Rejected: Area horse owners find disposing of unwanted animals difficult
By Brittny Goodsell Jones
Rebecca Lewis gives horse owners more “Nays” than “Yays” these days.
People call up Lewis, manager of Utah State University’s equine facility, every day asking if she has room for a horse that needs a home. It used to be that Lewis accepted about two of every three offers. Now, it’s one out of five. It’s not really a choice, though.
Unwanted horses have become a major issue in Cache Valley, Lewis said, and the problem will continue to grow.
At a meeting Wednesday night, Kerry Rood, extension veterinarian at USU, said although the main reason for unwanted horses is the closing of processing faciltites, there are other factors on the horizon.
Abandoned horses living throughout Utah are often dropped off to join bands of other horses. Rood said thinking that horses can easily adapt to band socialization is a “pipe dream.” Horses often end up by themselves, searching for food without much luck.
“It used to be that you keep a padlock on the barn to keep your horses in,” Rood said. “Now you keep a padlock on the barn to keep four other horses from showing up.” Read More
Instead of utilizing this resource for the benefit of humans, we are capturing and pen feeding these feral horses to the tune of $21 million per year and rising. BLM now has nearly as many feral and unwanted horses in captivity as there are still roaming public lands. If the decision is made to put some of these horses down, it doesn’t make sense not to utilize them for their meat. In this age of continually being told to conserve our resources, it would be a complete waste not to do so.