Horses face uncertain future, some call for slaughterhouses

Hard Times for a Western Icon

By MYERS REECE | Flathead Beacon | 02-10-10

Elmo, MT –- A perfect storm has risen over horse country.

Prices are plummeting in an oversaturated equine market, people are neglecting or abandoning their horses at a higher rate and more ranchers are trading in four legs for four wheels. Hay prices are through the roof and the economy is hurting. And in Montana, a final frontier of the American West, there is no consensus on what to do.

Some horse folks are waiting to see if the economy turns around. Others believe it’s time to bring back horse slaughterhouses – the last one in the United States closed in 2007. Their critics say no way. Many just don’t know what the answer is.

The difficulties touch everybody in the horse industry, from breeders and trainers to ranchers and casual riders, and everybody in between. Horses still carry a grand mystique, but they are expensive, and when there’s too many of them, tough decisions have to be made.

According to a study published for the American Horse Council, there were 9.2 million horses in the United States in 2005, used for work, racing, show or as pets. But many people are finding it increasingly hard to fork out thousands of dollars each year to maintain a horse when it’s hard enough to feed their family.

“We can’t just sit here and afford to throw $140-a-ton hay at them,” said Sharon Guenzler, a fifth-generation rancher in Ronan. “They have to generate some kind of income to make them worth having.”

Spoken like a breeder.

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Scott says:

Slaughterhouse ….sounds like a great idea except they have very poor track records from an environment standpoint. On top of everything else, they are certainly NOT humane in the transportation or disposal of these majestic animals. This is all about money, not what is best for the horses or our community. I don’t want our sewage system clogged up with horse entrails and I don’t want to be any where NEAR a slaughterhouse.

There has to be a better solution.

Funchy says:

The author of this article has been grossly misinformed. American horses are being bought every day for slaughter. ANY dip in price has to do with bad economy, foreclosures, and overbreeding. Did you know that Mexico and Canada both have processing plants right over the border? Check the USDA export numbers for 2009 for “meat” horses, if you don’t believe me…. just as many are going to the butcher now as before. And within the US there are still pet/zoo horse processing plants operating just as before.

2 thoughts on “Horses face uncertain future, some call for slaughterhouses”

  1. slaughterhouse 1920’s to 1972.

    The Death
    As I set on my majestic horse.
    And watch as a evil.
    Spirit sends a hot pace of lead into the soles.
    Of his brothers an sisters.
    For what.
    As his brothers an sisters.
    And all his four fathers.
    Have saved.
    Saved the lives of the ones.
    That are taken the lives.
    Of his loved ones.
    May the soles of the wild horses takers.
    Have no peace.
    The wild horses will.
    Hound there soles forever.
    Arthur B Giles


  2. I am here in total disbelief, that anyone would truely believe that Slaughter is the answer?????? Slaughter was never the answer, nor shall it ever be an answer!!!! Most all of us were given Brilliant minds, capable of the impossible…….All answers to any given situation, ly in them…… Most of the anwsers are very simple!!!! (none of them even suggest Slaughter as one of them…..)Knowing first, that Man creates his own Problems, first we must get to the bottom of the problem, then using our mind we start to think of how can we remedy this , using deduction, we then see how this problem started in the first place…. We Must Start there and work up to present….. First Nature handles the balance have we ever heard of that?????? Man not is at the bottom of this, lets see backyard breeding!!!! Imagine that it accounts for alot I mean alot….Maybe it should be controlled,hummmm simple…. isnt it.. Now that Brings Up Wild Mustangs, Nature has certainly handled the Balance on that, maybe she might need a little help maybe a little tested birth control would be a great answer……Mustangs Are The Pride of America…..their beauty is unchallanged, if you think not spend one day with anyone of them…they will make you believe….They do not need us to help them, infact if asked I think they would decline, nature gave them a hard enough time to survive, we need not interfere with that………We love our Mustangs so much we gave them 25 millions acres… roam free on , I wonder why ??? Maybe because they have proven worthy without mistake…..They are in Our History on almost every page, their attributes are many, anyone they touch will attest that they come away with total piece in their presence, they teach trust , pride, respect, dignity, all they ask for nothing in return, those lesson are expensive to learn…. and they teach it for free……….if for nothing else they Deserve Our Undying LOVE…..and respect… SLAUGHTER IS NOT RESPECT!!!! nor is it LOVE…. nor is it enviromentally , or economically not to mention that Slaughter , can make the community it enters, unsafe , because when people Slaughter Animals , murder becomes second Nature to them, they think nothing of torturing others… Killing others….. The thoughts of what would happen are divestating….. So Slaughter is only the beginning of the HORRORS ……….. So before we write Death Certificates, Lets use our thought process, and Brilliant deductions…… Do not condemn the MOS Beautiful Creature ever to walk the earth…………….. Think with our minds, and our Hearts.


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