Monday, January 31, 2011

SDSU Students Study Unwanted Horse Issues

SDSU students outline unwanted horse problem
    Steve Miller Journal correspondent | Posted: Sunday, January 30, 2011 9:00 am | (2) Comments

    The number of unwanted horses in the United States is growing by nearly 150,000 a year since the closing of the last U.S. slaughter plants, and no single, easy solution is in sight.

    Those were some conclusions of a study conducted by students in South Dakota State University’s animal and range sciences department.

    Ten students presented their study Friday to a small audience at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center during the Black Hills Stock Show & Rodeo.

    In 2006, the year before the last three horse slaughtering plants closed in the United States, about 105,000 horses were killed, said first-year graduate student Kathy Koch of Crofton, Neb.

    The plants were forced to close after Congress eliminated funding for federal inspection of horse meat for human consumption.

    Since then, thousands of unwanted U.S. horses have been going to slaughter plants in Mexico and Canada.
    An outright ban on the sale or transportation of horses for slaughter is pending in Congress.

    Koch said there are now about 170,000 unwanted horses each year.

    She said that even if all 432 adoption facilities in the country could take 50 horses each, only 21,600 horses could be adopted, leaving a net of 148,400 unwanted horses.    Read More

    The issue of unwanted horses continues to grow.  While many of the animal rights activists think everything is fine and refuse to engage in real discussions of how to handle so many unwanted horses, there plenty of people in agriculture that are looking at a real problem and offering real solutions.  There seems to be plenty of people that think we live in a world where nothing ever dies and life is always happy and easy.  The real story is this, the only way life can continue to exist on this planet is if something dies every day.  The success of life depends on death.  We have the ability to use these livestock as a resource that not only assists us in their life but also in their death.  There's nothing wrong with using horses to feed people.  For thousands of years we have relied on livestock to benefit our lives and that still holds true today.  The cruelest thing we can do for these horses, to mother nature and to ourselves is waste this natural resource.  

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