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I get it.  I really do.

You have a horse and for some reason don’t want it or can’t keep it.  You’ve tried selling it and came up empty.  Now what?  What do you do with the unwanted horse?

Currently you have 3 options: Donation, Humane euthanasia and Auction (for possible slaughter)

Donation means you give it away, lease it or otherwise have someone else take it on.  Depending on the reasons why you want to give it up, this may or may not be possible.  Injury, infertility, poor health, poor condition, temperament issues, lack of training or any other number of detractors may be at play.  Either way, if no one wants it for the same reasons you don’t want it, this isn’t an option available to you.

syringeHumane euthanasia is heart wrenching.  Calling out the vet, having to help, seeing the life drain from your previous partner in whatever happy memories you built together.  Not everyone is up to that.

Euthanasia also costs money.  Farm call, putting them down, calling dead stock or having someone bury them on the property (if they’ll let you).  For some, it’s throwing ‘good money after bad’.

Sending them to auction.  Yes, you can delude yourself, thinking that some little girl fell in love with your horse.  She convinced her Daddy to buy him for her and she sticks dandelions in his mane on a regular basis.  Sure.  Believe that.  Don’t let that $400 burn a hole in your pocket while you load your trusted friend on a trail to his probable, torturous death.

The reality is he’s probably been purchased by a kill buyer.

An alternative?

I believe we need to turn to the government and veterinary agencies to allow for a cheaper euthanasia route.  The actual process of euthanasia does not require a veterinarians (expensive) skill-set.

There could be a cheaper, regulated option for straight euthanasia’s.  Lower the cost, have teams of two so that owners could opt-out of assisting.  Have them travel with a truck that would take the body away if needed.  A cheaper, easier, efficient euthanasia option.

The government could allow this to happen.  They could deregulate (or at least change) the current requirements of Euthansol or other euthanasia solutions.  Recognizing the requirements for this particular service are needed by the public and for animal welfare.  Yes, Euthansol is a deadly substance.  That’s by design.  However people deal with deadly substances on a regular basis.  Regulate it, but remove it from veterinarians sole custody.  Slaughter houses don’t require veterinarians to slaughter the animals – so there’s obviously room for some sort of compromise.

This would also have the added side effect of a new business model, adding much needed jobs.  Encouraging small business which is the backbone of the economy.  Since jobs are often referenced by pro-slaughter advocates, here is your counterbalance.  Euthanasia services, removal, use of pelts for leather or other purposes should the owners choose to allow it.  No, there wouldn’t be meat due to the method of destruction.  However there are still “uses” that can be made.

The only reason auction and slaughter is used as an option is because it is available.  Stop allowing people to divorce themselves from the process of the destruction of the horses they are responsible for.  If they saw the slaughter process, I highly doubt the vast majority of them would utilize it.

The lack of an “easy out” for indiscriminate breeders.  The creation of an “end to end” responsible mindset within the industry.  The elimination of drug tainted meat entering the human food chain.  The removal of inhumane slaughter processes.

So how about it Agriculture Canada?  How about it Canadian Veterinary Medical Association?  Champion the need of the horse industry for a cheaper, ethical and humane solution to the unwanted horse population.  Recognize the inappropriateness of allowing them to enter the food chain and offer Canadians another morally correct option.