Horse Slaughter…. Solutions?
February 26, 2011 § 17 Comments
My last post was about horse slaughter. I am continually frustrated by the fact that no one seems to be offering or discussing viable solutions to the over-population issues, and only pushing the slaughter agenda. That being said, I wanted to open this forum for people to offer other solutions. If viable solutions are suggested in the comments section, be aware I’ll probably add them to the post as it evolves… but will still leave your comment below so people know where it came from.
I am also more than willing to remove ideas if/when they are proven to be impossible (with something other than “that’s too expensive” or “people won’t accept that”.)
I’m going to try to have headings and sub-headings. It may get confusing if a lot of comments are left, but in the end I hope to have a well laid out and thought out piece. But I do need your help, post those ideas!
I completely understand a lot of what is written below is in fairly general terms. I am not a legislator, lawyer, or a member of Mensa. There are holes and flaws. Please help fill in those holes and correct those flaws in a manner conducive to open conversation. Thank you.
Create a licensing system for breeding. If you had to have a license to breed a horse, there would be a cost associated with creating horses.
The cost of licensing would make it more costly to breed, thus:
- less people would breed
- only breeding of horses that would sell for a decent price would be viable
- the money made through licensing could conceivably be used for rescue efforts, euthanization clinics, gelding clinics, etc. further supporting a healthy equine industry
- getting it set up
- policing it – who? how? etc.
My thoughts on policing it would encompass the fact that to sell a horse you would have to provide the purchaser with the license. This license could become part of a comprehensive passporting system, ensuring all shots, coggins, etc. plus medications not acceptable to the meat pipeline would be accounted for. No horse would ever change hands without the passport/license, and the breeder and each successive owner would be noted on it.
In my eyes, this also encourages accountability to each breeder and successive owner, as the horse can be traced directly back to them.
Only breed every second year for two to four years.
- cut the amount of new horses on the market in half (providing breeders don’t breed twice as many horses every second year)
- brings prices back up
Biennial Breeding Issues
- getting people to “buy into” the program
- making them understand that while it may seem like they’ll make half the money, they’ll actually end up making more when the prices bounce back
I suspect right now those less-than-stellar breeders are actually increasing their production to make as much money. What they don’t get is that they’re perpetuating the problem and thus driving prices even further down. Not only that, they’re increasing their costs! If they bred less but each horse was worth more it would mean less costs and less work which equates to more money in their pocket.
- enforce current laws properly and more effectively
- make sentences harsher for anyone who neglects an animal in their care
One punishment needs to be a ban on further animal ownership for set periods of time.
- refine current standards of care
- create educational programs, and make them mandatory for people shown to be neglecting their animal(s) (see steps below)
- institute a fine/penalty system similar to driving infractions
In my opinion if the standards of care were refined and enforced, there could be a system put in place whereby anyone proven to be neglecting an animal (unless a severe case where the animal(s) need to be removed or euthanized immediately) there would be a three step process (the person would be made to sign an agreement, otherwise lose their animal(s) on the spot):
- Step 1: Attend applicable educational program
- Step 2: Follow-up (weekly or monthly, always unannounced) for a period of one year to ensure animals are being cared for properly
- Step 3: Annual or semi-annual unannounced check in for a further 2-5 years depending on the severity of the neglect
- while the fine/penalty system will help defray costs of the above, more money will probably be needed
- getting new/tougher laws in place
I believe there are some inherent issues in the system as it stands (SPCA/Animal Control/Humane Society). Savvy owners (repeat offenders) know how to get around the system currently in place. The SPCA/AC/HS doesn’t seem to consistently uphold what regulations/laws are in place. In some instances animals die from starvation while the SPCA/AC/HS says their hands are tied. There are grey areas in the minimum standards of care which allows for unacceptable treatment.
- any organization that promotes horse slaughter should spend the same dollar amount annually on low-cost euthenization clinics
- any organization that promotes horse slaughter should spend the same dollar amount annually on low-cost gelding clinics
(the above two rules would require pro-slaughter organizations to spend 2/3 of their total income towards low-cost clinics)
- all registered charities dedicated to rescuing horses should spend 1/4 (total) of their donations on low-cost euthenization and gelding clinics
(the above rule would require charities to spend 1/4 of their total income towards low-cost clinics)
- covered above
- rescues are already inundated with lame or otherwise unrideable horses, and dedicating money to clinics takes away from that
I know this is a difficult discussion point; but many rescues are turning into sanctuaries (meaning the majority of their residents are permanent residents and unadoptable). This means there is less room to take in horses that can be adopted out. I’m not sure what the solution to this issue is, but it does impact this debate.
- how to govern
- additional information that may help any of these solutions
- additional information showing weaknesses
- additional solution ideas
Talk amongst yourselves… ;)