In July 2014, the News-Miner reported that police charged Mr. Thomas Patrick Fisher, a horseback guide, with several misdemeanor counts of animal abuse. According to the complaints, he abused several horses, including a horse that had an open gash on one of its legs.
Upon investigating Mr. Fisher’s property, the police further noticed that there was no food for the horses.
In response to the allegations, Mr. Fisher contended that he was supporting the horses and noted that the horses were old.
This type of neglect is endemic of a growing problem in the US. In fact, many equine owners, who have been experiencing severe economic constraints, are simply not providing adequate care to their horses. They are not spending 2,300 dollars per horse, the average amount of maintaining a horse, according to a 2009 survey of horse rescue facilities by the Unwanted Horse Coalition.
So, what happens to the horses!?
The futures for neglected and abandoned horses are very grim. Often, there are limited facilities to send horses, unlike cats and dogs, because equine supplies are very expensive and the horses are very large. Consequently, some owners will either humanely euthanize their horses, or they will send the horses to slaughterhouses in Mexico, where the horses will be made into horsemeat for the foreign markets.
It is very difficult to prevent the transfer of horses because many equine buyers and dealers indicate that the horses are coming to Mexico for riding, breeding, or pleasure. In reality, they are sending the horses to the slaughterhouses to die.
To curtail equine abuse and equine deaths, it is vital that citizens closely follow the Alaskan case of Mr. Fisher to ascertain whether their states should enact stringent policies to protect horses.
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