Foals being euthanized
APRIL COLBY QMI Agency
Thursday, April 26, 2012 10:28:24 EDT AM
The decision to end provincial funding for Ontario’s harness racing may kill more than the industry – it’s resulting in the death of an unknown number of this year’s crop of new foals.
QMI Agency spoke to a number of sources who say breeders are now are euthanizing their foals moments after birth because they fear financial ruin if they have to raise the horses with no chance of recouping their investment.
The practice is happening because of the cost of raising horses, which can approach $10,000 — not including stud fees which range between $2,500 and $20,000.
Standardbred Canada Registrar Pat Kennedy said her organization’s figures show 130 stallions bred nearly 4,000 mares in Ontario. The number of foals resulting is estimated to be in the 70% range, meaning 3,000 births this year.
She said the crisis means owners may not breed mares, nor register them.
A local horse owner who asked not to be identified, said euthanizing healthy foals began at the start of the birthing season — about a month ago.