Be a responsible owner and protect your horse from the meat man

MARCH AGAINST HORSE SLAUGHTER — Since horses have been domesticated, they have been subjected to breeding and ownership, shut up in stalls and barns or corralled and fenced in, dependent on humans for food and water, exercise, medical care, dental care and hoof care — and to keep them from harm and provide for a humane end — just to name a few.

Since The Horse Fund (fka Fund for Horses) began in 2003 we have stressed responsible horse care and ownership.

What prompted us to interrupt our series on horse slaughter numbers and statistics and talk on this subject is this from a story reported by News of the Horse:

The staff at Horse Plus Humane Society were no doubt feeling overwhelmed when the lines of trucks and trailers poured into the parking lot at the Placer County Fairgrounds. Over 100 horses were surrendered to the shelter during their 1-Day Open Door Shelter event.

The event was the largest 1-Day Open Door Shelter Horse Plus Humane Society has ever held, nearly doubling the prior largest event in Wisconsin with 56 horses surrendered.

These horses could have just as easily ended up at a livestock auction or in the hands of the meat man in some other way and ended up in the slaughter pipeline.

It is with this in mind we share these reports from The Horse Fund website. Please help horses and owners by sharing this far and wide.

FINDING A GOOD HOME FOR YOUR HORSE

It will take time, care and patience to find a new environment where your horse will not only feel and be secure, but also prosper.

Remember, your horse trusts you and relies on you to provide for his or her future.

• See Finding a Good Home for Your Horse, A Step-by-Step Guide »

INSURING YOUR HORSE FOR A HUMANE END

“I know my horse is sick and hurting. I just wanted to find a way to get her put down. I was going to have the vet do it. I’ve got the money for that. But what were we going to do with her body? Nobody seemed to know and my husband said this would be easier for everybody.”

Horse Owner after her selling her 6 yo Thoroughbred to a Kill Buyer,
Sugar Creek Auction, Ohio

• See Insuring Your Horse for a Humane End »

TRANSFERRING HORSE OWNERSHIP: ENSURING FUTURE CARE

It is typical of a horse’s life that he or she will change hands several times.

When a horse is transferred from one owner to another there is a moral obligation to the horse by both parties.

The current owner’s responsibility to a horse is not done until the horse is safely in a proper home receiving care and humane treatment.

The new owner is assuming responsibility for care and treatment for the long term and must be prepared for all that entails and ready to meet that responsibility.

• See Transferring Horse Ownership: Ensuring Future Care »

Thank you everyone.

Visit Horse Plus Humane Society to make a donation »

FEATURED IMAGE
Horse looking out from barn door from blog.posterjack.ca.

 

 

 

 

Ways to support our horse protection work this Giving Tuesday

There are lots of way to support the horse protection work we do together. With little to no expense. But it’s going to take teamwork. Are you ready? Let’s go!

♥ MAKE A DONATION

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♥ SPECIAL OFFER! MATCHING GIFT, DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR — TODAY ONLY

Make a donation today by midnight California time and it will be matched dollar for dollar by a power couple who have helped us intervene on behalf of countless horses over the years. Hint: They have been our Secret Santa for the past three years.

♥ OUR GIFT SHOP

Shop in the Horse Fund’s super cool Gift Shop. There’s something for everyone from the horse lover to the most ardent advocate.

Vivian also has a Gift Shop full of super products. All monies via her sales benefit our work here.

♥ SOMETHING VERY SPECIAL

Contributions made by equines to the world can still be seen everywhere. Remind people with this fabulous clothing.

The artwork was crafted especially for us and is striking. Available on tees and fleece. Great gift idea that anyone will be thrilled to receive.

Sale ends midnight December 6th. Ships in plenty of time for Christmas.

The Horse Fund's Horses and Civilization tee.
Click to Shop

♥ MORE!

You may not be in a position to give in any of the ways we have mentioned so far. But you can still give.

• We always welcome and are exceedingly thankful for your prayers. This is power indeed.

• Share our messages on social media, whether it be Twitter or Facebook. Follow us here on Tuesday’s Horse and like, rate and comment on our posts. This generates traffic and helps get the word out to more people. You can never do too much of this!

• If you have been thinking about going vegan or vegetarian, this is something you can do that will impact and save thousands of lives. Why not try it? See Advocate From Your Plate to get started. Check out some of our amazing recipes here on Tuesday’s Horse including this Christmas Day recipe from 2015.

Thank you for being here with us. Merry Christmas. A safe and happy Holiday Season to you all.

Competition Horse Medication Ethics, Part 1 of 2

Horses gallop in a race in Australia. Google image.

By SID GUSTAFSON, DVM
Practitioner/Equine Behaviour Educator, Bozeman, MT

Part 1 of 2

Appreciation of the evolved nature and behavior of horses provides the foundation for the veterinary care of equine athletes. The establishment of a veterinary patient client relationship (VCPR) is instrumental in providing ethical care for the competition horse.

Ethical veterinary practice supports the horse’s long-term health, therapy, and welfare interests while avoiding pharmaceutical intervention in the days before competition.

Horses evolved as social grazers of the plains, moving and grazing in a mutually connected and communicative fashion on a near-constant basis. Contemporary equine health and prosperity remains dependent on providing an acceptable degree of this continual movement, foraging, and socialization that sustain equine health.

When horses are confined to fulfill convenience and performance interests, the horse’s natural preferences need be re-created to a suitable degree to avoid exceeding the adaptability of the stabled horse. When adaptability is exceeded, welfare is diminished and the need for medical intervention to remedy behavioral, health, and soundness deficiencies becomes complex.

Contemporary husbandry and conditioning practices regularly exceed the competition horse’s adaptability, resulting in the need for extensive veterinary intervention to sustain health and competitiveness.

Ethics need to be improved to protect the future health and welfare of competition horses.

Pre-competition medication strategies should not supplant or replace the appropriate fulfillment of the horse’s long-evolved survival requirements.

The more medical care and pharmaceutical intervention required to sustain a population of horses, the lower the population’s welfare. Ethical veterinary care supports the horse’s best welfare interests, as well as the safety of horse and rider. Veterinary caregivers are required to provide equine athletes with appropriate medical and surgical therapy for a wide variety of infirmities.

To properly support the health and welfare of equine athletes, the practitioner must deviate from pharmaceutical pre-competition intervention to providing for their patients’ inherent and individual long-term conditioning and husbandry essentials.

While necessary therapies are being instituted by the practitioner, socialization, constant foraging, and abundant daily locomotion need to be initiated. Providing the long-evolved requirements to promote and sustain optimal soundness, behavioral health, and performance is essential to promote healing in competition horses. Once most injuries are stabilized, stall rest is not the correct ameliorative approach to resolve lameness.

Healthy horses are best-served to perform naturally in an unmedicated state.

Due to a lack of cultural appreciation of the nature of the horse, medication is heavily regulated in jurisdictions worldwide to protect the horse.

It has been demonstrated—in Hong Kong and Great Britain, for example—that fewer pre-race medications allow safer horseracing. All competitive equine pursuits require medication policies due to the potential of unscrupulous medication practices to gain competitive advantage. Polo, endurance, cutting, reining, rodeo, and all unmentioned performance horse pursuits are required to follow the same ethical approach. Medication should not influence performance.

The equine practitioner best serves the horse and client by focusing on post-performance evaluations and therapeutic approaches. Appropriate treatments and protocols to sustain horse health can be implemented on an enduring basis when conditions are identified during post-competition examinations.

The performance horse veterinarian needs to change their work schedule from pre-performance to post-performance. There, the doctor can do right by the horse.

A behavioral emphasis on fulfilling the medical, physical, nutritional, metabolic, and behavioral needs of the horse to prepare for future competitions provides a solid platform for the ethical veterinary care of the competition horse. Horses so served prevail at the competitions.

The pre-competition veterinary role is to guide the client to prepare a strong horse who is sound and able to compete safely, willingly, and efficiently in a natural fashion.

Pre-competition pharmaceutical scrims have little place in the ethical practice of competition horse medicine. Pre-competition practices that replace or supplant appropriate health care are not in accord with the AVMA Principles of Veterinary Ethics.

The AVMA Principles of Veterinary Ethics state that it is unethical for veterinarians to medicate or treat horses without a VCPR.

The use of itinerant veterinarians to inject Lasix into nearly all horses racing in America hours before they race is an example of the unethical practice of veterinary medicine.

The result is horses breaking down three to four times more often in America than in overseas jurisdictions where horses are prevented from being medicated before racing. The medical and pharmaceutical practices that support equine competitive pursuits enhance the health and soundness of the horse on a long-term basis.

Pre-competition medical influence should not enhance performance nor be intended to enhance performance. When performance is enhanced, the adaptability of the competition horse is exceeded and catastrophic results ensue.

Pre-competition practices should not mask lameness of any sort.

All sensation, behaviour, cognition, and proprioception should remain uninfluenced by medication during competitions. Treatments should not effect normal physiologic function or behavior of the horse. Senses should not be dulled, masked or stimulated.

Performance horses should not perform under the influence of medications that are capable of initiating an action or effect upon the nervous, cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, urinary, reproductive, musculoskeletal, blood, immune (save approved vaccines), or endocrine systems. Endocrine secretions or their synthetic substitutes, masking agents, oxygen carriers, or chemicals that directly or indirectly affect or manipulate blood physiology or gene expression are not appropriate for use in competing equine athletes.

Horses are vulnerable to performance manipulation via pharmaceutical influence. The only fair competition is a competition for non-medicated horses.

Sound horses properly prepared have little need for pre-competition medication. Unsound or behaviorally dysfunctional horses require rehabilitation that restores soundness before training and competition are resumed.

All horses need to be professionally prepared physically and behaviorally to endure the task asked of them.

Musculoskeletal development requires lifelong, constant attention, most notably in the stable.

Horses are born to move most all the time, and move they must to maintain health and soundness, especially in preparation for competitive pursuits.

• Part 2 of 2 Tomorrow

Top Photo: Horses gallop out in a race in Australia. Google image.

Good News Friday sponsored by Horse Charities Lemonade Stand

Horse Charities Lemonade Stand
Horse Charities Lemonade Stand

Our staff are busy sending out our “When Horse Slaughter Comes to Town” CD, which contains the pdf version of the document and an audio version recorded by Charlotte Anthony.

The good news this Friday is:

We are virtually blanketing the US with this information. And not just the States we know are seeking to open a horse slaughter plant, but every single US State.

In response to this, there have been a number of pro-horse slaughter articles in major newspapers lately. But they are not convincing; it is clear the reporting is biased. This is because, thanks to you, we have gotten the facts — not opinions — out about horse slaughter, to the right people, at the right time.

And the news gets better.

The word is spreading further afield. We have had requests from politicians and businesses in Canada for “When Horse Slaughter Comes to Town”.

Help keep the good news going!

Yet with all of this success, our task is not yet complete. We still have many more to reach. You can assure we get this done with a supporting donation.

Please visit our Lemonade Stand and “buy” a glass for $1 each or a pitcher for $25.

See who is on our Lemonade Wall. You can also honor someone special with your donation.

Click to Donate
Click to Donate

If you have already made a donation, you can make another and we will add the glasses, or pitcher.

Click the lemonade glass right now to donate online.

Thank you so much for making this all possible.

— Vivian and the Lemonade Wall Gang