all the animals in their care. however this is not the case. Now with economics as they are, animals are not cared for. SO the putting down unwanted horses is as necessary as euthanasion of homeless dogs and cats.
    People are to blame for the fate of all these homeless animals. Take responsibility please.


  2. Posted by morganlvr on July 31, 2010 at 9:41 am

    I totally agree that a horses is the responsibility of his/her OWNER. However, this entire article is a farce because SLAUGHTER IS STILL AVAILABLE, and WE ARE SENDING AS MANY OR MORE HORSES TO SLAUGHTER AS WE EVER DID!

    Do NOT fall for this crap, people. If slaughter is the answer, why are we still having the problem? Over-breeding is the problem, and unless we take slaughter COMPLETELY off the table, the big breeders like the AQHA and the Jockey Club will continue to breed FAR more horses than they can possibly use/sell and will send the rest to slaughter – which they are doing even as I am writing this.

    Another thing which is not even mentioned here is the fact that American horses are not safe for humans to consume. Since they are not considered food animals in the US, they are not raised under the restrictions of food animals. Throughout their lives they are exposed to chemicals that ban them from the human food chain completely.

    Just a few of the substances that demand permanent banning – Bute, Ivermectin, Moxidectin, all modern past wormers, many vaccinations given to horses, fly sprays, many topicals, the list goes on and on. It is worse than irresponsible for us to continue to present these animals to slaughter when we have absolutely NO WAY of tracing what chemicals our horses have been exposed to in their lives, and we KNOW that 99.9% of US horses have been repeatedly been exposed to the substances I mentioned plus many more.

    As of today, the EU will start enforcing new traceability rules that no American horse can HONESTLY pass. Canada has a bill up to ban horse slaughter expressly because of the problem of traceability with American horses which make up 90% of the horses presented to Canada for slaughter.

    What an embarrassment to America for Canada to have to do the right thing FOR US because we won’t do it ourselves.


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