Stopping horse slaughter for human consumption has been a long-standing priority for the organization. In the past year, we’ve seen the closure of the last three domestic horse slaughter plants, and we are pushing Congress to pass legislation to ban the export of live horses for slaughter in Canada and Mexico. However, the path to slaughter starts years before the animal is loaded on a trailer bound for a slaughter plant in Canada or Mexico, and the long-term solution to this problem is to foster a sense of greater responsibility to horses.
Horses end up at slaughter plants because of basic human failures. It happens when people overbreed horses with no thought of placing them in a safe setting. It happens when a horse owner fails to establish any meaningful bond with a horse, treating the animal like a commodity rather than a companion. It happens when people do not know how to handle or train a horse, and frustration causes them to cast off the animal.
To avoid these scenarios and to assure better outcomes for the animals, we are working with horse owners, equine experts and industry groups to provide options for training and care so that horses don’t end up, six years and six owners later, walking into the auction house ring.
These basic ideas are captured comprehensively and clearly in "The Humane Society of the United States Complete Guide to Horse Care." I’m pleased to announce this amazing and valuable new book is available for order.
This guide has been a labor of love, not only for coauthor Erin Harty, a writer, horsewoman, and longtime moderator and administrator of The Chronicle of the Horse’s ten online discussion forums, but also for the HSUS staff members who supported Erin.
"The Humane Society of the United States Complete Guide to Horse Care" provides horse owners and prospective caretakers with an ethical framework for dealing with the knotty problems of buying, caring for, and possibly re-homing the horse in their life. It urges every one of them to make the same commitment to their horse that they would to a dog or cat—as a companion for life deserving of care and concern at every stage.
Here at The HSUS, we’ve redoubled our commitment to equine welfare. We hope this book will further our mission to celebrate animals and, by providing a resource for understanding the emotional and physical needs of the horse, help owners develop a special bond and enhance the wonderful experience of sharing their life with an equine friend. You can help in this mission by making this book a bestseller and getting it into the hands of every horse enthusiast in the country. We need to elevate the place of horses in our culture, and to foster a commitment to lifelong care and responsibility for these extraordinary animals.