Fate of horses forgotten in political gambit

  • Harold Howe
  • Fri Mar 23 2012

 There is quite little that provokes horse lovers more than the subject of horse slaughter, which is why Premier Dalton McGuinty’s moves to effectively destroy the horse racing industry has signed the death warrants for thousands of animals.

According to the Ontario horse racing industry there were approximately 14,000 unique starters who raced last year, which includes Standardbreds, Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses. It is estimated that the total race horse population, which includes broodmares, stallions, foals and yearlings, comes in at just over 26,000.

But if racing is decimated in the McGuinty plan, the question has to be asked as to what happens to all the horses. Does the welfare of the horse play any role in all this?

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  1. shoshone · ·

    Horse breeding, horse racing just about anything to do with horses has been on the downward swing for the last 10 years yet breeders keep trying to squeeqe the last dollar out of the horses.
    I would love to breed a few horses also just to have those “cute baby horsies ” running around. Common sense says no if they are only going to end up at slaughter. So why hasn’t anyone else been able to see this coming.??
    From the New York Times, Death and Disarray At America’s Racetracks.
    “Labs cannot detect the newest performance enhancing drugs while trainers experiment with anything that might give them the edge, including chemicals that buck up pigs and cattle before slaughter, cobra venom, viagra, blood doping agents, stumulants and cancer drugs.”
    The cruelist part of all horse breeding ventures is showing or racing at 2 years of age and then doping them . It is no wonder most are crippled by the time they are fully developed.

  2. B Morley · ·

    Apparently you do not know about horse racing. We do use genetics to help in our deciscions to breed, and it takes months and sometimes years to get horses to the track. As for breeding irresponsibly, we all try to produce sound sane horses, since the other kind ususally don’t race, nor sell. In some cases, those choices don’t turn out. Since it costs in excess of 20,000 to raise a yearling, most people in the industry do their best to get the best. Upgrading our stock by selling those that aren’t producing, giving them away, or not breeding them is how we do that.
    Last year alone, our farm sold 3 mares, gave away two, and bought one. As well, we are home to some retirees, some of which care not suitable to be given away. One has been retired from all but very light riding for over 12 years. The retirees recieve the same care as those who are still productive. This year we are not breeding back a number of mares, but still have to support them. There are not enough suitable homes available to give them to, and without the slots at raceways programs, there will be no income. How do you propose that we, and others like us, support them? We are in this business bercause we love and enjoy horses,and love working with them. There have been many sleepless nights across the province since this news broke, because for most horsemen and women, these horses are an integral part of their lives. They have sat up nights with sick ones, cried over lost foals, and given their whole life to loving and caring for horses. Until you have walked in our shoes, which you obviously have not, do not dare to judge us.

  3. Theresa Nolet · ·

    The fact of the matter is that most of these horses will end up at slaughter eventually anyway. Once a horse cannot earn its keep it is disposed of, and to big business that usually means slaughter. If this industry truly cared about horses they would not race them until the horses were fully grown with knee joints “closed” and they would not breed so irrisponsibly, but would put more training into the horses to produce winners instead of relying so heavily on genetics. These horses are raised with delicate legs for speed and this creates many injuries and deaths. This is not a kind industry to the horse and money is the objective not humane care of the horse that wins that money.

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