Over Population of Horses vs Rescue and Slaughter
By Wild for Life Foundation
Saving America's Horses Initiative
Overcoming the misinformation generated by the proponents of slaughter remains one of the most challenging problems for those in the field of equine protection. Wild for Life Foundation recently released an infographic called "Saving America's Horses' 15 Things to Know About Horse Slaughter" and the response has been overwhelmingly supportive.
This summary outline serves to substantiate item #12 of the Infographic and dispel the misinformation as represented in the glut of articles circulating the media about the over-population of horses
Each and every horse’s life counts and they should never be slaughtered. Like slaughter, rescue is NOT an answer to the surplus of horses generated by the equine industry. For every horse that is rescued from slaughter, another one is sent in its place to fulfill the demand for horsemeat in foreign countries.
Proponents of slaughter have fabricated the crisis about "unwanted" or the surplus of horses, and are using it to manipulate the public and congressional vote. The term "unwanted" was coined by proponents of slaughter as a means to cover up the truth.
The actual number of horses deemed as "surplus" can be managed if stakeholders (aka industry breeders) were to incorporate responsible breeding practices.
Moreover, the number of horses sent to slaughter each year is predicated on the market for horsemeat, NOT the so called number of "unwanted" horses. No horse must be dealt with via slaughter.
Saving America's Horses' 15 Things... Infographic #12 states that…
"There is no over-population or surplus of horses that must be dealt with via slaughter."
See “WFLF's Facts that Refute the 7 Most Common Myths about Horse Slaughter” for more information Re #12 of the SAH 15 things infographic.
Excerpt from WFLF's Facts that Refute the 7 Most Common Myths about Horse Slaughter:
The absence of horse slaughter plants in the U.S. has caused an increase in the abuse, neglect and abandonment of horses.
a. Established research indicates that there is no data to support the inflated number of horses reported as abandoned in the U.S. Countless unsubstantiated reports and articles are circulated by proponents which creates the misconception that abandonment is out of control. Moreover, investigations indicate that these fabricated articles and reports are based on inflated and artificial data.
b. It’s a crime to abandon, neglect or abuse a horse, and history clearly shows that crime rates increase during times of economic downfall. Based on the same, substantiated data directly ties the slightly increased number of abandoned horses, to bad economic conditions.
c. Horse owners that resort to abandonment of their horses are breaking the law. When questioned they say they have done so in effort to save their horses from going to slaughter.
d. The absence of horse slaughter in the U.S. has not and does not prevent horse owners from taking their horses to auction for the purpose of slaughter. Livestock auctions have continued to operate all over the country where animals, including horses are bought and sold for slaughter.
Horse slaughter is a necessary means to deal with an otherwise unmanageable surplus of “unwanted” horses.
a. The “unmanageable surplus horses” is an artificial a crisis created by the proponents to justify slaughter as “a necessary evil”.
b. Horse slaughter is not driven by a surplus of horses; rather it is driven by a foreign market for horse meat which is sold as a delicacy in foreign countries.
c. On average, less than 1% of the 9 million horses that exist in the U.S. are “surplus or unwanted”. This tiny fraction of the horse population can easily be managed and reabsorbed back into the equine community just as it has in the past. The “surplus” of horses created by the industry can simply be kept longer, sold or traded, retrained in new disciplines, donated to retirement and rescue facilities, humanely euthanized or they can provide a public service such as equine therapy.
d. When the market for horsemeat dropped from over 300,000 in the 1990s to less than 50,000 in 2003, the industry was forced to take responsibility for the surplus of horses. The country was not overrun with “unwanted” horses; rather they were reabsorbed back into the equine community.
e. Horse owners that are unable to provide continuing care for their horses can have them humanely euthanized for the cost equal to one month’s care. Humane euthanasia clinics are oftentimes available to horse owners that cannot afford to have a qualified vet administer the lethal injection.
f. Due to the economic downfall some equine rescues have been forced to close and many are struggling due to the economy. However, research indicates the actual number of new horse rescue organizations and facilities in the U.S. are on the rise and new flow through organizations are being formed to help support them.
g. Thousands of horse rescue organizations across the U.S. provide emergency care and shelter to slaughter bound horses, but for every horse that is rescued from slaughter another one takes its place in order to fill the kill-buyer quota. The passage of the protective bills that would ban the slaughter of horses in the U.S. would stop the never ending flow of slaughter bound horses into rescues and end the flow of rescue funds from going into the slaughter pipeline. This would in turn enable these rescue organizations to instead put those funds and efforts toward providing assistance to equine owners for the prevention of equine cruelty and provide for horses that need rescue from abuse.
h. The criminal element and level of corruption that exists within the horse slaughter industry is well established and contributes significantly to the lack of law enforcement that would otherwise protect equines from this predatory trade. Reputable rescue organizations are impacted when killbuyers fraudulently rescue horses for the purpose of slaughter. Many large scale seizures of abused and abandoned horses reveal the perpetrator(s) to be involved in horse slaughter.
d. Horse slaughter benefits a relatively small number of powerful stakeholders within the U.S. equine industry that stand to profit from the exploitation of irresponsible excess breeding practices.
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