Some horsemen’s associations suggest that the 2008 recession is giving some legitimate concern to fears an equine welfare crisis looms.
WHAS TV | by Chris Williams (Apr. 29, 2020) — The Kentucky Derby is not the only horse related event stuck in the barn.
Some horsemen’s associations tell WHAS11’s Chris Williams they’re worried that the stay home requirements by Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear will create an equine welfare crisis and send some horses to slaughter houses.
Association members say what happened during the 2008 recession is giving some legitimate concerns to fears an equine welfare crisis is looming.
David Mount, the Executive Director of the Saddlebred Horse Association, says, “If you look at the 2008 recession as a benchmark, there was a real equine welfare crisis and we’ve been working with equine welfare agencies and rescue groups to prevent that from happening. But it’s a real concern of ours and that’s one the main reason why we need to get our industry back open.”
Horse owners say the social distancing and other requirements to stop the spread has saddled their livelihoods too.
“When there’s no horse shows, we’re not making any money”, explained Melissa Moore.
“We can’t sell horses, we can’t supplement our income by going to horse shows, a horse trainer does not make a living by training horses. A horse trainer has got to sell horses to make a living,” she said.
“My worse fear is that these horses are going to end up in a bad situation. There aren’t enough rescue facilities out there to take all of these horses in and because they’re unwanted, they’ll end up in a kill pen.”
During the 2008 recession, people began turning horses loose in the wild or killed them.
Melissa doesn’t understand why this industry isn’t galloping ahead in these times, especially when Tennessee, Texas and Georgia haven’t missed a step.
“The equine industry is the perfect outlet for social distancing”, she said. “I think, if our governor understood that and maybe came to a barn and saw how it could happen then maybe he would understand and put a plan in place where we could get back to business.”
David Mount says he will present a reopening plan to the Governor next week.
Reach out and help
Horse rescues and sanctuaries are going to be the first stop for many of these people when they can no longer afford their horses. The meat man will be their second stop.
The Fund for Horses have been helping horse rescues and sanctuaries wherever we can, and our resources are dwindling fast. Understandably we are not receiving the type of donations we usually receive to replace these funds.
If you have a horse rescue or sanctuary in your area, would you call and check on them and see what their needs are and if there is any way you can help. If you are not in a position to give yourself, perhaps you could do a fundraiser for your local rescue or sanctuary on social media with a link to the rescue or sanctuary’s donate page. We all need to pitch in any way we can, and every dollar you raise will be a powerful help. Thank you.
Featured Image: Saddlebred yearlings, Simpsonville, Kentucky. WIKIMEDIA.