Study of Equine Abuse and Neglect Patterns Produces Surprising Findings

images-2






Equine Welfare Alliance. June 25, 2013

EWA (Chicago) – The Equine Welfare Alliance today released a statistical study on the rates of equine abuse and neglect across the US since 2000. The research examined equine abuse statistics from Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Maine and Oregon.

Unknown-1Historical records of the number of cases of equine abuse and neglect from these states was correlated with three potential causes; the rate of equine slaughter (or lack of it), unemployment and the cost of hay.

Surprisingly, the researchers found that the rate of abuse has been in decline in four of the six states since 2008. Five of the six states had shown a spike in abuse and neglect around 2008 and two have shown a significant increase in the past two years.

The dominant factor the analysis produced in every state was the price of hay. “My assumption was always that unemployment was the dominant factor”, admitted EWA president John Holland. “In fact, the analysis showed that the rate of unemployment in the state was the least important predictor of the level of abuse and neglect.”

The analysis showed the second most important correlation was the rate of slaughter, but the analysis found more slaughter consistently correlated with more abuse and neglect.

“Correlation is not proof of causation,” explained Holland, “but it certainly contradicts the theory that slaughter decreases neglect by culling “unwanted horses.”

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) have long urged Congress not to ban horse slaughter on the basis that to do so would increase abandonment, abuse and neglect.

This study follows on the heels of a peer reviewed paper in the Kentucky Journal of Equine, Agricultural, and Natural Resources Law by Holland (EWA) and Laura Allen (Animal Law Coalition). That paper documented enormous increases in the cost of horse ownership between 2000 and 2011. The paper demonstrates, among other pressures, that a shift of land use from hay to corn for ethanol has reduced the hay available to horse owners, cattlemen and dairy farmers.

Severe drought in some states has made an already insufficient supply of hay all but collapse. In 2011, Congress ended the long standing subsidy for ethanol in gasoline and removed tariffs on sugar cane. EWA hopes this will put a downward pressure on hay prices in coming years.

Report Link: http://www.equinewelfarealliance.org/uploads/History_and_Causes_of_Equine_Abuse-Neglect.pdf

Graphic Link: http://www.equinewelfarealliance.org/uploads/Abuse-Neglect_by_State.jpg

The Equine Welfare Alliance (EWA) is a dues-free 501c4, umbrella organization with over 290 member organizations and over 1,000 individual members worldwide in 21 countries. The organization focuses its efforts on the welfare of all equines and the preservation of wild equids. www.equinewelfarealliance.org

  

  
  




AUTHOR: Jerry Finch
14 Comments
  • Arlene

    Before my horse would ever look like that PHOTO , I would look worse !!! I would do everything i could to not ever having this happen to an innocent Horse!!!!!!! There is no reason a horse should ever have to suffer and look like this !!!!!!!!

    June 25, 2013
  • shirley mix

    I agree Arlene, how could anyone eat knowing their horse is starving.

    June 25, 2013
  • Judith Keene

    If i was living in an area where hay was too expensive, before my horses began to suffer for it, i would either move or give them away to a good home that could afford their hay, or not have horses at all! I guess i am really lucky in that i live in an area where hay is plentiful and cheap! Although we have so much rain here that even though the grass grows really good, our farmers have a hard time getting enough good drying weather to put up the hay! But we usually have plenty!

    June 25, 2013
  • sherriey

    ….and i quote…”The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) have long urged Congress not to ban horse slaughter on the basis that to do so would increase abandonment, abuse and neglect.”…..imagine that!!!!
    gee….if they are proven wrong (as in article above) and slaughter is completely abolished….even out of country…where then are these wonderful QH breeders going to get rid of their culls? they won’t be able to blame anything or anyone other then themselves….
    greedy IDIOTS!!!!!!!!!!

    June 25, 2013
  • sherriey

    ….my animals come first. they eat and have necessities and care before me….and always will. be they horse, cat or dog (or whatever)…they will always come before me.
    there is no reason to abuse and starve any animal. there is ALWAYS a way….i have been in hard straights….just this last spring, we had no hay anywhere to be found…i had to do with 1.5 yr old hay till they started cutting this late spring…but they ate! i upped the grain/pellets to compensate…but they ate! no way were they going to do without. i’d travel to another state if i had to just to buy hay….but it worked out ok. now they have fresh hay and good pastures to eat.

    June 25, 2013
  • Debbie Tracy

    Yeah, I agree I would NEVER ever let my horses look like this pic, so sad…. I am also very lucky where I live the price is reasonable too… I remember reading where someone was saying she found out that the US exports hay to other country’s she was shocked I also, so let me see we have in some area’s ungodly hay prices with horses suffering yet HAY is still exported to others, HOW does this work anyway?? Do we not think it is time that we start looking out for our own country and horses and people FIRST, ??

    June 25, 2013
    • sherriey

      this is true??? we export our hay?
      OMG…what next!
      its all about money!!!!!!!!!!!!!! to hell with us Americans!

      June 25, 2013
  • Daryl

    So sorry any horse has to be abused, but the BLM does it every day, hey need to be stopped.

    June 25, 2013
  • Rachel

    What a surprise – slaughter actually does nothing to reduce abandonment, abuse, and neglect! I’m very disappointed in the AQHA defending slaughter for such a spurious reason, and I’m glad I quit throwing away money on membership/registration fees to that organization. Not sorry I bought my mare from an AQHA breeder though; Daisy is a great horse! My family’s very lucky that we’re able to grow our own hay on our land and have a neighbor who will cut and bale it for no cost except a share of the hay, but even when we ran out this spring Daisy and her pasture-mate Lucky didn’t go hungry – we bought hay for them even though we’re hardly rich. How anyone can leave their horse with no food until they look like the poor animal in that photo is beyond me.

    June 25, 2013
    • Daryl

      No Rachel it is not a good thing to let the animals go down, but this person turned the animals in so they would not starve to death, & all we have done is throw rocks at them, they did the right thing in the end and it is not to late for the horses, they are in good hands and will get homes I am sure. It must be terrible to know they are not eating right and can’t do any thing about it. I bet they loved the animals, to day it is hard enough to feed us, pay rent, buy cloths , bring up kids. May be they lost their job? these people cared enough to turn them in and say I can’t do this any more, please come and get them.

      June 25, 2013
  • Arlene

    Center for Biological Diversity bioactivist@biologicaldiversity.org Please read, sign and send

    June 25, 2013
  • alittlesunshine

    During periods where hay is scarce and expensive, soaked beet pulp can help stretch the hay supply, provided it’s done overdone – and grass and alfalfa pellets can get one through a rough patch. Stainless steel 50 gallon barrels with rodent/insect proof sealed lids can be bought for about $10 and will hold anywhere from 200-300 lbs. of feed. Gradually stocking up and safely storing these items is good practice. Working with other horse owners to create a community hay bank for those rough patches is also an idea to consider implementing.

    June 25, 2013
  • alittlesunshine

    Sorry about the typo, it should have read, “…soaked beet pulp can help stretch the hay supply, provided it’s not overdone.”

    June 25, 2013