A Comprehensive Resource for At-Risk Horses – Compiled by Equine Advocate Linda Horn

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The_Thinker_Auguste_RodinThis comprehensive body of work produced by equine advocate Linda Horn arose as a result of commentary by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, who stated that Congress should come up with a better solution for unwanted horses.  Instead of slaughtering non-food animals for human consumption, he said that there needs to be a “a third way” to deal with horse problems instead of killing.  When Congress lifted the ban on horse slaughter for human consumption, five pending applications were filed.  The USDA preferred that the ban be renewed instead.

Of course, Congressman Jim Moran, Northern Virginia Democrat and co-chair of the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus, appealed to Vilsack calling on the USDA to deny permit applications for horse slaughter facilities, citing concerns with the cost and safety of the practice. His letter highlighted the negative economic impact that horse slaughter could have on the meat industry,  after the EU discovered that horsemeat had made its way into the beef supply.  In the month following media reports of horsemeat laced products, sales of burgers and other meat products collapsed by as much as 40 percent.

“Horses are not raised as food animals and are routinely given substances that are banned by the FDA from administration to animals destined for human consumption. At a time when USDA’s budget is diminished by budget cuts and sequestration…every dollar spent at horse slaughter plants would divert necessary resources away from beef, chicken, and pork inspections – meat actually consumed by Americans. While I work to restore this ban, I strongly urge you to exercise all available options to prevent the resumption of this industry.”

Now that Congress’ latest 2014 budget bill has blocked the resumption of horse slaughter in the U.S. by cutting funding for inspections of the process,  Linda’s documentation of alternatives to slaughter,  emphasis on humane euthanasia,  and alternatives for post-mortem disposal options in the United States is more important than ever.

The vast majority of pro-slaughter promoters will never  accept that this is the decline and fall of horse slaughter. Slaughterhouse Sue is still flagellating her troops into believing that they have lots of options moving forward.  But Linda has shown that anti-slaughter resources do exist,  and groups and organizations in other states could be mobilized out of necessity.  Inventiveness and ingenuity are stimulated by difficulty,  as we are reminded by the well-known proverb “necessity is the mother of invention,”  often ascribed to Greek philosopher Plato.

Compiled by Linda Horn – PDF version available here

Resources for At Risk Horses by Linda Horn

USDA Secretary Vilsack’s “Third Way” can address the current horse situation better than slaughter. The vast majority of horses who end up at the borders come from somewhere else. To be successful, the situation must be addressed at the source. Several states already have solutions in place. When all states set up their own programs there will be positive, long-lasting progress nationwide.

I hope Members of Congress, state and local legislators will endorse and promote this document. We intend to fund it privately, with no contributions from government budgets.

Here are a few examples of existing programs. There are many, many more.

STATE PROGRAMS – A GOOD EXAMPLE

New Mexico Equine Protection Fund.

If every state set up something like this – with each handling its own excess population – it would go a long way toward solving the dilemma.

http://www.equineprotectionfund.org/

Information about other state programs is available online.

CRISIS INTERVENTION

American Humane Association – Red Star Program – Disaster Relief

Help for the Leachman Horses. They helped with several other rescues involving horses

http://www.americanhumane.org/animals/programs/emergency-services/recent-emergency-services/montana-horse-relief.html

American Humane Association Second Chance Fund

http://www.americanhumane.org/animals/programs/shelter-services/second-chance-fund/

HAY BANKS

Grants and Other Support

http://www.equisearch.com/horses_care/nutrition/hay/horse_hay_bank_resources_061410/

ASPCA “Hay It Forward”

http://www.aspca.org/get-involved/horses/aspca-hay-it-forward-project

UHC Partners with ACTHA to Help Unwanted Horses

http://www.thehorse.com/articles/31295/uhc-partners-with-actha-to-help-unwanted-horses

Stamp Out Starvation of Horses – Georgia

http://www.sosofhorses.com/SOS_Of_Horses/Welcome.html

Equine Safety Net – Kentucky Horse Council

http://www.kentuckyhorse.org/safety-net/

Oregon Hay Bank

http://oregonhaybank.org/

Sound Equine Options – NW Oregon & SW Washington State

http://www.soundequineoptions.org/programs/temporary-feed-assistance

BITS – Back In The Saddle Project – California – Butte, Glen & Yuba Counties

http://backinthesaddleproject.com/haybank.html

HAY PRODUCTION

The USDA could provide subsidies to grow horse hay and establish a National Hay Registry that publishes hay available in each state.

GRANTS

The ASPCA Provided $1.8 Million in Grants to Equine Groups in 2012

http://www.thehorse.com/articles/31259/aspca-provided-1-8-million-in-grants-to-equine-groups-in-2012

TRAINING & SHOWCASING RESCUED AND SECOND CAREER HORSES

The Penn National Racetrack Model

http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/76860/penn-national-working-for-horse-adoption

UHC Member Addresses Rescue and Adoption: Rags to Riches Rescue Competition

http://www.unwantedhorsecoalition.org/?id=5&s=4&story=110

‘Thoroughbreds for All” Event to be Held April 26

http://www.paulickreport.com/news/bloodstock/thoroughbreds-for-all-event-to-be-held-april-26/

FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR RESCUES

State legislatures have the ability to create tax checkoffs to help rescues at no cost to taxpayers. It won’t solve the problem, but every little bit helps.

Colorado Unwanted Horse Alliance Tax Checkoff Information

http://www.counwantedhorse.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=125&Itemid=160

In 2013, the New Mexico legislature passed a check off bill as well.

“THANK YOU to the New Mexico House for passing SB274 on a 62-0 vote! Sen George Munoz’s bill will create a tax check off to help fund licensed horse shelters to help more abused, abandoned, and neglected equines in New Mexico without raising taxes! Having passed the Senate, the bill awaits a signature from Governor Martinez to become law. SO MANY people came forward to support this bill.”

This is the Fact Sheet. The Text of the Bill is available online.

http://apvnm.org/legislation/2013/Horse%20Shelter%20Rescue%20Fund%20Factsheet-1-26-13.pdf

GELDING CLINICS & GELDING VOUCHERS

National Equine Resource Network (NERN)

NERN’s goal is to help set up clinics nation-wide based on their model.

http://www.nationalequine.org/

The Unwanted Horse Coalition

http://www.unwantedhorsecoalition.org/?id=7&s=8

New Mexico Equine Protection Fund – Voucher

http://www.equineprotectionfund.org/

Horse Plus Humane Society – California – Monthly Clinics Low-cost clinics

http://www.horsehumane.org/gelding.htm

BITS – Back In The Saddle Project SNIP – California

http://backinthesaddleproject.com/SNIPS.html

FERTILITY CONTROL FOR MARES

PZP – Information from The Science and Conservation Center, ZooMontana

http://www.sccpzp.org/

EMERGENCY VETERINARY CARE

Sound Equine Options – NW Oregon & SW Washington State

http://www.soundequineoptions.org/

NETWORKING TO RESCUE HORSES

A Home for Every Horse

http://www.equisearch.com/a-home-for-every-horse/

A Home for Every Horse – Participating Rescues

http://www.equisearch.com/a-home-for-every-horse/rescues/?utm_source=EquiSearch-Hub&utm_medium=left-rail&utm_campaign=AHFEH

HSUS Safe Stalls Horse Rescue Network

http://www.humanesociety.org/news/press_releases/2012/12/safe-stalls-horse-rescue-network-120512.html

CANTER

http://www.thehorse.com/articles/31448/canter-transitions-1-000-ex-racehorses-in-2012

There are so many Facebook groups that successfully network to re-home horses in need and help owners in difficulty it would be almost impossible to list them all here.

TRANSPORT FOR RESCUED HORSES

Reasonable transport is one of the biggest challenges to those rescuing horses.

The following Facebook groups and others are helping meet that challenge:

Fleet of Angels

http://www.fleetofangels.org/

Horse Rescue Transport Network

https://www.facebook.com/HorseRescueTransportNetwork

Rescue Rangers

https://www.facebook.com/groups/rescuerangers/?ref=ts&fref=ts

uShip Highways to Help. Rescue horse information is at the bottom.

http://about.uship.com/highway-to-help/

EQUINE-ASSISTED THERAPY

Articles About the Value of Programs to Individuals and the Community

Grants Fund Research on Equine-Assisted Therapy and Veterans

http://www.thehorse.com/articles/29767/grants-fund-research-on-equine-assisted-therapy-and-veterans

Equine-assisted psychotherapy: a mental health promotion/intervention modality for children who have experienced intra-family violence

http://www.chrysalisequine.com/files/EAP%20-%20a%20mental%20health%20intervention%20for%20children%20who%20have%20experience%20intra%20family%20violence.pdf

Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy: Healing Therapy or Just Hype?

http://psychcentral.com/lib/2008/equine-assisted-psychotherapy-healing-therapy-or-just-hype/all/1

Horse therapy helps youth deal with life issues

http://www.hpj.com/archives/2009/feb09/feb16/Horsetherapyhelpsyouthdealw.cfm

A few of many Equine-assisted Therapy Programs:

Many of the horses are donated by those who can no longer care for them.

Equine-assisted therapy for military veterans and families – General information and links to programs

http://www.examiner.com/article/equine-assisted-therapy-for-military-veterans-and-families

Mini Horses as Therapists for Children

http://www.bendbulletin.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=%2F20130106%2FNEWS0107%2F301060351%2F1051&nav_category=NEWS0107

Equine Psychotherapy Associations

http://www.equine-psychotherapy.com/therapy-associations.html

EGALA

http://www.eagala.org/

Care for the Troops

http://www.careforthetroops.org/about_equineassistedactivities.php

Equine Assisted Therapy – St. Louis

http://eatherapy.org/

Equine Partners Unlimited – Ohio

http://www.equine-partners.org/

Back in the Saddle Project

http://backinthesaddleproject.com/index.html

Horse Plus Humane Society – California

http://www.horsehumane.org/programs.htm

Medicine Horse Program – Colorado

http://www.medicinehorse.org/vets.html

RESPONSIBLE BREEDING

HSUS Responsible Horse Breeders Council – 800 breeders had signed on as of January 2013.

http://www.thehorse.com/articles/31238/responsible-horse-breeders-council-formed

TRULY HUMANE CHEMICAL EUTHANASIA

HSUS Humane Horse Remains Disposal – by State

http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/horses/facts/humane_horse_remains_disposal.html

Veterinarians for Equine Welfare List

http://www.vetsforequinewelfare.org/veterinary-medical-schools.php

New Mexico Equine Protection Fund – Voucher System

http://www.equineprotectionfund.org/

Horse Plus Humane Society – California

http://www.horsehumane.org/eclinic.htm

BITS – Back In The Saddle Project – California

http://backinthesaddleproject.com/euthclinic.html

DISPOSAL SERVICES

HSUS Humane Horse Remains Disposal – by State

http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/horses/facts/humane_horse_remains_disposal.html

Veterinarians for Equine Welfare List

http://www.vetsforequinewelfare.org/veterinary-medical-schools.php

New Mexico Equine Protection Fund – Voucher System

http://www.equineprotectionfund.org/

DISPOSAL – RENDERING

National Renderers Association Members

http://cdn.harmonyapp.com/assets/51004fea30413252d4000482/NRA2012Directory.pdf

DISPOSAL – BIODIGESTION – THE WAY OF THE FUTURE

Biodigestion holds promise for equine disposal. This option should satisfy those who argue the primary way equines can be beneficial to humans after death is as food. The technology is already being used for disposal of diseased livestock, chemically euthanized dogs and cats, and animals killed on roadways. Biodigesters can handle many types of biologic materials, including manure. In addition to a number of other useful by-products, units can be set up to generate electricity from the produced methane. The USDA has issued a number of Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Grants for both research and building plants. Much more information is available online.

USDA Secretary Vilsack’s Column: Energy Efficiency and the Food, Farm and Jobs Bill

http://blogs.usda.gov/tag/anaerobic-digester/#sthash.XNNNl4re.dpuf

USDA Funded Digester Reduces Pollution, Powers 1,500 Michigan Homes

http://blogs.usda.gov/2012/10/12/usda-funded-digester-reduces-pollution-powers-1500-michigan-homes/

Five good reasons to implement a biogas plant on your farm

http://www.greenprospectsasia.com/content/five-good-reasons-implement-biogas-plant-your-farm#sthash.JXZ3N5w2.dpuf

MORTALITY COMPOSTING

Should I Consider Composting A Horse Carcass?

http://www.alphahorse.com/composting-a-horse-carcass.html

How To Compost A Dead Horse

http://www.alphahorse.com/compost-a-dead-horse.html

Composting A Dead Horse: The Process

http://www.alphahorse.com/composting-a-dead-horse.html

As you can see, there are many alternative to horse slaughter in the U.S. Sadly, it’s doubtful many will be explored or implemented if irresponsible horse owners continue to have the option of discarding their animals at will. Only Congress has the power to protect our food exports and save our horses, and the best way is to bring the SAFE Act to the floor for a vote. Thanks for your time and consideration.

thank you

About heatherclemenceau

Hopefully as I've grown older I've also grown wiser, but one thing I've definitely become cognizant of is the difference between making a living and making a life. Frequently outraged by some of life's cruelties, and respect diversity. But.....I don't suffer fools gladly, and occasionally, this does get me into some trouble! I have the distinction of being the world's worst golfer - no wait, I do believe that there is a gypsy in Moldavia who is a worse golfer than I. Nor am I much of a dancer - you won't see a booty-shakin' flygirl routine from me! I'm also not the kind of cook who can whip up a five-course meal on a radiator either! And I've never figured out how to get an orchid to bloom a second time. I love to discuss literature, science, philosophy, and sci-fi , or even why Seinfeld is funny on so many levels. Words move me. I'm very soft-hearted about most things, especially animals, but I have a stoicism about me that is sometimes interpreted incorrectly. I do have a definite edge and an often "retro-adolescent" sense of humour at times. I'm a big advocate of distributed computing projects to advance science. Check out http://boinc.berkeley.edu/ if you want to find out more. I'm an eclectic (but not crazy) vegetarian, and as such, it's a personal practice of mine to seduce innocent meat-eaters into cruising the (salad) bars at every opportunity. You would be powerless to resist. I was recently surprised to find that a computer algorithm concluded that I write like Dan Brown, which is funny because I didn't think Dan Brown could actually write. Check out your own style - http://iwl.me/ Oh, and I love impractical shoes and funky hats.

10 responses »

  1. D
    There is the proof that there are ways to help the horse, and not have it end up in a slaughter house.It is assumed that mankind has advanced in thought and deed,certainly where the horse is concerned. That there are useful, and creative ways in which to place this creature would have a positive and good impact to all concerned. It would indeed be beneficial for the horse, and create new respect and a new life for such a noble animal!

  2. Heather,
    Thanks for your thoughts and re-posting LInda’s collection of important alternatives to horse slaughter. I will be sure to share this post with my local horse owners in central NH and through industry FB friends. Kv2

  3. Pingback: Good Alternatives to Horse Slaughter: Compiled by Equine Advocate Linda Horn | Wind Wild Horse

  4. I would join a hay co-operative for horses. At the time of harvesting I would be happy to set aside a certain # to be used for rescued horses. A hay bank for horses. As usual an informative article…thanks Heather. And a Shout out to Linda for all her hard work.

  5. Thank You for all this very important article, that shows us all what can be done, to better our Equine Industry… I WILL be sending this to all I can think of, and let’s see if some can come up with an excuse again as to why we need horse slaughter….. LOVE THIS ……. :)

  6. Excellent post! As we have been saying all along, there are many alternatives to slaughter. They just don’t pay as well. But no one can say they don’t exist anymore.

    As I’m sure you know by now, Slaughterhouse Sue has left this mortal world and taken her place, er, wherever. Must have eaten too many bute-ridden horses.

    I assume our horses are still being shipped to Mexico and Canada, but I’ve heard nothing about specific numbers. The EU needs to get it in gear and STOP accepting US horses like they said they would. It’s not like they don’t know there’s a problem after all.

  7. This is an outstanding resource for anyone involved in the horse community! It should be posted in barns everywhere, at racetracks and rescues, at tack shops and feed stores, at Pony Club and 4-H meetings and horse show concession stands, at clinics and expositions. Huge THANK YOU to Linda Horn for her work compiling such an extensive list, and to Heather Clemenceau for sharing it.

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