Just to clarify, the title of this blog applies to horses (although it could equally apply to people!) I have to be honest, I am not in favour of people deliberately breeding animals at all, and that goes for horses as much as any others. Just to take the pet industry as an example, there are far too many unwanted dogs and cats which end up being put to sleep in shelters or straying in the streets. Sadly, the over-breeding phenomenon also applies to horses, as the charity World Horse Welfare highlights in one of its most recent campaigns, Need To Breed. They are trying to really bring home to horse-owners the impact on the world that breeding just one foal can have.
This charity estimates that in the UK alone they take in around 200 unwanted horses each year, who have all been bred by someone and then become ownerless. In this country there are now more horses than there are homes for them, as the prices for horses have dropped to very low levels, so many of them are being neglected or abandoned. There are varied groups in the horse world who breed foals, and all of them tend to blame each other for over-breeding, but they all need to take responsibility for the number of unwanted horses they are creating. Many owners think that if they only breed a very small number of foals in the lifetime of a horse, they are having very little impact, but sadly this is not the case at all.
It is estimated that collectively twice as many foals are produced by individuals who will only breed 1 – 5 foals, than by those who will breed over 100 each. Breeding is not always profitable now these days, so it should not be looked upon as a money-spinner, which is just in the end going to cause a lot of suffering to unwanted horses. Please check out these common breeding myths here, which may give you some food for thought.
If you can't guarantee a good, secure home for life for a foal, should you really breed one in the first place? I am not suggesting that horse-owners stop breeding completely (their horses that is, not themselves!), or obviously the species would die out. I am just saying that it is the kind of practice which should be seriously thought through and only done responsibly. I am sure all the horse-lovers on this site will agree that bringing unwanted, homeless horses into this world is a thoroughly undesirable situation.
I hope that you got something out of this blog. Your votes and comments are much appreciated.
Picture courtesy of www.yourhorse.co.uk