I have had several put down with a bullet, over the years. Fast, done at home, and they never knew what hit them. And, they can be safe fertilizer then.
And there we go…in your perfect world there would be no surplus horses, because of responsible breeding. In mine I recognize that a horse isn’t a pet, and sometimes there is no home for them, and I would have the old fashioned meat man come around, shoot them in the yard, and haul the carcass away to be used however.
Both options are equally unlikely I fear, but wish we could work on both ends of the issue.
In my world, every horse would wind up in an appropriate, quality home. I make room for the idea that some simply have issues that make them less useful for, say, and amateur owner. That’s what euthanasia, or keeping a pasture pet can be for. But, I do not make room for any horse entering the slaughter pipeline.
That is a pie in the sky attitude, and not a very realistic one at that.
Humane slaughter facilities can be built. Experts, who specialize in the design of such plants, exist. Put their knowledge to use.
@ASB_Stars I have just noticed that this in in the racing section, are you talking specifically about the racing industry here? My apologies if I have taken it to be a wider discussion of all horses.
Whichever, let’s think about it, what happens when you reduce supply? Prices rise, and they are already pretty strong. So some people will be priced out of the market.
If you want everyone to dispose of their own ‘end of line’ horse the. I guess they are going to have to buy some form of insurance to enable them to cover the cost of euthanasia and disposal, a real issue in some places. Insurance companies want to make money, so I guess that that’s another expense that will be hiked.
So we will have a smaller pool of horses owned by a smaller pool of people who can afford it? Not sure that this is ever going to fully work.
But yes, there are too many horses, and restricting supply to some extent wouldn’t hurt, but as I said up thread, the real issue lies in the good old backyard breeder producing “pretty colour” or just for the experience that put a lot of the “going down the line” horses, and good luck stopping that.
But at the same time, let’s be realistic and find a humane, cost effective way of disposing of those who are no longer able to be looked after properly.
They can be built but they would not be profitable to run, thus no one would build them.
It might be a different story if horse meat was consumed by people in the U.S. but it’s not, and that won’t be changing anytime soon.
Slaughter is an area where my stance has become more gray over the years.
I used to be a big proponent for humane euthanasia and humane slaughter options. And I still am. But I feel like there is a subset of horse people who exploit this option. While I am not okay with horses being abused or neglected, I’m also not okay with convenience euthanasia.
I’ve been really questioning my own thoughts on this.
In some ways, I agree.
But I don’t think the responsibility rests solely on the breeder. Horses change hands numerous times in their lives. If you (general) use a horse for your own purposes, you hold just as much responsibility for its aftercare as its breeder.
Breeding is a craft. It’s a skill you hone with experience. That doesn’t give breeders a pass to breed indiscriminately, but putting a finite cap on how many times you can exercise your knowledge based on your financial situation isn’t beneficial to anyone. If you responsibly breed and sell even just one horse a year for 20 years, you can’t be expected to have resources to deal with all 20 of them coming back to you unexpectedly, even if it is for euthanasia.
But a “safety net” can mean different things to different folks. I provide all horses that pass through my hands a safety net in the sense that while I may not be able to take them all in, I can network and advocate to help get them to a safe place. If I was part of a horse’s story, I feel I have a responsibility to help keep it safe.
I found this on a TB site, but yes, I believe that responsible breeding should apply to anyone who breeds horses.
Cutter99. What would humane slaughter be like, how would it be built, and what would the procedure be? Asking as I don’t know. Thanks.
We have to keep in mind that slaughter is what drives animal rights efforts to eliminate all use of animals by humans, our uses of horses here also.
You scratch those groups, they are supported by the behemoth non profits that live off the donations the gullible public gives to them to “save the poor abused animals”, many leaving veritable fortunes to them in their wills for decades now.
That is the money behind any such drives for the “cause of the moment”.
Just in case some have forgotten where all this comes from.
Honestly, it would start with humane transport for a reasonable distance to a slaughter facility.
The slaughterhouse itself starts with building a plant from the animal’s perspective, with their well being in mind.
It takes into account the individual species flights zones, what types of flooring works best, as well as what patterns chutes and alleys should utilize.
These methods have been pioneered by Dr. Temple Grandin, and are used in U.S. slaughterhouses currently with other species.
No, "WE don’t. You do. I haven’t forgotten a thing…And so it begins…
I was waiting for someone to mention Temple Grandin. Her work is excellent, but far more useful in cows than it ever was in horses. Her books are excellent, and if you’ve had the opportunity to hear her, she is quite special.
Re slaughtering horses for human consumption: Years ago the European Union put together a set of rules that listed the medications that would be forbidden in horses slaughtered for human consumption–most of which a lot of our horses get routinely (bute, ivermectin, etc.). Need to keep that in mind when exploring the slaughter option. Plus I gather that rendering plants are becoming fewer and fewer as time goes on.
There used to be at least two EU supported slaughter plants in Monterrey, Mexico, which was where a lot of the southbound horses ended up. However, I believe they were shut down years ago due to unsanitary conditions. So–are the Mexican bound horses going to smaller, local slaughter facilities now that the big plants no longer exist?
Sorry for changing the subject slightly.
It certainly should, because TB racehorses make up a small percentage of the horses being shipped for slaughter. They are easier to track, but they are far from the majority.
I’m another one in the “grey” considering horse slaughter.
On one hand, it’s despicable that horses have to endure what amounts to torture because humans don’t want to take care of them anymore. On the other hand, what exactly should be done with all these unwanted horses? Keep them in holding pens like the gobs of unwanted mustangs?
I can’t decide what makes me grumpier, “convenience” euthanasia or endless FB posts to the tune of “my heart horse got diagnosed with KS and he’s completely in rideable but I can’t afford to board a horse I can’t ride so I need to find him a new home”
Who’s responsible for my old TB? His breeder that had him at most for 2 years or his two other owners that showed hunters on him for 2 decades? The answer is none of the above btw as I obviously took the responsibility on when I brought him home. But I bring it up to point out we can’t just throw all the responsibilities on the breeders.
Her work is tailored to the specific species the slaughter plant is being built for. She has a very good “feel” for the animals she advocates for.
First google hit when looking at Temple Grandin on horse slaughter, some of her words quoted here:
—Temple Grandin, Colorado State University animal science professor, said, “Horse slaughter can be humane with proper transportation, facilities and management.”"—
Slaughter is not inherently inhumane, how is conducted can be.
Humane or not is a management issue.
Today so much of the talk is of a sustainable world.
In such, throwing away all a horse may give us after death is questionable, much less poisoning the remains and contaminating the ground and water with them, as so many still do today.
Their horses, their choice.
Others should also have a choice to make that one last use of horses once dead.
The push against horse slaughter is part of the larger push against no other use of any animals by humans by extremists and those that make a good profit of the these causes of the moment drives to get donations.
I make my living farming cattle, and have raised pigs on a previous farm. Our animals are well cared for from Day 1.
When it comes to slaughter my theory is this- they have one bad day.
I have been in a hog processing facility that kills upwards of 10,000 hogs per day. It is efficient, fast and clean.
Those are all the things a slaughter plant should be when designed properly!