Unwanted horses have become a growing concern across the U.S. At present, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management has in its ownership some 30,000 unwanted horses that cost U.S. taxpayers millions of dollars annually to feed and care for. The BLM recently announced its own concerns over mounting costs to taxpayers and increased abandonment of horses on federal lands.
Equine veterinarians across the country have been increasingly reporting a growing number of emaciated horses and abandonment cases. Boarding stable owners are seeing clients no longer wanting their horses and just walking away, leaving the burden of feeding and care with the stable owner. Responsible horse owners are waking to find strange horses in their pastures, putting at risk the health and welfare of their horses and adding an immediate financial burden to their operations.
Reports of unwanted horses are widespread and many, but until now, not adequately documented or verified. The Horse Welfare Committee of the United States has been formed to provide such facts. The goal of the committee is to factually document the incidents of unwanted horses in the U.S. and determine if this trend is directly related to the closure of U.S. horse slaughter plants. The committee advocates discussion of all alternatives to benefit horse welfare and does not advocate one alternative to the exclusion of others.
The committee recognizes this is a highly emotional issue for many but is urging people to fully explore the issue in terms of facts and logic before coming to conclusions. There are a number of documents at the website that can help elucidate the issue. Horse lovers, in particular, are urged to become fully educated on this issue and rationally balance their decisions.
More information on the unwanted horses in the U.S.: