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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Chip Those Horses and Holding Owners Responsible

This blog entry is about all horses, not just racing breeds, but any type of horse.  It is about the permissiveness of letting horse owners throughout the nation skirt their responsibility

Pro-horse slaughter advocates claim each time states threaten to outlaw horse slaughter, horses are at an increased risk of being abandoned, released on public lands to starve to death or abused.  They also talk about slaughtering the horses would be more 'humane' than transporting them to Canada or Mexico.

I don't want to go into great detail about this 'more humane' argument as it really isn't the point of this column.  I guess an argument could be made for it, the same way you could argue a person drowning in three feet of water is more humane than them drowning in six feet of water.  They still drown the same.

There is responsibility to horse ownership which is implied, the same way there is for owning dogs.  This responsibility is when a horse is unwanted and no home can be found for it, suffering, or reached the end of its usefulness, the owner should provide the horse with a humane end of life (euthanasia).

My real problem is how we as a society allow horse owners (from the parent's of the child who has grown to old for their first pony, the person who has lost interest or can no longer afford their horse, to yes, the owner of a race horse who is no longer able to compete in races successfully who now consider the horse a disposable piece of property) to get away with shirking the responsibilities of horse ownership.  Proponents of horse slaughter claim without ways to get rid of horses people no longer want, horse owners will just abandon (or abuse) their horses and wipe their hands of their responsibility. 

While I have doubts, let's accept their argument at face value.  My question is why are we allowing people to shirk their responsibilities to their horse?  Instead of letting people off the hook by allowing them to dump their horses or making a few bucks by letting someone else dispose of their 'problem', it is time to hold those who choose the easy way out accountable.

It should be law that every horse be micro-chipped with the ownership of the horse recorded and updated if ownership is transferred.  If a horse is abused or found wandering on public land starving, it is time society tells horse owners this is unacceptable and hold them accountable..

Make no mistake, there are groups who will oppose such a plan, citing it will discourage horse ownership.  This may be true.  But if a person is unwilling or unable to do the right thing when the time comes, I would suggest this person shouldn't be owning a horse in the first place. 

The time has come to hold horse owners responsible for taking care of their horses when the time comes, not giving them a way to wipe their hands of their responsibility.  If those proponents of horse slaughter truly have the best interests of the horse at heart, they should be more than happy to support such a proposal.  Unfortunately, I don't think many of them would.

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