The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Friday, March 03, 2006

Is it true that there are too many horses in the US?

(posted with permission...thanks, John!)

Is it true that there are too many horses in the US?

What you are really asking is if there are unwanted horses in the US. The answer is yes, there are. There are Quarter Horses whose joints have been damaged in performing for their owners to the point that they cannot compete. The same is true of race horses. There are old, lame, and blind horses of all kinds, horses from the PMU industry, and horses that have been used by medical schools.

But this is a trick question because it presupposes that slaughter helps eliminate them, thus preventing abuse and neglect. This is not true. I have done a detailed study of the relationship between abuse and neglect and slaughter, and found that the effect of slaughter is, if anything, to increase abuse and neglect. There are many reasons for this, but fundamentally it boils down to the fact that they are slaughtering the wrong horses. The horses that make the best meat are those in the prime of life with the most potential.

I have posted links to my statistical study and those of others below. Happy reading!

John Holland

  • A Study of the Relationship between Horse Slaughter and Reported Cases of Abuse and Neglect
    John M. Holland
    A mathematical study of the relationship of abuse to slaughter based on USDA and Illinois DA statistics.

  • Horse slaughter: An unnecessary evil
    Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation

  • Analysis of the constitutional issues raised by a proposed congressional ban on horse slaughter
    University of Chicago Law School

  • Survey of Trucking Practices and Injury to Slaughter Horses
    Temple Grandin, Kasie McGee and Jennifer Lanier
    Department of Animal Sciences, Colorado State University
    (Excellent rebuttal to arguments that only old, mean and useless horses are slaughtered)


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