“The answer is simply, yes. Humane and regulated horse slaughter is, in fact, the only solution that protects the well being of horses while preserving owner rights, and stabilizes the industry. It is the only moral and ethical way to deal with excess horses that nobody wants, and who otherwise get turned out to fend for themselves in harsh deserts, kept in the pasture or corral until they starve, or killed and left to rot in a ditch at a total loss and waste to everyone, not to mention a significant environmental problem.” ~Slaughterhouse Sue
As we all know, Slaughterhouse Sue considers herself to be a poet and creative writer. I guess this fact is lost on her blind followers. The above quote paints quite a picture, wouldn’t you agree? One of the hallmarks of being a PSA is sweeping generalizations and speaking in absolutes. So, if we are to take her statement at face value, truckloads of horses are being turned loose, there is pastures upon pastures of starving animals and our ditches are filled with decomposing horses. She’s all concerned about the environment even though she doesn’t give a rat’s ass about what her proposed slaughter plant is going to do to an entire community, environmentally or economically. Very convenient!
The fact is that yes, some people do turn their horses loose to fend for themselves. It’s kinda how we ended up with wild horses in the first place if you want to go back in time far enough. Personally, I don’t think it’s a great option or humane to do to a domesticated horse, but it does happen. I know a guy in Canada that used to go catch `wildies’ every few years (you had to have a permit to do this). He used them on his pack string once they were broke and swore by them as he said they were tough and sure footed. I remember one year he came home with a nice stout bay mare. When he got her shed out, she had a brand on her and turned out was very well broke. How did she get there? Nobody will ever know. She may have been turned loose, or more likely, she got taken by a stallion from a back country rider. I haven’t seen any hard numbers, but I would guess that the number of domesticated horses that end up turned loose to fend for themselves is less than 2% . I will also go out on a limb and say that number won’t change with slaughter. The kind of people that think this is a good option for a horse, likely will still think it’s a good option, however misguided that may be.
I grew up in ranching country. I remember there was a ranch in the hills west of us that you had to go by when we were moving our cattle to their summer pastures. That hill was always called `Hungry Horse Hill’ due to this ranch having a field full of starving horses. There were often dead ones in amongst the live ones and aside from the odd moldy bale of hay, those poor horses never had much to eat. It was disgusting and eventually the guy either went broke or was run out of the area. The point being, is that this was in the 70’s. Slaughter was alive and well, yet this man didn’t see that as an option. He thought his horses were valuable and continued to breed them and starve them. Even the Humane Society could do very little as he did have some poor quality feed available to them when they checked. Again, this happened when there was slaughter. It takes a certain type of person that can do this to another living creature and the availability of domestic slaughter will NEVER change this. The only thing that will change it is if the Humane Society or SPCA have more authority to deal with such issues. That will never happen because then all the PSA Turds will start crying that they don’t want somebody to tell them what to do with their property. Funny how many of them have had visits from the Humane Society or Animal Control. There goes that whole lack of self awareness thing that is a trait of a PSA. I’ve yet to see a horse carcass in a ditch, so again I’m going to assume these are isolated incidents unless somebody can give me hard and verifiable numbers.
Since the last slaughter house closed in 2007, there has been repeated cries of unwanted horses and not being able to sell one. So, I did some digging around and found these quotes from a few PSAs:
” So I’m searching dreamhorse and the selection is just nothing. I thought I would see how many young AQHA horses are in my 200 mile radius. I was shocked, weanlings – 3, yearling-16, 2 year olds -6, 1-3year old. Just WOW, there is no selection compared to other years that I’ve searched young horses.”