Today there are many horses being born into this world that are
unlucky enough to face slaughter as the end of their life here on this
earth. These horses are not
“unwanted” as many people would claim, but instead are horses whose
owners were not responsible for them for the entirety of their life.
They did not plan ahead when the time came to retire the horse or
in situations where they could no longer keep, or no longer wanted the
horse. I believe that not
only the horse owners are responsible for these horses, but also in some
ways the breed registries themselves.
Many breed registries encourage over breeding to make money to
support their registries. What
can breed registries do to help this situation?
Here are some of my ideas.
I believe that breed registries should consider implementing
rules that will limit the number of horses bred at each farm each year.
By limiting the number of breedings at a farm each year, you
limit the number of horses born overall.
Many of today’s farms breed more than one hundred horses at a
time, these horses contribute to the nearly 100,000 horses slaughtered
every year. If you limited
each breeder to 10 foals a year at a normal registration fee, and then
drastically increased the registration fee for each additional foal,
many breeders would limit their breedings and work to chose the best
mare and stallion combinations that they can create for their horses.
This would ultimately increase the value of the horses overall,
by decreasing the number of horses, and improve the breed.
Breed registries should also consider a reduction in fees if an
owner/breeder sterilizes their horse.
This will encourage more owners to geld stallions.
Many will say that this is unfair to mare owners because it is
more costly for mares to be sterilized than stallions. Breed registries could also offer a similar reduction in fees
for each year that the mare is not bred. This would be comparable to the
fees for owners of geldings. This
may encourage more individuals to sterilize horses early in life that do
not fit the breed standards.
A reduction in fees does not have to be drastic.
It could be as simple as ten dollars a year per horse.
Require genetic testing for horses that are possible carriers of
genetic disorders. Refuse
to allow a horse to be registered if it has a genetic disorder or is a
carrier of a genetic disorder unless it has been sterilized.
This can only improve the breed.
By making sure that each horse is free of genetic disorders, you
decrease the chances of genetic disorders being found in future
Create a retirement fund for the horses of your breed.
Encourage owners to donate a portion of their winnings to a fund
for the care of horses when they have retired from the show ring or
racetrack. These horses
give their all because their owners ask them to, they deserve a chance
to retire with dignity.
Create a euthanasia fund. This
is something that horse owners do not like to think about, those final
days for their horses. One
of the complaints that owners have, and one of the reasons that
slaughter exists according to people who promote slaughter, is that the
cost of euthanizing an older horse is too expensive.
If one dollar of every registration fee were put into a fund for
euthanasia, then owners who cannot afford to euthanize their horse could
submit a form to their breed registry for help.
The dispersal of the fund could be based on the owner’s current
financial situation. Yes, this will require some extra paperwork, but more horses
would have humane ending to their life.
Each of these ideas should be evaluated and changed to fit your
breed registry. It will
take time to implement them and to work out any bugs that they may have.
In the long run, these ideas will help the registry by creating a
better market for their horses and by helping keep the breed pure and of
the best quality. Most
importantly it will better the lives of millions of horses and owners in