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What do we do with them all? A euthanasia debate

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  • #21
    Perfect time to do it

    Originally posted by Lori B View Post
    Don't laugh at me, I know this will sound laughable. Why can't racing charge some money upfront (as in, when a yearling is sold at those crazy expensive sales, for example) that is banked toward a humane euthanasia / retirement fund? Why can't a fraction of entry fees, registration fees, whatever, be skimmed off UP FRONT instead of leaving all the well-meaning folks scraping pennies out of their sofas to care for animals who have made thousands of dollars for their owners, who in so many cases, are nowhere to be found when hard decisions and expensive care is needed?

    I hate that it's the responsible, careful, concerned folks who end up cleaning up after the lazy greedy users. In this as in so much else in life.
    Great idea!
    My big man - April 27, 1986 - September 04, 2008-
    You're with me every moment, my big red horse.

    Be kinder than necessary, for everyone is fighting a battle of some kind.

    Comment


    • #22
      A real question...are there any owners on this board that are willing to take a horse back that they bred? Have you done so? I would like to hear your story. I know we sent one back to the late John Hettinger. It was on her papers and no questions were asked.
      www.canterusa.org

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      • #23
        I've had discussions about skimming money with some HBPA members at a couple different tracks and they don't want dollars taken from purses or have a per start fee charged. The blame the track or think they should pay it in addtion to the purse...that is the problem.

        Comment


        • #24
          Blue Horse Charities

          It is not mandatory but if you want to "give" to Blue Horse Charities at the Fasig Tipton sales, the money is given to rescues that adopt out horses. It ends up being about $150 a horse, depending on the year.
          www.canterusa.org

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          • #25
            Originally posted by omare View Post
            But who wants to have to argue with a vet or be required to let the vet "evaluate" whether a horse should be put down (i.e., pass judgement on your already painful decision).
            It is unlikely to be the vet's fault that the horse is in a dire situation to begin with. OF COURSE a vet should evaluate whether or not euthansia should be an option, that is also - as you say in your post- a very real part of the job... There is no obligation to perform convenience euthansia.

            However, I agree sometimes euthanasia is "kindest" decision when you only have ugly options to choose from. - see FairWeathers excellent posts above.

            The same thing happens at small animal shelters. People get tired of their pets, lose thier jobs, whatever, surrender an animal to a shelter and the shelter staff is left with the burden of having to choose who lives/may be adoptable and who gets euthanized for cage space.

            It is a very old, and very sorry story.

            Comment


            • #26
              We have a just started a euthanasia assistance program with our local rescue (horsehaven.net), based loosely upon the California one. We're hoping it will help some. We've also started a feed assistance program for people with a limited number of horses experiencing a temporary hardship.

              Comment


              • #27
                DH -- Of course no one 'wants' the $$ skimmed, but what if it was rolled into whatever registration was charged for a horse from the Jockey Club, when they are named as babies?

                Everyone is ready to spend $$ when they think they might have the next Seabiscuit. That's when to charge $$ that goes to a retirement / humane euthanasia fund. And if that money was paid for EVERY registered TB, there wouldn't be any incentive to discreetly truck 'em off to New Holland, because there would be SOMETHING waiting for them that didn't depend on the conscientiousness of the last person to own the horse. Seems to me the problem is that there's money thrown around on the front end of a horse's life, when they are all potential and everyone has dollar signs in their eyes, but by the time they are running claimers at Finger Lakes, it's all "We have to pay the rent, we can't keep 'em if they can't earn their keep, etc., etc." The trick has to be to grab some of that front end greedy optimistic $$ and bank it for the horses, away from their various (good and bad) owners.
                I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
                I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09

                Comment


                • #28
                  I do not consider the situation in Puerto Rico an ideal model, lest anyone infer otherwise, however the overwhelming lack of adequate resources is the heart of the issue here...whether we are talking euthanasia or rehab & rehoming.

                  You're right, FairWeather, the "oh noooooes, he's still pretty to look at" don't help make the issue which is already involved, complicated, and downright ugly any easier. Anyone who wants to use that Seabiscuit quote to side against euthanasia for a significantly unsound animal had better have an equine lawn ornament adorning their farm -- or at least be paying for one to reside on someone else's.

                  Deferring to the bleeding hearts does nothing to change the reality. Even "no kill" animal shelters will euthanize animals with debilitating conditions. A euthanasia policy may not appease the rainbow & butterfly people, but, when the case warrants, it is a viable alternative lightyears ahead of the PR nightmare which is a truck ride to Canada or Mexico.

                  The awareness campaign includes educating people to the reality of things. Some horses can not be rehomed. Having a euthanasia policy does not mean we do not still attempt to recruit foster homes and rehome the ones we can. Using those limited funds wisely ultimately helps more horses.

                  The immediate issue is funding. Who is responsible for providing for a horse's retirement? Most will agree it is, at least in large part, the owner's responsibility. Well clearly not enough owners are taking the cost of a horse's retirement into serious consideration upon purchase, or else we wouldn't be in this position. That's a problem of perception as much as it is finances. Would per start fees be enough to change the outlook that a losing racehorse is disposable, someone else's problem to pay for?

                  Do the owners of stallions that are siring some 50, 100, 200 foals year after year share no responsibility in the unwanted horse problem? Perhaps a portion of stud fees of $10,000 or above should in part fund TB retirement efforts.

                  Recently we've seen the racing industry in some areas make changes out of concern for the equine athletes' welfare: banning anabolic steroids, regulating the length of toe grabs. What if accreditation by the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance involved regulation against repeatedly tapping a horse's joints with corticosteroids? And what if this accreditation was not just some warm & fuzzy PR attempt in the wake of Eight Belles, but rather, something actually required before a track could operate each season? 'Not likely to happen, given that ultimately racing is governed state by state, but if it did maybe more horses would have a better chance at retiring sound.

                  No easy answers here. If I could wave my silly barnfairy wand and fix it, I would.
                  Last edited by Barnfairy; Aug. 24, 2009, 05:10 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    Not the answer you want to hear, but the logical solution is HUMANE slaughter. Humanley done this is a solution to the problem. I have personally watched a video of horses being humanely slaughtered with a bolt gun to the head and these hroses never even knew what happened and were TOTALLY calm thru the entire procedure, acutally better than euthanasia which often caused horse sto struggle etc. If humane transport could be provided and slaughter being done under these circumstances in the manner I viewed, I have no problem with it. But of course, since we outlawed slaughter in the US we have no jurisdiction over the slaughter houses over the border.
                    www.shawneeacres.net

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                    • #30
                      If anyone could show me anyplace on the planet where slaughter is currently administered in a consistently humane way, and where violations of humane regs were punished with something just short of castration with a rusty knife, I would be interested in considering that solution, ShawneeAcres. Otherwise, no thanks. I think the problem of poor enforcement and not being able to persuade any jurisdictions that they have a reason to actually spend time and money caring about enforcing those kind of laws is pretty intractable. THAT is why I oppose slaughter.

                      It's not that it's not possible to slaughter humanely. It's that no place does it that way reliably. A solution where no one stands to make any $$ seems to have better prospects for fewer abuses.
                      I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
                      I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        Originally posted by shawneeAcres View Post
                        Not the answer you want to hear, but the logical solution is HUMANE slaughter. Humanley done this is a solution to the problem. I have personally watched a video of horses being humanely slaughtered with a bolt gun to the head and these hroses never even knew what happened and were TOTALLY calm thru the entire procedure, acutally better than euthanasia which often caused horse sto struggle etc. If humane transport could be provided and slaughter being done under these circumstances in the manner I viewed, I have no problem with it. But of course, since we outlawed slaughter in the US we have no jurisdiction over the slaughter houses over the border.
                        Have you ever actually been inside a slaughter house ? Let me tell you first hand, it is not a nice place, and as a whole the animals are not calm.

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          You guys act as though the industry has done nothing. But I know that Carma fees have been taken out of my account this year.

                          http://www.carma4horses.org/

                          I have no idea what the money goes for (which frankly bothers me a bit) but everytime I run a horse in California, they get a piece of it.

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            Slightly OT but did anyone see the article this morning in the New York Times sports section on wastage in the TB racing industry. It focused on one horse who had gone up and done in class before ending up at a very marginal track. He was rescued and sent to Old Friends.

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              Once again..

                              Originally posted by Lori B View Post
                              If anyone could show me anyplace on the planet where slaughter is currently administered in a consistently humane way, and where violations of humane regs were punished with something just short of castration with a rusty knife, I would be interested in considering that solution, ShawneeAcres. Otherwise, no thanks. I think the problem of poor enforcement and not being able to persuade any jurisdictions that they have a reason to actually spend time and money caring about enforcing those kind of laws is pretty intractable. THAT is why I oppose slaughter.

                              It's not that it's not possible to slaughter humanely. It's that no place does it that way reliably. A solution where no one stands to make any $$ seems to have better prospects for fewer abuses.
                              Absolutely right on.

                              I was talking to some one the other day about involving the sport horse industry more - incentives for ottbs, I know there is a smattering now, but it would help with those that are able.

                              Unfortunately, the "animal shelter" model may be the best option in the near term - meaning that euthanizing the badly injured, pasture puff types (with discretion of course), then tier it out from there. It makes me ill, but not even remotely from what Fairweather must feel.

                              Many years ago, in S FL, some trainers that I knew had there "rejects" euthanized, but that was a n individual thing. And some actually called Lion Country Safari - gruesome, yes, but the horses obviously didn't know. I mean were not alive when they arrived.
                              My big man - April 27, 1986 - September 04, 2008-
                              You're with me every moment, my big red horse.

                              Be kinder than necessary, for everyone is fighting a battle of some kind.

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                Originally posted by FairWeather View Post
                                As it stands though, I'm kind of tired of protecting the image of racing. The reality is that these horses ARE being killed, the racing industry just gets to point to the slaughter-plant as the problem, instead of where the problem originates.
                                A bit rambling here so forgive me ...

                                While there is a hand in glove relationship between the breeding industry and the racing industry they are distinct. So racing fans to some degree seemingly are "blamed" for the over supply by breeders and/or a lack of competitive product that comes to the track and flops and suddenly its racings' mess. Horse racing takes the black eye, etc.

                                Look at other professional sport businesses - the NFL fans and owners aren't bashed when a walk-on rookie player comes on the field and is injured in the first season and won't be able to play in the sport again. The NFL is not expected to find that player a new career.

                                Humans and horses are not the same of course. No horse asked to become a racing prospect but to some degree the sport inherently is such that thousands of prospects come to the track and most ultimately aren't going to cut it. Isn't it the breeder - not racing - which bears some most of the culpability for having bred the horse?

                                I'm not pointing my finger at the Jockey Club which is just a registry. Rather the original breeders who (if the horse was a success) may have enjoyed for years checks for being part of the one of the many state funds. e.g. New York State Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund

                                Example of the continued benefits of the above fund - if the horse is successful

                                The programme offers more than 1,000 races restricted to New York-breds as well as awards paid to breeders, stallion owners and racehorse owners.

                                Breeders can receive up to an additional 20 per cent of prize-money for first place and an additional ten per cent for second or third, while stallion owners can earn up to seven per cent of prize-money for first through third place. Both breeders' and stallion owners' awards are capped at $10,000.

                                New York-breds who finish first through third in open company also earn additional prize-money for their owners, capped at $20,000 per race.

                                In 2008, the New York fund paid out $6.8 million in awards to breeders, $2.1m in awards to stallion owners and $1.4m to owners of New York-breds, as well as staging 45 black-type races worth more than $4m.
                                Isn't it a bit odd that if (and again just using this as an example) a NY state bred horse is a flop at the track the breeder says "not my problem, I sold him" but if the horse is a winner - and yet was sold off - the checks still flow in?

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  Pronzini -- that's good to know. I don't at all think that nothing is being done, but it's obvious not being done on an industry wide basis, but rather one small charitable-type organization at a time.

                                  Transparency and accountability is critical to the implementation of something like what I suggest. One crooked operator, one instance of someone found to be stealing the horse's retirement funds and running off to the Turks & Caicos, and it would all be ruined.
                                  I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
                                  I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by Lori B View Post
                                    DH -- Of course no one 'wants' the $$ skimmed, but what if it was rolled into whatever registration was charged for a horse from the Jockey Club, when they are named as babies?
                                    33,000 foals a year.
                                    How much do you want to raise? $1m a year? That's $30 per foal. $10m a year? That's $300 per foal.
                                    There are two questions, what's a realistic amount that needs to be raised and what's a realistic fee that people will pay, and then decide if the intersection of those two feasible.

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by Lori B View Post

                                      Transparency and accountability is critical to the implementation of something like what I suggest. One crooked operator, one instance of someone found to be stealing the horse's retirement funds and running off to the Turks & Caicos, and it would all be ruined.
                                      Which is exactly why I wish Carma would be more explicit about what it's doing with the money. If I added up my donations this year, it would probably be less than $100 and for that reason I don't opt out but I'm sure over the course of the year with everyone, it's millions.

                                      Who's getting that money and why isn't it spelled out on the link? At least mollify us with a success story.

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by Pronzini View Post
                                        Which is exactly why I wish Carma would be more explicit about what it's doing with the money. If I added up my donations this year, it would probably be less than $100 and for that reason I don't opt out but I'm sure over the course of the year with everyone, it's millions.
                                        I doubt it's millions.
                                        Carma takes .3% of purses in Cali, that's presuming no one opts out. Total purses nationwide for 2007 were $667m, so .3% of that is $2m. I could be wrong, but I doubt California amounts for over 50% of nationwide purses.

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by Drvmb1ggl3 View Post
                                          33,000 foals a year.

                                          How much do you want to raise? $1m a year? That's $30 per foal. $10m a year? That's $300 per foal. There are two questions, what's a realistic amount that needs to be raised and what's a realistic fee that people will pay, and then decide if the intersection of those two feasible.
                                          The upside I see to this bad economy is this great news: 2010 projections: Jockey Club projects smallest foal crop since 1977

                                          The Jockey Club projected a 2010 registered foal crop of 30,000, which would be the smallest since 30,036 were registered in 1977. The Jockey Club also revised its original estimate of registered foals for 2009 from 35,400 to 34,000.
                                          It should be another 25% lower in my view.

                                          Maybe if a fatter live foal registry fee - like $300 which would go towards the horse's "social secuirty" - was mandated then it would stop some of the mass production.

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