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Bad economy, unwanted horses

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  • Original Poster

    #21
    Originally posted by Daydream Believer View Post
    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.
    I would disagree with your point. If a good many horses are turned loose, yes, some will survive, but most will die a pretty ugly death. And, of course, geldings and spayed mares aren't going to contribute offspring- if a breedable mare gets adopted by a stallion before she dies of thirst or gets eaten, yeah, maybe a shot. But out here in the desert, where each horse needs 50 acres of forage compared to an acre in Virginia, it's a stretch to think that the average horse that has spent its life stalled or paddocked and hayed regularly is going to survive.

    Comment


    • #22
      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.
      So pretty much not the American west then? It is dry, dry, dry out here the last few years and it's not going to get any wetter soon. Every loose horse is competing with every other animal out there and most of the land is set aside for something. This is not the Wild West anymore. A couple people are slaughtering cattle here rather than try to take them through the summer- do you think ranchers are going to be happy to see 30 head of horses show up?

      Then there are the indigenous species that federal agencies are mandated to protect (ie no choice, have to do it), meaning that they will probably have to take on the job of shooting the feral horses, or managing them on federal land.

      So no problem, the ones that manage to find stock tanks and enough forage and only encounter ranchers who are really bad shots, the government will shoot or spend vast amounts of tax payers dollars to round up and take to sales so that meat buyers can pay $0.25/lb.

      Perfect solution.

      Comment


      • #23
        Originally posted by Beverley View Post
        Bless your heart, Daydream Believer. When it comes to this subject your screen name is absolutely spot on.
        My my...condescending and nasty when someone questions what you say? Taking our discussion to a personal attack level only reflects badly on yourself. Much easier to try and insult someone that discuss facts isn't it?

        Originally posted by Beverley View Post
        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.
        So you are telling everyone that what you are saying is true and County and I are wrong, yet you aren't speaking in terms of statistics or facts? So, REALLY what you are really saying is that this was the OPINION of the Brand Inspector? Why not state that up front?

        Originally posted by Beverley View Post
        I won't bother to engage in a train wreck with you. Feel free to argue with yourself. And have a nice day!
        You started it by posting hearsay information not based in fact. If you do that and someone calls you out on it, it's only a trainwreck when you resort to name calling and personal attacks. Have a nice day too!

        Comment


        • #24
          Originally posted by Beverley View Post
          I would disagree with your point. If a good many horses are turned loose, yes, some will survive, but most will die a pretty ugly death. And, of course, geldings and spayed mares aren't going to contribute offspring- if a breedable mare gets adopted by a stallion before she dies of thirst or gets eaten, yeah, maybe a shot. But out here in the desert, where each horse needs 50 acres of forage compared to an acre in Virginia, it's a stretch to think that the average horse that has spent its life stalled or paddocked and hayed regularly is going to survive.
          Now you need to read for comprehension. I was talking IN GENERAL...not just Utah and not just Virginia. I have been out West and I realize it takes more land to support a grazing animal than back East...I am quite aware of that due to my rancher friends in Wyoming and S. Dakota and Arizona. Go back and read what I said and you'll see that I did not mention location at all. IN GENERAL horses will go feral easily and thrive if their basic needs are met. Clear enough for you now?

          Comment


          • #25
            Fact checking

            Since are bantering facts, we should have them. The economy IS soft; we are not, however, in a recession. Unemployment is below average at 5% (average unemployment is 5.6 since 1948). Fuel prices are high not because of our economy, but because of supply and demand. In fact, our economy has very little to do with global oil prices. China and India have increased their need for fuels (especially diesel), ergo higher prices. Diesel is also high because of increased environmental restrictions (ultra low sulpher diesel). It’s more costly to make this, and that has been passed along to you, dear consumer. Diesel is also taxed at a higher rate than gas. We have a give and take situation here - build more refineries to increase production and let the environmentalists be damned, or look at alternative fuels which will increase the price of food (because corn and soy demand will increase, supply will decrease). Pick your poison.

            Housing's problem is not the economy, but poor lending practices. This led to inflated prices and now the foreclosure problem. Please feel free to fact check this yourselves, this is just the "reader's digest" version.

            Keeping this horse related and knowing the facts, we can reasonably speculate that a combination of events are adding to the horse abandonment issue - the slaughter issue, the housing issue and rising fuel costs, not to mention poor breeding practices. I am not here to argue which side is right - I am not going to be able to change someone else's fundamental belief system. I am just pointing out its not an "either or" situation, there are a lot of contributing factors to go with the slaughter issue.
            RG Equestrian

            Comment


            • #26
              Originally posted by Picasso View Post
              Keeping this horse related and knowing the facts, we can reasonably speculate that a combination of events are adding to the horse abandonment issue - the slaughter issue, the housing issue and rising fuel costs, not to mention poor breeding practices. I am not here to argue which side is right - I am not going to be able to change someone else's fundamental belief system. I am just pointing out its not an "either or" situation, there are a lot of contributing factors to go with the slaughter issue.
              Ahh, a voice of reason. The sky is NOT falling, people, and gas at $4.20/gal. is not a sign of the apocalypse. Things just are what they are at this point in time. Sadly, for those who were already living on the brink of financial ruin, it's been enough to push them over the edge.

              I think the real issue here is responsibility. Lack of money, housing, food, etc. does not erase one's responsibility to the animals in their care. If that means taking them out in the middle of nowhere, shooting them and leaving the body for the coyotes, so be it. But you don't just set them free to die a slow and horrible death. There ARE other choices. Humanity and decency are qualities that have always been free.

              Comment


              • #27
                What?

                Whoowee, and here I thought I might find more reality oriented people than on that other forum I was on where people are slurping at the feet of some supposed oil executive for financing an ENTIRE HERD of horses from a livestock auction. Yupper doodles folks, certainly a quarter of a million dollars should be spent that way. Makes perfect sense that someone who thinks of themselves as the aristocracy and us as the unwashed, grateful minions would get a lovely reception on the ABR board. Certainly makes sense if you realize what kind of struggle is ongoing in the country. And you call the economy SOFT?! Righto, I guess those rose colored glasses are permanently glued to some people's head. Are you aware that there are some who are so bold to call this a depression, ever hear of hyperinflation, or maybe you like to live in such a fantasyworld that all you hear just before the crash is "the stock market goes up, it always does"....... Guess it has not affected you, yet........
                "We, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit." JFK

                Comment


                • #28
                  Could someone direct me to the link of USDA stats

                  I went to the USDA site and could find no statistics for 2008 (or even 2007, before the plants closed down). In fact, I could find hogs, cattle, goat stats for 2007 (http://www.nass.usda.gov/Publication...overview07.pdf) but equine were not included. Could you please direct me to the link for horses from the USDA SITE. Thanks
                  Luistano Stallion standing for 2013: Wolverine UVF
                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IZPHDzgX3s

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    I also found this, http://www.nass.usda.gov/Charts_and_...hter/index.asp but this site didn't include horses either.

                    Where are they hiding it?
                    Luistano Stallion standing for 2013: Wolverine UVF
                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IZPHDzgX3s

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      straight talk

                      Some people take horses off the track, run-down horses, cheap horses and they use them up. Lesson horses, breeding horses, cart horses -horses that would have just gone to slaughter or a rendering plant now get a "second" life. Think Black Beauty and Ginger. Pretty sad. So the life of a work horse, a race horse, a used up pleasure horse isn't always easy or pretty. Nothing has changed in 100 years.

                      So...solutions. 1), admit to the possibility that slaughter serves a purpose. If not, slaughter, then rendering. 2) Make rendering as well as euthanasia and slaguhter options more open and transparent and more PC to those people who can't sell a sick, lame, injured, behaviorally challenged horse, 3) educate, educate, educate about how to care for, what not to breed, and how to dispose of unwanted horses. -That includes offering a sympathic hand, rather than harsh judgement for those who do decide to put down a horse. 4) Make the government step in and pay to set up systems that work and that will eventually be self-sustaining. The government closed slaughter houses without any planning for the future, they helped create this mess. They need to work to clean it up. We pay taxes on grain, hay, tack, infrastructure on horse facilities -where does that money go? Why does the USDA not act as an advocate for horse farms, as they do for other agricultural groups (dairy, meat, etc)? We rarely get a tax break, even if we operate a legit operation. They have our tax monies, and they should use it for horse related issues.

                      Humane options are needed. Set up rendering and slaughter options that include appointment killing, such is done in other countries. You set up an appointment, bring in the animal and it is killed. You sign a release and a statement (under penalty of law) stating exactly what drugs have entered the horses system in the last 30 days. Then, the slaughter house either triages the carcass to rendering or food. Killing is done onsite; quick and humane. There are countless examples of other countries having such facilities. Does the USA always have to be so backwards????

                      This isn't rocket science. This only requires LEADERSHIP. When a new President comes in, the USDA will get a new director. YIPEEE!!! Maybe a new direction in horse related issues might emerge, when a leader is brought in, who brings about real change and leadership. One can only hope.
                      Last edited by Cielo Azure; Jun. 1, 2008, 03:52 PM. Reason: spelling
                      Luistano Stallion standing for 2013: Wolverine UVF
                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IZPHDzgX3s

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        Originally posted by Cielo Azure View Post
                        I also found this, http://www.nass.usda.gov/Charts_and_...hter/index.asp but this site didn't include horses either.

                        Where are they hiding it?
                        Here is the marketing site for the USDA, the figures for ONE crossing, there are more than one for horses and you can find figures for the other/s thru that same USDA site:

                        http://www.ams.usda.gov/mnreports/al_ls635.txt

                        Information from the AVMA site on these matters here, if you scroll down and find where numbers of unwanted horses going to slaughter in CA and MX are mentioned:

                        http://www.avma.org/issues/animal_we...horses_faq.asp

                        Reading thru that will save some from asking the same questions and others from having to clarify the same questions again and again.

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          odds are that Colin Peterson will be the next Sec. of Ag. regardless which party wins the pres. and Peterson is very much pro slaughter so I doubt he puts an anti person in as head of the USDA.
                          Quality doesn\'t cost it pays.

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            Actually I've seen no indication the Senate cares or has ever had any intention of even addressing horse slaughter they have always felt it should be left to each state to decide if they want it or not.
                            Quality doesn\'t cost it pays.

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #34
                              Originally posted by Daydream Believer View Post
                              1. My my...condescending and nasty when someone questions what you say? Taking our discussion to a personal attack level only reflects badly on yourself. Much easier to try and insult someone that discuss facts isn't it?

                              2. So you are telling everyone that what you are saying is true and County and I are wrong, yet you aren't speaking in terms of statistics or facts? So, REALLY what you are really saying is that this was the OPINION of the Brand Inspector? Why not state that up front?

                              3. You started it by posting hearsay information not based in fact. If you do that and someone calls you out on it, it's only a trainwreck when you resort to name calling and personal attacks. Have a nice day too!
                              1. Actually, no, not a personal attack, though I could see how someone on the defensive might see it that way. Merely tossing out a common debating tactic with tongue in cheek. Kind of fun, actually. And I do believe that it was you questioning what I said (or more precisely, claiming I was spreading misinformation), not the other way around. But to be serious, let's just say no offense intended, but you aren't very high on my credibility scale.

                              2. Gee, ya know, my thread, accurately relating what I was told by a brand inspector. I did not start the thread to spew data. As it happens, though, links have been posted and folks can do their own research via those links or a gazillion other sources. I think that I was pretty clear in the first post. Not my fault if you missed the perspective and intent of my post regarding the situation in Utah. Looks like everybody else got it.

                              3. Let me get this straight. You find fault with my relating a conversation with a state Ag Dept employee, and then turn around and post as fact your own 'hearsay' stuff from 'friends' in Wyoming as fact? Sorry, logic flaw there for me.

                              Now, with regard to your other post, you wrote:

                              "I was talking IN GENERAL...not just Utah and not just Virginia. I have been out West and I realize it takes more land to support a grazing animal than back East...I am quite aware of that due to my rancher friends in Wyoming and S. Dakota and Arizona. Go back and read what I said and you'll see that I did not mention location at all. IN GENERAL horses will go feral easily and thrive if their basic needs are met."

                              Your belief that 'in general' horses will 'go feral easily' is incorrect. At best, it reflects a lack of understanding of horse behavior. At worst, it suggests that you believe that it's okay to just dump horses on public land. Either way, sorry, I assume you mean well, but it just ain't so, and I will state very clearly my most emphatic opinion that anyone who would turn horses loose to fend for themselves, or would condone the idea, should be driven out to the desert, deposited with a pint of water and two waterproof matches, and left to their own devices.

                              Apparently, your beliefs are based on what your rancher friends tell you. And apparently as noted above, that's acceptable hearsay for you. I'm perfectly willing to let perusers of this thread decide whether or not someone from back east who 'has visited' and 'has rancher friends' is better qualified to weigh in on the situation in Utah, as opposed to someone who lives here, rides feral horse country regularly, and has responsibility for the management of federal lands.

                              Now, I don't know about you, but I had a perfectly splendid day, riding a horse and puttering in the yard.

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                Originally posted by Beverley View Post
                                1.But to be serious, let's just say no offense intended, but you aren't very high on my credibility scale.
                                Ditto...anyone who posts on here that slaughter being ended in the US is to blame for horses being turned loose to fend for themselves...the usual "sky is falling" nonsense we hear from people not well informed of the facts...doesn't give me a warm and fuzzy feeling about your credibility either.

                                Originally posted by Beverley View Post
                                2. Gee, ya know, my thread, accurately relating what I was told by a brand inspector. I did not start the thread to spew data. As it happens, though, links have been posted and folks can do their own research via those links or a gazillion other sources. I think that I was pretty clear in the first post. Not my fault if you missed the perspective and intent of my post regarding the situation in Utah. Looks like everybody else got it.
                                I find it interesting that County, who is openly pro slaughter said the very same thing I did...that just as many are going over the borders as were killed here and that had nothing to do with horses being turned loose..yet you jumped on me instead of him also. Could it be you came here to pick a fight? I haven't stated one way or the other how I feel on slaughter on this thread. How do you know I haven't had a change of heart?

                                Originally posted by Beverley View Post
                                3. Let me get this straight. You find fault with my relating a conversation with a state Ag Dept employee, and then turn around and post as fact your own 'hearsay' stuff from 'friends' in Wyoming as fact? Sorry, logic flaw there for me.
                                Honey, I've visited all those places myself with my friends and I've seen the range land. I know it takes more acreage to graze livestock in the west than the East. If I'm not mistaken that was the only context in which I mentioned having associates in Western States. I'm not sure what information from them was "hearsay" unless you are now trying to say that you were wrong earlier on how many acres it takes to graze a horse in Utah. You really do need to go back and reread my post on that. I think you are really confused...

                                Originally posted by Beverley View Post
                                Now, with regard to your other post, you wrote:

                                Your belief that 'in general' horses will 'go feral easily' is incorrect. At best, it reflects a lack of understanding of horse behavior.
                                Sounds like you and I disagree on that point. I have a lot of history proving me right. What do you have to support your viewpoint? We have feral horses here in Virginia, on the Outer Banks of NC, all over the West and you would have me believe that horses can't survive without their sweetfeed, hay, and shoes?

                                Originally posted by Beverley View Post
                                At worst, it suggests that you believe that it's okay to just dump horses on public land. Either way, sorry, I assume you mean well, but it just ain't so, and I will state very clearly my most emphatic opinion that anyone who would turn horses loose to fend for themselves, or would condone the idea, should be driven out to the desert, deposited with a pint of water and two waterproof matches, and left to their own devices.
                                Now I am really confused. I think I stated it in at least THREE different posts earlier to Bluey and you and my original post on the feral horse topic that I do NOT (READ CAREFULLY NOW...DO NOT!!!!) condone turning horses loose to fend for themselves. I challenge you to find any place I said that in this thread. As for anything I "suggest" as you put it, you are full of poo poo and totally trying to pick a fight...and your credibility is absolutely nil at this point IMO. I think anyone that abandons an animal should be prosecuted to the fullest extend of the law. Do you get it now? I hope so, this is getting really tedious. It's like people can't read or something.

                                Originally posted by Beverley View Post
                                Apparently, your beliefs are based on what your rancher friends tell you. And apparently as noted above, that's acceptable hearsay for you. I'm perfectly willing to let perusers of this thread decide whether or not someone from back east who 'has visited' and 'has rancher friends' is better qualified to weigh in on the situation in Utah, as opposed to someone who lives here, rides feral horse country regularly, and has responsibility for the management of federal lands.
                                Again...my rancher friends only told me that it takes more land to graze animals in the West than in the East. I have no idea what you think they told me other than that. Again, Please go back and read my earlier post if you are still confused.

                                Originally posted by Beverley View Post
                                Now, I don't know about you, but I had a perfectly splendid day, riding a horse and puttering in the yard.
                                It was lovely here too. Lots of sun and a nice breeze. I rode my stallion from Wyoming and trimmed a bunch of horses that came from those crazy ranch buddies of mine who say it takes 30 acres to graze a horse on their ranch. Other than answering your ridiculous accusations and comments in this thread, it has been a perfect day.

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  Daydream Believer and I are usually on totally opposite sides of the board when the slaughter issue comes up , but I am siding with her on this one . Horses do go feral very easily and often quite successfully- ever heard of Chincotegue? That doesn't mean that I condone the practice of turning horses loose to fend for themselves, and obviously DB doesn't either. I also don't think that the end of slaughter in the US is completely responsible for horses being abandoned. Partially, yes, but the economy also definitely has its role.
                                  Lapeer ... a small drinking town with a farming problem.
                                  Proud Closet Canterer!

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    Thanks appaloosalady. I'm glad to see that someone understands what I'm writing. Some feral horse herds in the world besides those in the Western US:

                                    We have this place out here in the East called the Outer Banks and Chincoteague. They've survived out there for 500 years on marsh grass and seaweed. I work closely with the Corolla Wild Horse Fund and the pics on my site are my own and from Corolla.

                                    http://www.rbefarm.com/Rainbows_End_Farm/Bankers.html

                                    There are feral ponies in Western Virginia also that do quite nicely out there. I don't have any pics of those.

                                    Australian Brumbies...so successful that they are being shot by the Australian military to control their population.

                                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brumby

                                    Vieques Island in Puerto Rico..I've been there also. Had a free trip courtesy of the US Army and got to parachute out to the Seal Base there. This was some time ago but the wild horses are still there. Lovely place...

                                    http://www.worldofstock.com/closeups/TCB1690.php

                                    There are successful herds of feral horses in France and S. Africa also that I know of.

                                    Again...for anyone who is reading this. I DO NOT condone turning horses loose and not caring for them. I am merely pointing out that horses can do very well in a feral situation if the conditions are right. Every horse in those herds descended from horses that once belonged to someone. None are true wild horses like those in Mongolia.

                                    As for what is to blame for the horses being turned loose in the US...it's stupid people. It's people who won't be responsible and do right by their animals. I'd rather see them slaughtered than starve to death..see...I'm not unreasonable on the topic. I just don't like the industry as it was run and had major problems with it. I do believe the main culprit is the economy, the outragious prices of feed and fuel (I'm feeling the bite too but haven't turned mine loose) and people who are not responsible. There are still auctions to take the horses too to get rid of them. There are vets who will euthanize and bullets for those too cheap to call a vet...the borders are still open and lots of horses are headed that way still.

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      [QUOTE=
                                      I find it interesting that County, who is openly pro slaughter said the very same thing I did...that just as many are going over the borders as were killed here and that had nothing to do with horses being turned loose..yet you jumped on me instead of him also. Could it be you came here to pick a fight? I haven't stated one way or the other how I feel on slaughter on this thread. How do you know I haven't had a change of heart?
                                      [/QUOTE]

                                      Actually, County didn't say that nor did she provide the links that showed that just as many horses were "that just as many are going over the borders as were killed here." The first dataset was data for Mexico only. It did not include Canada. The second data set showed an increase from 2006 to 2007 in rates of animals going over the boarder. But what the data didn't show was the numbers of USA processed horses per year transposed with the horses processed in CA and MX per year for a period of years. Nor did the data that was supplied, show the periods when various slaughter houses were closed down. Without those numbers and when the economic issues* causing more unwanted horses, are factored in, we are all comparing apples and oranges.

                                      Clearly, a huge increase of horses are being slaughtered outside the USA now (shudder) and the hard economic times,* mean that more marginal horses are now unwanted. But to say that the economy is solely to blame on the feral horse issue is just not based on facts either.

                                      *the terrible housing market is offseting inflation in other areas (gas, food, heating oil, etc). This issue combined with the bogus way the USA now reports people out of work (if you are unemployed for a specific amount of time, you are removed from the books). Ergo, the numbers being generated about recession/etc are just not a accurate economic reflection of the USA.
                                      Luistano Stallion standing for 2013: Wolverine UVF
                                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IZPHDzgX3s

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                                      • #39
                                        Actually County isn't a she. And he did say that as many horses have been slaughtered outside the U.S. as there were here before the plants were closed. The same trailers have been going to Can. the same number of times until recently when fuel got so high it wasn't cost effective. The horses close to Can. still go but the ones hauled any distance to speak of aren't right now. Last week at the Sissaton sale there were alot of horses that went for " no value ' . The large fat ones still sold to go to Can. but anything that didn't make weight didn't sell.
                                        Quality doesn\'t cost it pays.

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                                        • #40
                                          I have been to the Outer Banks and Chincoteague twice in the last five years (mostly within the National Park), each time I was struck by the poor condition of the ponies. Wormy, sunbleached -rough coats, pot bellied as well as way too thin and poor feet everywhere. The animals looked poorly bred and inbred. I was not impressed. Furthermore, MD/VA area is pretty much horsey paradise (mild climate, and lots of grasses). Compare that to harsh conditions out west, where I grew up or the snowy conditions elsewhere and basically you can't. So, some horses in some environments will do ok. Some won't.

                                          The bigger issue with feral horses is not whether they will be "happy" or healthy. The issue is the environmental destruction that herds of wild horses can do to a healthy eco-system. This is particularly true in sensitive environmental areas such as those often found in National Parks. If horses are being let loose in semi-rural areas, destruction of crops, the hazards of horses roaming on roads and being hit are also issues. It isn't just about the horses. But I think we all agree that feral horses are not good, the question is how to stem the flood of feral/abandoned horses, how to handle these unwanted horses humanely and within the minimal budget that state governments have for such problems.
                                          Luistano Stallion standing for 2013: Wolverine UVF
                                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IZPHDzgX3s

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