The city of Presidio is thinking of raising the fee it charges for burying a horse. This seems like a strange thing to hear, but the city has valid reasons for it. The most obvious one, however, is that the number of horses that are buried annually in the city is increasing. This is causing the city to lose money on horse burials.
The city currently charges $22.50 for each horse burial, which is a very low number according to Brad Newton. He is the economic director of the city council, and the request to increase horse burial fees in the city came from him. Brad argued that the city had to bury no less than 300 horses in the previous year alone. This led to a loss of almost $193 per horse. That is a huge loss, and Brad’s demands seemed solid enough for the city council to take them seriously.
Low Burying Fee Means More Dying Animals
The low fee for burying horses in Presidio is thought to be one of the reasons behind the climbing numbers of dying horses in the city. There is a possibility that people from nearby cities are taking advantage of this situation by putting their dying horses on trucks and sending them to Presidio. This way, once their horses die in Presidio, they can get them buried for very low rates.
Increasing the Fee May Lead to Overall Economic Loss
When the possibility of increasing the fee was being discussed at a city council meeting, owner of J&R Stockyards, Ruben Brito, raised some concerns. According to him, if the fee is increased, it will result in the collapse of the stockyard industry in the city.
Presidio is known to be a gateway through which horses are sent to Mexico and Canada to be slaughtered for their meat. While the topic of trading horsemeat remains controversial, Brito pointed out that the practice was generating revenue for the city. However, if the fee to bury dead horses was raised, it would cause the industry to incur heavy losses.
Running Out of Land
Having so many horses to bury is also filling up the city’s landfill. Presidio’s landfill has seen a decline in its expected lifespan from 31 years to just 17, in the last five years. This is because it takes a lot of land to bury a horse. A deep hole is required to be dug for this purpose, which then needs to be filled up with 3 feet of dirt. Ordinary trash, on the other hand, requires a mere 6 inches of dirt in comparison.
The city cannot even afford to finance its EMS, let alone develop a new landfill that would cost millions of dollars. This is why it’s becoming more and more challenging for the city to keep receiving dying horses. Only time will tell if increasing the fee for horse burial leads to any change in the city’s fate. For now, however, the amount of land Presidio can spare to bury horses is decreasing day by day, and there are no signs to indicate that the number of dying horses being sent to the city will decrease any time soon.
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