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Bad economy, unwanted horses

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  • #41
    ---"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."---

    Don't overlook the obvious solution, that doesn't demand our taxes be used, programs be established to "take care of them", etc. --- slaughter.
    By using the renewable resource those extra horses are we are not using in all our other facets of our horse industry, those "unwanted" horses then become an ASSET for us, not a LIABILITY.

    Comment


    • #42
      Originally posted by Cielo Azure View Post
      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.
      I can't speak for Chincoteague but I know Corolla very well. The herd there has been pushed into a ridiculously small area and yes, they are not in good condition due to lack of forage in this small fenced in preserve. They are being adopted out to private folks and captive breeding herds are being built up to save them. At one point, they roamed all up an down the Outer Banks and had plenty of room. Same story as the west...no room for wild horses anymore. Again, the current problems the herds face aren't really the point I was trying to make.

      The Outer Banks are NOT horse paradise. There is poor vegetation, sand dunes, scrub forest and salt water. The drink from rain water pools and eat seaweed. They are much smaller than what they started out as and captive ponies get much larger with good feed. The interesting thing is how adaptable the horses were to the harsh land they were shipwrecked and abandoned to.

      The western BLM mustangs I've worked with were bigger and in better condition than most of the Bankers I've seen. For an interesting look, here is a recent video the Corolla Wild Horse Fund put together. You will see some lovely little Spanish horses in good condition if you look. Their lean season is winter and the pics of the ponies in the canal show them eating seaweed.

      http://www.corollawildhorses.com/voi...he_horses.html
      Last edited by Ridge Runner; Jun. 1, 2008, 10:00 PM.

      Comment


      • #43
        Originally posted by Bluey View Post
        -
        Don't overlook the obvious solution, that doesn't demand our taxes be used, programs be established to "take care of them", etc. --- slaughter.
        That's a great idea Bluey but why didn't the people who abandoned their horses sell them at an auction for slaughter? They had that option and did not do it. If only people who choose to neglect , abandon and abuse horses would only think instead that it's better to slaughter them than starve them or abandon them, we'd never have seen neglect and abuse in the US...but we did before the US kill houses were shut down and we still do despite the option still being available in neighboring countries. That is my point. It's NOT related to slaughter being available or not. It is about irresponsible people who make a conscious choice to break the law.

        Comment


        • #44
          NIMBY rules.

          Originally posted by Daydream Believer View Post
          That's a great idea Bluey but why didn't the people who abandoned their horses sell them at an auction for slaughter? They had that option and did not do it. If only people who choose to neglect , abandon and abuse horses would only think instead that it's better to slaughter them than starve them or abandon them, we'd never have seen neglect and abuse in the US...but we did before the US kill houses were shut down and we still do despite the option still being available in neighboring countries. That is my point. It's NOT related to slaughter being available or not. It is about irresponsible people who make a conscious choice to break the law.
          Sigh. I had a self indulgent day of computering and horse caretaking (it is raining, husband is in Portugal at a conference and I am bummed). So, I read a lot of posts. One thing that struck me was that the Amish thread had people calling Amish who drop off their horses to kill pens INHUMANE!!! I didn't respond but I thought when did it become inhumane for an individual to sell a horse to slaughter? What should they do with the horses that aren't productive?

          The PC factor in all of this is very high. People feel better neglecting ("he is just a "pasture" animal") or releasing their horses somewhere far away from home ("well, he can live out his old age there"). Now, when we had USA slaughter plants, I just could not understand that point of view but now...

          Until we, as a horse community embrace the idea that horses are livestock and animals and that humane methods of killing horses are a necessary evil, we as a community have a huge PR problem. We have let the relatively radical minority control and dictate this issue and now it appears to be too late for humane and controlled slaughter practices.

          Frankly, right now, if I didn't have the means to euthanize, I would release a horse rather than send it off to Mexico. Reading those stats earlier that County provided (sorry County about the gender issue), I found that 24,000 horses have gone to Mexico this year so far, I find that so unacceptable (no, appalling). I have spent a lot of time in Mexico, I just can't imagine the trip down there in that heat on those trailers and then the conditions of the slaughter houses...That we are allowing this, that we have shut down all our plants and now are shipping them off to Mexico shows just how sick we have become as a nation. NIMBY rules.

          So, yep. I guess I come down on the side of people releasing horses versus slaughter as long as we don't have humane slaughter anymore. I certainly wouldn't advise anyone to sell their horse for slaughter now. Frankly, I would rather someone buy a gun, and shoot thier horse (even if they messed it up and had to shoot two or three times, it would be more humane than sending the animal to Mexico). I know I am sounding radical myself, it must be time for bed (I will probably read this in the morning and think, what was I thinking)!
          Luistano Stallion standing for 2013: Wolverine UVF
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IZPHDzgX3s

          Comment


          • #45
            I had a response all typed up but then a sever thunderstorm ate it by knocking out the power!

            Jill, I think yours are the most realistic and sensible posts! Thank You. I agree with you 100%. And couldn't have said it better.

            One thing I will add is that people are abandoning horses because, between the anti slaughter situation and high fuel prices the (unwanted) horses aren't worth anything. That IS the reality.

            We don't auction horses, BUT if we wanted to, that should be our choice. Just like a cow, pig, sheep or any other LIVESTOCK animal. We too, euthanize, because the thought of one of old horses going on those trucks to Mexico is not acceptable. BUT, that is OUR CHOICE.

            This anti slaughter BS has made it much worse for the horses and it isn't going to get better for a long time, unless common sense stops the kool-aid drinkers from mandating what people do with their LIVESTOCK. All that has been accomplished is that the horses now have long trips to who knows what end. Or starvation. That isn't very "pretty" either.

            HUMANE slaughter can't be regulated unless it is in the USA!
            Patty
            www.rivervalefarm.com
            Follow us on facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/River...ref=ts&fref=ts

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            • #46
              There is already a thread about horses being released/abandoned on BLM land in Colorado, so we are revisiting the same subject.

              I just have to add that while horses can turn feral and it looks good on paper the reality is that our domestic horses don't have the survival instincts to live very long in the wild.
              They do not know what plants are dangerous, or how to find water, etc. It is a very cruel thing to do to a domestic horse. Most will die of starvation, or injury.
              Goolgle abandoning horses on BLM land and you will see a slew of articles.

              Oh and by the way it is illegal.
              "Half the failures in life result from pulling in one's horse when it is leaping."

              http://www.facebook.com/album.php?ai...7&l=eca0d15457

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              • #47
                Actually the new Beltex plant in Mex. is much more modern and up to date then the plants in the U.S. and the horses are killed the same way as here with a captive bolt. The big thing is the much longer trip they have to make especially in hot weather and theres no regulations on holding pens at all. Old horses going to slaughter? Very very few actually, same as crippled ones the vast majority are young healthy fat horses. People that eat horse are no differant then those who eat beef or any other meat they want good tasting food not some old animal. Fact is theres a higher percentage of old cattle slaughtered then old horses.
                Quality doesn\'t cost it pays.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #48
                  Originally posted by Daydream Believer View Post

                  1....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...

                  2. 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.

                  3. 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?

                  4. I'm not sure what information from them was "hearsay"

                  5. 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?

                  6. 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.
                  1. What I posted specifically is the opinion of a Utah Ag Dept employee that she is having to go get orders of magnitude more horses off of BLM land because there is no market for horses, mainly because the meat buyers are no longer working in Utah. No one is buying horses (or if they are, they are paying very little, check out ksl.com's equine classifieds for a representative sampling). Nothing nonsensical about it. Apparently Time Magazine also thinks that this information is newsworthy since they reported on conditions in Colorado. When dealing with any problem, identifying changing conditions and determining the causes of those changing conditions is the only way to solve such problems.

                  2. County (and I'll claim brownie points for knowing County's correct gender) did not falsely accuse me of posting inaccurate or misleading information. Since I don't do that sort of thing, I will call anybody who makes such an accusation on it, any time. That's not 'jumping on' you or anybody else in particular. That's responding to a false accusation, no matter who makes it.

                  3. You're being silly. I started a thread to share information.

                  4. My point about 'hearsay' does not pertain to the precise information being conveyed, but rather to the source of the information and your inconsistency in saying 'shame on me' for posting second hand information, but you don't hold yourself to the same standard. The sort of inconsistency one sees often in your posts.

                  5. My initial point was that a domestic horse turned loose has a very slim chance of survival. You transmogrified that into the blanket 'horses turn feral easily' line of discussion. I'm familiar with the eastern herds- in fact last time I was in Currituck, more than 10 years ago, the head stud of the local band was killed on the road, and the news accounts at the time stated that the particular band was in trouble, fewer than a dozen left. Together with the info you have posted on this thread, certainly seems like they are in the category of surviving but not thriving.

                  But- it's a little beside the point. We don't know for any of these feral herds what the initial attrition rate was. Certainly, any time you turn some number of animals loose, some will die, some will survive. And it is reasonable to assume that the attrition rate for the Spanish horses, for example, was much higher initially. Practically speaking, they have been 'managed' pretty much nonstop by Native Americans, ranchers, and now the BLM. To the point of too much success- too many of them for the range to support, but it is not acceptable to the public to allow them to die of thirst or starvation.

                  We DO know that here in Utah, which, again, was the geographic area about which I initially posted, the average domestic horse will have a very difficult time making it when 'set free.'

                  6. Not your most graceful statement ever, I'll wager. I do agree with you a hundred percent, it IS frustrating when people don't read before responding! If you read my post carefully, and I'll admit it was maybe written too subtly, I intended to infer that though yes, you have repeatedly stated that you don't condone it, I was, if you will, wondering aloud if you didn't seem to think it was okay since it's so easy for a horse to go feral, as you believe. I am comforted that you are emphatically repeating your condemnation of the cruel and illegal practice of dumping horses on federal lands.

                  Comment


                  • #49
                    Interesting income polls

                    Though absolutely NOT scientific, isn't it interesting that the majority of the people who responded to the income poll on the Eventing board and Dressage board make over $75K or $100K? Not sure I am wearing the accused rose colored glasses after all.
                    RG Equestrian

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #50
                      Certainly there are a number of issues at play, and bad timing, they are all happening at once. Rising foreclosures and bankruptcies, price of gas, etc.

                      Problem with the polls though, and an equally unscientific observation, is that we (bulletin board members) are probably a demographic that have more disposable income than the national average and/or regional averages.

                      In addition to gas prices, last week, a ton of hay delivered to our barn was $215. A year ago it was $80. Board has been increased to account for that, and boarders have absorbed the hit. But I can see how many horse owners in these parts could have gone from okay a year ago to hard pressed now. And, nobody's buying horses. The nearest auction house has shut down owing to insufficient business.

                      And another factor, sadly- our throwaway society. Maybe part of it is horses are just catching up to dogs and cats as disposable pets.

                      But, all in all, I do see evidence of 'people' (not just horse owners) being hit hard here- and we still have a healthy economy compared to much of the nation.

                      Comment


                      • #51
                        It wasn't aimed at you, and I am in full agreement with you. There was just a snarky comment thrown my way when I pointed out facts about what IS at play. I agree, by the nature of the beast (a horse BB), we probably have more than most - which makes the initial comment even more curious.





                        Originally posted by Beverley View Post
                        Certainly there are a number of issues at play, and bad timing, they are all happening at once. Rising foreclosures and bankruptcies, price of gas, etc.

                        Problem with the polls though, and an equally unscientific observation, is that we (bulletin board members) are probably a demographic that have more disposable income than the national average and/or regional averages.

                        In addition to gas prices, last week, a ton of hay delivered to our barn was $215. A year ago it was $80. Board has been increased to account for that, and boarders have absorbed the hit. But I can see how many horse owners in these parts could have gone from okay a year ago to hard pressed now. And, nobody's buying horses. The nearest auction house has shut down owing to insufficient business.

                        And another factor, sadly- our throwaway society. Maybe part of it is horses are just catching up to dogs and cats as disposable pets.

                        But, all in all, I do see evidence of 'people' (not just horse owners) being hit hard here- and we still have a healthy economy compared to much of the nation.
                        RG Equestrian

                        Comment


                        • #52
                          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.

                          Exactly. It IS the economy. Horses are a luxury item and in times like these, luxuries fall by the wayside. The problem is that these luxuries can suffer.

                          I believe government subsidized euthanasia and disposal for the horses of those people with lower incomes is absolutely necessary right now, until the market adjusts, the breeding of low end horses decreases, and people get realistic about the fact that they cannot afford to own a horse. Right now many, many people have horses who cannot afford to own a horse.

                          Comment


                          • #53
                            Originally posted by catknsn View Post
                            Exactly. It IS the economy. Horses are a luxury item and in times like these, luxuries fall by the wayside. The problem is that these luxuries can suffer.

                            I believe government subsidized euthanasia and disposal for the horses of those people with lower incomes is absolutely necessary right now, until the market adjusts, the breeding of low end horses decreases, and people get realistic about the fact that they cannot afford to own a horse. Right now many, many people have horses who cannot afford to own a horse.
                            And guess what, the government taking over control, euthanasia and disposal will work to curb horse numbers as good as it has dog numbers.
                            There are way too many people breeding horses just because, as you can see all over the internet also and guess what again, it is their right to do so, as it is with dogs.

                            I still think that slaughter, as a commercial enterprise, is better than our taxes at work yet one more time.
                            I vote my taxes go to something our society can't handle and is in REAL need for the government to assist with.
                            Extra horses have been used and still are in most of the world thru slaughter, as an asset, a renewable resource we should be using, not wasting senselessly, caught on the sights of some animal groups propaganda to garner donations from the gulllible.

                            We will have to agree to disagree on this one.

                            Comment


                            • #54
                              Originally posted by catknsn View Post
                              Exactly. It IS the economy. Horses are a luxury item and in times like these, luxuries fall by the wayside. The problem is that these luxuries can suffer.

                              I believe government subsidized euthanasia and disposal for the horses of those people with lower incomes is absolutely necessary right now, until the market adjusts, the breeding of low end horses decreases, and people get realistic about the fact that they cannot afford to own a horse. Right now many, many people have horses who cannot afford to own a horse.
                              And how would the Government subsidize euthanasia when the PETA folks won't even let the Government "dispose" of it's excess horses? Our tax dollars already support the Government's breeding program which then dumps more horses onto the market at $25.00 and $75.00

                              Sorry, but I agree with Bluey and Cielo Azure on this one.
                              Patty
                              www.rivervalefarm.com
                              Follow us on facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/River...ref=ts&fref=ts

                              Comment


                              • #55
                                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RCe66wkpfY

                                I think this is a very telling interview. Foreclosure is very REAL to those who are experiencing it, and sometimes the concerns of the family and children, where they move, what school district they are in, etc...simply HAS to take precedence over the animals. That is NOT an excuse for being irresponsible: however, I would like to think that these people at least TRIED to find them homes (which, given the free ads in the paper and on Craigslist they may have) and simply were left with the only alternative of sending them to Sugarcreek and couldn't face it. I know I couldn'tl

                                My husband and I are searching for horse property within our (very repressed, at one time the leader in the state for foreclosures and families on welfare) county right now and, when looking at properies(many of which have been foreclosed or are entering foreclosure), have encounterd at least 6 horses who have simply been abandoned. Now, the grass is good and they had troughs filled with luckily abundant rainwater, but...

                                It's just ugly, all the way around. But financial hardship is REAL. Sadly I see it everyday and I pray for the families who endure it. Talking about being responsible takes on a new meaning when you are afraid that you can't even house and feed your kids.

                                ETA: Oh, and for those who will say that they shouldn't have had horses in the first place, please know that most of these foreclosed properties are multi six figured. But when industry closes in a small town, EVERYone loses. From the executives who must move to another town to the highly paid factory worker who thought he had a job for life and is now begging for a minimum wage job at WalMart.

                                Like I said, it's ugly.
                                Last edited by IveGotRhythm; Jun. 3, 2008, 09:02 PM. Reason: needed to make a point
                                Rhythm the perfect OTTB;Spock the will-be perfect OTTB;Mia the Arab/appendix COTH giveaway

                                Comment


                                • #56
                                  Presumably folks in Utah are just as able to send a horse to auction, advertize it on craigslist, dreamhorse, or in the feedstore as anywhere else in the country. And I'm not aware that there has been in recent history a local horse slaughterhouse in Utah to which people could simply walk in their animal. Horses in Utah, to be available for the slaughter market, would presumably have today to be advertized/offered for sale in exactly the same way as they always have...

                                  The absence of slaughter in the US doesn't mean that all secondary markets for horses somehow closed down. They most certainly did not. Nor would they if export to slaughter were banned.

                                  From which you might conclude that people who abandon their horses would do so no matter HOW many slaughterhouses were open here. And there are laws against that at state levels which can be enforced if there is a will to do so - a will which can be induced often by a sufficiently forceful threat of bad publicity, or by a threat of contacting the ultimate (elected) state authority for ensuring state agencies do enforce laws, such as the state district attorney's office - threats from those people that are genuinely concerned that those laws be enforced. So let it be. If you don't like what is happening to horse welfare in your state, be proactive.

                                  And the USDA stats show that no fewer US horses are being slaughtered now than before the US plant closures. I'm not sure why it's so tough to go to usda.gov, "search" for data on Horses exported for slaughter, and check it out for yourselves if you doubt it.

                                  Comment


                                  • #57
                                    Originally posted by lesson junkie View Post
                                    Becoming a horse owner takes effort-they don't show up on the front porch one day.
                                    Apparently they do now.
                                    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

                                    Comment


                                    • #58
                                      Originally posted by Blueshadow View Post
                                      Presumably folks in Utah are just as able to send a horse to auction, advertize it on craigslist, dreamhorse, or in the feedstore as anywhere else in the country. And I'm not aware that there has been in recent history a local horse slaughterhouse in Utah to which people could simply walk in their animal. Horses in Utah, to be available for the slaughter market, would presumably have today to be advertized/offered for sale in exactly the same way as they always have...

                                      The absence of slaughter in the US doesn't mean that all secondary markets for horses somehow closed down. They most certainly did not. Nor would they if export to slaughter were banned.

                                      From which you might conclude that people who abandon their horses would do so no matter HOW many slaughterhouses were open here. And there are laws against that at state levels which can be enforced if there is a will to do so - a will which can be induced often by a sufficiently forceful threat of bad publicity, or by a threat of contacting the ultimate (elected) state authority for ensuring state agencies do enforce laws, such as the state district attorney's office - threats from those people that are genuinely concerned that those laws be enforced. So let it be. If you don't like what is happening to horse welfare in your state, be proactive.

                                      And the USDA stats show that no fewer US horses are being slaughtered now than before the US plant closures. I'm not sure why it's so tough to go to usda.gov, "search" for data on Horses exported for slaughter, and check it out for yourselves if you doubt it.

                                      How are you going to prosecute anyone dumping a horse, any more than we can prosecute those dumping dogs, if there is no identification tying that animal to any one person?

                                      We don't want any kind of NAIS program, but then we want the government to keep track of who owns what and have a leg to stand to prosecute anyone for abandoned animals?

                                      You say there are as many horses slaughtered now, just that we have outsourced them to CA and MX?
                                      Don't forget that there are more horses out there also and if slaughter was done here, the plants here would have absorbed them. We have less slaughter capabilities and that impacts how many can be processed, until they build more plants.
                                      We have all those extra horses no one wants, with no market for them.
                                      In the larger picture, abandoned horses are a very small number.

                                      The closing of plants in the US HAS imppacted our local horse sales, they have cut to 1/2 what they were, because many of those buyers are not coming here any more, have enough horses to pick from where they are.
                                      Remember that those traders were buying and selling more than killer horses, have a thriving business with riding horses.
                                      For many horses, these traders were their last chance to find a home other than slaughter, if they were the kind those traders could resell as a riding horse.

                                      That those traders are not coming by any more is causing a glut of horses and some uncaring or desesperate people are abandoning their unwanted horses.
                                      If those people can't be found, who can prosecute them?

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                                      • Original Poster

                                        #59
                                        Originally posted by Blueshadow View Post
                                        Presumably folks in Utah are just as able to send a horse to auction, advertize it on craigslist, dreamhorse, or in the feedstore as anywhere else in the country. And I'm not aware that there has been in recent history a local horse slaughterhouse in Utah to which people could simply walk in their animal. Horses in Utah, to be available for the slaughter market, would presumably have today to be advertized/offered for sale in exactly the same way as they always have...

                                        The absence of slaughter in the US doesn't mean that all secondary markets for horses somehow closed down. They most certainly did not. Nor would they if export to slaughter were banned.

                                        From which you might conclude that people who abandon their horses would do so no matter HOW many slaughterhouses were open here.

                                        And the USDA stats show that no fewer US horses are being slaughtered now than before the US plant closures. I'm not sure why it's so tough to go to usda.gov, "search" for data on Horses exported for slaughter, and check it out for yourselves if you doubt it.
                                        Up until recently, the 'floor' on horse prices was the meat price. If you took your horse to auction, you knew what the bottom price would be based on that index. Since the meat buyers in Utah have apparently disappeared, that floor is gone. So, if you haul your horse to the auction house, the odds of a no sale, or a sale at a price less than you spent in gas to get there, increase markedly. As I previously noted, one auction house has shut down because of these dynamics (presumably among others, since they also sold cattle and other livestock). So yes, the 'secondary market' to use your term is directly affected by the absence of meat buyers.

                                        The NATIONAL numbers may be the same (though there is always a lag time in posting data so that info is typically at least several months old, and thus not completely reflective of conditions 'right this minute.'), but in Utah, they've gone down, according to the brand inspector. One could reasonably conclude that the numbers have therefore increased in one or more other states to compensate. If I were in the business, and the delivery point were Canada and Mexico instead of Illinois and Texas, I'd be looking to buy horses in the states nearer those points to save on transportation costs. As it is, those in Utah who previously bought horses for the meat market are no longer doing so, presumably because there's not enough money in it. So, there is no longer a guaranteed 'minimum' that a horse would bring at auction. I've never been aware of any 'meat men' buying horses via private treaty for the meat market, though I suppose it could happen. There are certain small populations who buy (or steal) horses here for human consumption- but not enough to affect the overall market.

                                        So, I do think it is reasonable to conclude that (among the several contributing factors), the increased likelihood of inability to recoup one's gas costs by taking a horse to the auction house, and the lack of sale when advertising via free services (ksl.com being the most widely used) coupled with ongoing daily costs (more expensive hay), all conspire to the reported increase in dumping horses on public lands.

                                        Yes, there are some gas expenses associated with that, but if one leaves the horse out there somewhere one knows the expense is gone, whereas there's a risk of having to haul the unsold horse back home from the auction house.

                                        As reported in the Time magazine article posted in another thread, the situations in Utah and Colorado appear to be similar.

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                                        • #60
                                          Interesting argument. And don't get me wrong - gas prices must at some point affect especially the Mexican export market since meat prices there are low for horses travelling only to, for example, Juarez; higher for plants further south but then shipping costs are higher also - and the Mexicans don't need American horses to fulfill their 650,000 horse per year slaughter rate. In other words, prices are competitively determined there in a way that they don't necessarily need to be in Canada (American horses form a large % of the total in that market).

                                          But the market in California has not been affected similarly. CA horses are being shipped en masse to Canada (as far as the Alberta plant) and Mexico (they go via El Paso, a twelve hour drive). And the Bouvry feedlot in Shelby Montana doesn't look any less full - 1600 horses there just a couple of weeks ago. If kill buyers in Utah have contracts like any others, I would imagine they'd be taking horses to feedlots owned by Canadian slaughterhouses, for example in NV and MT, not necessarily all the way to the border.

                                          Local kill buyers here certainly obtain the largest portion of their horses here from auctions. However, there are high drop off rates at the lots, and they obtain plenty of free horses from individual owners through craigslist and other ads. I just fail to see that Utah would be so terribly different.

                                          But listen - I've heard similar arguments recently from brand inspectors and state vets in New Mexico too. They'd like me to believe that no horses go through New Mexico to slaughter, the auctions in New Mexico don't entertain slaughterbuyers, and they stop loads of horses at the New Mexico border. Believe that? I don't buy a word of it.

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