Monday, January 31, 2011

SDSU Students Study Unwanted Horse Issues

SDSU students outline unwanted horse problem
    Steve Miller Journal correspondent | Posted: Sunday, January 30, 2011 9:00 am | (2) Comments

    The number of unwanted horses in the United States is growing by nearly 150,000 a year since the closing of the last U.S. slaughter plants, and no single, easy solution is in sight.

    Those were some conclusions of a study conducted by students in South Dakota State University’s animal and range sciences department.

    Ten students presented their study Friday to a small audience at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center during the Black Hills Stock Show & Rodeo.

    In 2006, the year before the last three horse slaughtering plants closed in the United States, about 105,000 horses were killed, said first-year graduate student Kathy Koch of Crofton, Neb.

    The plants were forced to close after Congress eliminated funding for federal inspection of horse meat for human consumption.

    Since then, thousands of unwanted U.S. horses have been going to slaughter plants in Mexico and Canada.
    An outright ban on the sale or transportation of horses for slaughter is pending in Congress.

    Koch said there are now about 170,000 unwanted horses each year.

    She said that even if all 432 adoption facilities in the country could take 50 horses each, only 21,600 horses could be adopted, leaving a net of 148,400 unwanted horses.    Read More

    The issue of unwanted horses continues to grow.  While many of the animal rights activists think everything is fine and refuse to engage in real discussions of how to handle so many unwanted horses, there plenty of people in agriculture that are looking at a real problem and offering real solutions.  There seems to be plenty of people that think we live in a world where nothing ever dies and life is always happy and easy.  The real story is this, the only way life can continue to exist on this planet is if something dies every day.  The success of life depends on death.  We have the ability to use these livestock as a resource that not only assists us in their life but also in their death.  There's nothing wrong with using horses to feed people.  For thousands of years we have relied on livestock to benefit our lives and that still holds true today.  The cruelest thing we can do for these horses, to mother nature and to ourselves is waste this natural resource.  


    Anonymous said...

    I have been approached by several people via facebook messege regarding the unwanted horse issue. In many parts of this country, people are refusing to veiw horses as livestock, instead giving them a pet status, thinking that should exempt them from slaughter. One major challenge we will need to address is keeping horses legally defined as livestock. If this changes, there will be no hope in using processing as a viable option for the unwanted horse population.

    Margaux said...

    The last line, in red, is a great way to sum up the issue. I have been thinking and trying to formulate a good phrase to send this issue home. I think I just found it. Thank you.

    Anonymous said...

    Hi last we are getting to the crux of the whole animal rights movement and that is simply about the way people view death and their own fears about it.The statement that "the success of life is dependent on what dies," is profound...people in the country witness the death and birth of life on a regular basis,its part of the cycle of nature. Many urban people never experience it first hand and is what is mean't by,"Out of touch with their roots"...the morality of what dictates suffering is the bottom line question...focus there!

    Gardener said...

    The problem with the animal rights people is that so often they want to protect "nature," but by so doing they are actually hindering the natural progression of life. These types of issues are so frustrating.

    Kem Minnick and Tabitha Farrar said...

    I am a trainer and a marketing fundraiser at Colorado Horse Rescue. I work directly with the animals as they come to us, rehabilitate, and look for adoptive homes. We have between 50-70 horses at one time, and a waiting list 3 times this!

    I love horses, but don't think they should be bred unless owners can afford to feed, shoe, pay vets bills, stable and respect their animals.

    As a fundraiser, I find the horse community as some of the least generous when it comes to donations. Especially the competition and professional yards. In my opinion it is these people that should display some more accountability to the over breeding that results in the sad cases that come through our gate at CHR.