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  1. #1
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    Oct. 1, 2005
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    Default Bad economy, unwanted horses

    Here in Utah, I was informed by a brand inspector this morning, as we were chit chatting, that so far this year she's gotten 18 calls from BLM to help remove domestic horses 'freed' out in the desert. Who knows how many more are out there dying slowly of thirst or starvation.

    With a significantly diminished slaughter market, no or expensive hay, price of gas and groceries skyrocketing, the horses are really feeling their owners' desperation. One rancher recently found three horses tied to his fence.

    The brand inspector really wishes people had thought more about the repercussions of outlawing slaughter of horses for human consumption. Despite all the hysteria it's a better end than a lot of horses are getting now. Apparently the two domestic plants are still processing 'a few' horses for animal consumption, principally zoos and wildlife preserves- but with the price of gas added to the mix, the numbers for hauling loads of horses to Canada or Mexico are much less attractive.



  2. #2
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    Jun. 4, 2002
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    Suffolk, VA
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    Default

    Slaughter is not "diminished." They are shipping just as many now over the borders as were slaughtered last year to Mexico or Canada. The problem is the economy...not the shut down of US slaughter houses. I really wish people would get the facts straight and put the blame where it should be.



  3. #3
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Daydream Believer View Post
    Slaughter is not "diminished." They are shipping just as many now over the borders as were slaughtered last year to Mexico or Canada. The problem is the economy...not the shut down of US slaughter houses. I really wish people would get the facts straight and put the blame where it should be.

    According to the brand inspector (no, I haven't bothered to verify her facts), 'diminished' at the US plants. They are not 'shut down,' just not allowed to slaughter for human consumption. And yes, the lack of the previous US slaughter option is having a direct effect, whether you choose to acknowledge that fact or not. I too wish people would keep their facts straight.



  4. #4
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    Oct. 18, 2000
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    Default

    That's pretty sad. That's a pretty slow horrible death for a horse. Makes you wonder if folks thought they were doing the horse a favor - rather than shipping it to auction. Know what I mean? Like they were giving the horse a chance or something.

    I got an emergency email from the dog rescue I work with. The economy is not just affecting horse owners - people are taking their dogs and cats to shelters in droves in some areas. I suppose some folks are just taking the easy way out. But others facing job loss, or foreclosure, or inability to pay for gas much less buy dog food - maybe the dog just has to go.

    Anyone want to foster a dog? I have a very very long list.

    (rhetorical question; I know this isn't a dog rescue board)



  5. #5
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    Jan. 4, 2007
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    TX
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    Default

    A truck driver told me that in his hometown in the Hondo Valley in CA, if I got the name right, there were more and more abandoned horses grazing the barditches, causing a possible danger to motorists.
    Those horses were abandoned in "the hills", whatever that is and had wandered back into the valley for green and water and were not in the best condition anyway, some very skinny.

    Last spring, before plants closed in the US, someone told me that, just on the word that they were going to close, there were several horses abandoned, in his county in MO, the sheriff called him about them.
    The rumor had spread that no one was buying those kind at sale barns, because no one knew if they could resell them if they needed to later, which it was partly right.
    People that needed to move some horses, maybe selling out and moving away, or no more money to feed them, could not sell or give them away, were turning them loose to fend for themselves.

    The slaughter plants closure was not the ONLY cause of unwanted horses turned loose, but it definitely is ONE more reason adding to the plight of some of the many unwanted horses.



  6. #6
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    Sep. 5, 2005
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    Mass.
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    Default

    Anyone who turns a domestic horse "loose" to fend for itself is contemptible. If they're too poor or whatever, they should just shoot the animal and save it from starving, being attacked by predators, or running into a truck.
    I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry



  7. #7
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Guin View Post
    Anyone who turns a domestic horse "loose" to fend for itself is contemptible. If they're too poor or whatever, they should just shoot the animal and save it from starving, being attacked by predators, or running into a truck.
    Right, that is so, terrible caretakers, are they.

    That doesn't alter the fact that by closing the slaughter plants many people can't sell their horses, or give them away and some of those will be terrible people that just turn their horses loose, as they do their dogs.
    Someone just dumped a big, leggy, less than one year old black lab dog here about three weeks ago.
    I saw them, from a red pickup and then speeding away and the dog running after them down the highway.
    I was too far to catch them and the dog ended up in a neighbor's feral pig trap, that took the dog to the animal control shelter in the big town.

    Why didn't the owner do that himself and spare the dog the anxiety he must have been thru???



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug. 9, 2007
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    9,025

    Default eeek

    please don't start the slaughter thread again!
    this issue is discussed over and over.
    most people should not be allowed to breed dogs/cats/horses.
    then we wouldn't have so many left to die in slaughterhouses.
    people/the county/ the state should be required to put down their horses when needed rather than slaughtering.
    I hate the slaughter debates, let me outta here, slaughter is not the solution to horse overpopulation just as the gas chamber is not the solution for dog and cat overpopulation!!!!



  9. #9
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    Jan. 4, 2007
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    TX
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    Quote Originally Posted by cloudyandcallie View Post
    please don't start the slaughter thread again!
    this issue is discussed over and over.
    most people should not be allowed to breed dogs/cats/horses.
    then we wouldn't have so many left to die in slaughterhouses.
    people/the county/ the state should be required to put down their horses when needed rather than slaughtering.
    I hate the slaughter debates, let me outta here, slaughter is not the solution to horse overpopulation just as the gas chamber is not the solution for dog and cat overpopulation!!!!
    Who said slaughter of horses is only one more solution to overpopulation?

    Horse slaughter is one more way to use our renewable resources wisely, as we have been doing thru centuries and still do in most of the world.
    Except in the very resource rich US, that can waste wantomly all it wants, including a product we were paid for, that we have now succesfully outsourced (thanks JSwan for those words, they do fit well here ).

    If we don't want slaughter debates, we should not start them.
    If they are started, comments on ALL sides will be posted, I think.



  10. #10

    Default

    I'm 100% pro slaughter but the fact is theres almost as many horses from the U.S. slaughtered now then there was before there just hauled to Mex. and Can. more now then before. Good/ Bad? depends on who you ask, pro slaughter people feel that many of them are now hauled much further and theres no reg. that we can control so its bad.

    Anti slaughter people feel its good because their not killed here and thats what they wanted plus they hope people get sick and die from eating horse.
    Quality doesn\'t cost it pays.



  11. #11

    Default

    BTW Beverly do you know if any of the people that left those horses were caught and fined or jailed? Regardless of why some does that type thing its against the law and people need to pay the price for it. If their not held accountable more people will do it.
    Quality doesn\'t cost it pays.



  12. #12
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    Feb. 6, 2003
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    Default

    Unfortunately there are many people who do honestly think that a horse can be "returned to nature" even if the horse was never feral or wild in the first place. Maybe it's a way of shirking responsiblity for the horse but I'd also guess that quite a few who've tried it were hoping/believing their horse would somehow turn into Spirit the Mustang if freed and they'd no longer have the financial drain.
    Once an animal is domesticated...that's it. It's cared for by humans only. It's damned hard to rehab an actual wild animal and return it to it's natural habitat if the rehab takes longer than a week or two. I have a coyote that thought it lived here after being rehabbed by me. I have two racoon brothers who turn up on a regular basis to say hello and beg. Thankfully none of the nastiest tempered buggers have returned...I'm not sure I'd be thrilled to have a fisher or badger coming back, LOL!
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte



  13. #13
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    Jan. 24, 2008
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    Default

    Becoming a horse owner takes effort-they don't show up on the front porch one day. I know you can't keep every one you get your hands on, but there should always be a Plan B. I wish people weren't the only animals with opposable thumbs.



  14. #14
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    Oct. 18, 2000
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MistyBlue View Post
    Unfortunately there are many people who do honestly think that a horse can be "returned to nature" even if the horse was never feral or wild in the first place. Maybe it's a way of shirking responsiblity for the horse but I'd also guess that quite a few who've tried it were hoping/believing their horse would somehow turn into Spirit the Mustang if freed and they'd no longer have the financial drain.

    Mistyblue - I'd like to think that is what is going on too. We've been turning horses loose onto the ranges since the frontier days - that part isn't new. We as in Americans/military for remounts, etc.

    I guess some folks think "being free" is better than going to slaughter - which is where too many horses are going right now.

    It's a tough one all around. Sad for the horses that no doubt are attacked, or die or are hit by cars - and sad if they go to the auction and a trip to Mexico.

    Either way - it's no good. Interesting you mention rehabbing wildlife - in quail reintroduction a major impediment is getting the darn birds to stop dropping dead after release. "Setting free" usually means - "First to Die".

    Still - I suppose it's a solace to an owner to convince himself that the horse will do just fine. They don't actually see the carcass....




  15. #15
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    Jun. 4, 2002
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MistyBlue View Post
    Unfortunately there are many people who do honestly think that a horse can be "returned to nature" even if the horse was never feral or wild in the first place.
    I disagree....horses easily turn feral...all you need to do is put them out in a place with food and water and they can pretty much take care of themselves. In this day and age of very few predators, there isn't much they have to worry about but people. Where do you think the original American Mustang came from anyway? Spanish horses that escaped captivity, turned feral and multiplied and thrived. Modern BLM mustangs are little more than ranch horses gone feral in most cases.

    Now, having said that, I do NOT approve of turning horses loose to fend for themselves. I was just stating that I disagreed with your point. I also think the people responsible should be prosecuted...however...turning horses and cows out to fend for themselves has been done for a long time in the West and I doubt it will stop anytime soon. Perhaps the people who did it felt that the horses at least had a chance in the wild versus a nearly certain fate at a slaughterhouse if they took them to a sale and justified it that way? I don't know but it's a possibility...same thinking as folks who dump animals at shelters just sure that they'll find a new home.



  16. #16
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    Jan. 4, 2007
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    TX
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    ---"horses easily turn feral...all you need to do is put them out in a place with food and water and they can pretty much take care of themselves. In this day and age of very few predators, there isn't much they have to worry about but people. Where do you think the original American Mustang came from anyway? Spanish horses that escaped captivity, turned feral and multiplied and thrived. Modern BLM mustangs are little more than ranch horses gone feral in most cases. "---

    Lets not forget that loose horses are hit by cars, as are other, like deer and elk and such.
    In the winters, in many places, loose horses would not have food or water for long stretches and definitively they don't have medical care of any kind.
    Domestic horses don't belong running around, abandoned and trying to fend for themselves, any more than dogs do.



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beverley View Post
    According to the brand inspector (no, I haven't bothered to verify her facts), 'diminished' at the US plants. They are not 'shut down,' just not allowed to slaughter for human consumption. And yes, the lack of the previous US slaughter option is having a direct effect, whether you choose to acknowledge that fact or not. I too wish people would keep their facts straight.
    Why don't you educate yourself and look up the USDA statistics for yourself on line instead of spreading misinformation on a message forum? How is it having an effect if just as many horses that were slaughtered here before are just being outsourced to some other country?

    The economy sucks...horse feed is expensive..more so than ever..and people who do the wrong things like turn horses loose or starve them are doing it while the auctions are still taking meat horses in the same quantities as last year.



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    -Lets not forget that loose horses are hit by cars, as are other, like deer and elk and such.
    In the winters, in many places, loose horses would not have food or water for long stretches and definitively they don't have medical care of any kind.
    Domestic horses don't belong running around, abandoned and trying to fend for themselves, any more than dogs do.
    I didn't say they did Bluey...quit making it sound like I did or that I approve of it in any way...I DON"T!!!!! Yes they can get hit by cars just like wild deer that belong in the woods...that is NOT the point. My point was ONLY that they can go feral easily and history has proven that to be so.

    There is even a herd of feral TB's in South Africa that have survived in a desert. They were abandoned by their owner and decades later, their descendants are still out there.



  19. #19
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    Oct. 1, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by county View Post
    BTW Beverly do you know if any of the people that left those horses were caught and fined or jailed? Regardless of why some does that type thing its against the law and people need to pay the price for it. If their not held accountable more people will do it.

    I expect that yes, if the horse's ownership can be determined via the brand inspector's records, they would face a variety of different charges, including animal cruelty and unauthorized use of Federal lands.



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daydream Believer View Post
    Why don't you educate yourself and look up the USDA statistics for yourself on line instead of spreading misinformation on a message forum? How is it having an effect if just as many horses that were slaughtered here before are just being outsourced to some other country?

    The economy sucks...horse feed is expensive..more so than ever..and people who do the wrong things like turn horses loose or starve them are doing it while the auctions are still taking meat horses in the same quantities as last year.
    Bless your heart, Daydream Believer. When it comes to this subject your screen name is absolutely spot on.

    I am not spreading misinformation. But I cannot possibly assure that readers of my posts bother to process what is written before responding. In this case, I'd advise that you go back and read the first three words of my first post. "Here in Utah..." Had you noted that little detail you might have perceived that I am not speaking in terms of national trends or stats.

    I won't bother to engage in a train wreck with you. Feel free to argue with yourself. And have a nice day!



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