The phrase is “shipping” your horse. If a horse is “shipped” it translates to being sent to auction. An auction where it may or may not survive. It may get purchased by an owner who will love and care for it. It may become an “auction rat”, being shipped from sale to sale changing hands multiple times in an effort to generate more profit. It may find its way into a rescue program. It may end up dead in a slaughter plant. In the end, there are no controls, no guarantees.
So the question begs to be asked: If you have ever shipped a horse, why?
Now before anyone gets their knickers in a knot, I’m not on a witch hunt here. You can reply anonymously here. I’m not going to judge you. Well, maybe a little bit. But I don’t know who you are, so why do you care?
My interest is honest. Regardless of who is at the lot bidding on horses – no matter what you think of those people – they had NOTHING to do with the choice of the horse being there in the first place. If there was no horse to bid on, they wouldn’t be there. Simple.
So the overly simplified answer to the incredibly complicated issue of putting an end to horse slaughter is to stop the flow of horses into these sales. If a kill buyer had to go to each and every individual barn, to see each and every individual horse, talk to each and every individual owner and negotiate a price – they wouldn’t do it. It wouldn’t be cost effective. What makes this a solid business model is the ability to have “supply” merged into high volume bottlenecks where it is easy to purchase them. Add that there is no effort on the part of kill buyers to get those horses into that bottleneck – the sales are doing the job for them.
Stop making it easy for them. Stop the flow into the sales. They can’t buy the horse for slaughter if it isn’t there to be bought.
So again, the question begs to be asked: Why did you ship your horse?
Did you try to sell it privately? Was there a family emergency? Were there financial concerns? Was the horse a danger to own? Was it lame or ill?
It’s possible that we’ve been looking at it all wrong. Stop the flow into sales and you stop the flow into slaughter plants. Maybe there’s a common thread as to why horses are being shipped. Maybe if we knew why, we’d be able to come up with other options. Maybe we can stop the downward spiral before it gets to start.