Aren’t we looking at this issue backwards? Whether horses are sent to slaughter, euthanized, abandoned or sent to a rescue facility the question remains …. why are there so many unwanted horses? Why are so many horses being bred each year? About 100,000 horses are bred each year in the US just for the racing industry. Not many of these horses will actually end up making it at the race track. And, it’s not just the racing industry, most breeders are focused on producing “winners” for some discipline. What happens to all those horses that aren’t “good enough”? What happens to the horses that become dangerous because of bad training? What happens to the old, the sick and the lame horses?
Reality is, until we find a way to stop producing so many horses, there has to be a plan for dealing with the “unwanted” ones. Is going to slaughter better or worse than being abandoned, neglected, starved, abused? Until we figure out how to stop producing so many horses, can the processing plants and the shipping process be made more “humane” and treat the animals with respect and dignity?
What would happen if breeders were required to be responsible for every horse they produce? So, that if someone could no longer afford to look after their horse, he would be returned to the breeder just like the adoption contracts of many rescue programs require.
Is stopping horse slaughter the answer? Depends on what the question was.
Are we even asking the right questions?