Guess what, ND is going to provide somewhere between 75-100K to do a feasibility study on opening a horse slaughter plant. Yay, just awesome. Not.
I'm really not for horse slaughter. Here are some of my reasons:
1. I don't think it is done as humanely as possible;
2. It isn't done to feed families in America first;
3. I'm hugely against horses traveling in double decker trainlers;
4. It promotes the breeding of a ton of crap for meat which in turn makes all my costs go up.
5. Horses raised for slaughter do not have the same paperwork requirements and what not that cattle do.
I don't want ND known for this. Compared to other states, ND does not have a huge horse population. It is likely then, that many would have to be trucked a great distance. I don't want truckloads of horses traveling through. Plus, hello, we have this little thing called winter that lasts like 6 months out of the year. Wouldn't it be the best ending ever to travel from somewhere south with no winter coat to ND in January? Cattle from ND go south to the feedlots, people don't ship them here to be slaughtered. Why do this with horses?
I don't care about every horse. Sorry, but I don't. I've seen several that I think should be dog food. However, just because they are crappy horses does not mean that they should be mistreated or slaughtered inhumanely.
I get that the market has dropped out, but guess what, its really only dropped out for horses that would have gone to slaughter. What does this tell you people?? Hmm, maybe those of you pasture breeding 50 mares just because they go back to Two Eyed Jack, Hancock, or Driftwood then selling wild weanlings are delusional. Those of you breeding a pile of no-name know-nothing pretty colored horses are halucinating too. Those of you breeding designer mutts like Morabs, Pintabians, Walkaloosas, American "warmbloods", etc are the worst offenders.
I'm all for breeding, but in a responsible manner. If you own a mare and want to breed, great, but its your responsibility to raise a foal and train it to do something. If you are selling as a weanling-2 year old, it better darn well be haltler broke, lead, tie, groom, load in a trailer, lunge, and be able to have its feet handled (all 4 of them). Anything 2-3 should be at least exposed to a saddle and accept it. Over 3, this horse should be started to fairly broke. If you own a stud, don't breed him to any mare that waves money in your face. I don't and I won't start anytime soon.
I know that not everyone shows their horse. The fact is, horses that are shown in some way are generally easier to put a value on. A horse with a value and a job does not need to be eaten by someone overseas. Join a club, do an open show, have a game night, go on a judged trail ride, the possibilities are out there.
My last rant, if you can have your horse registered, do it. Give him a history, give him that opportunity. And for Pete's sake, if you buy a registerd horse spend a couple bucks to do the transfer. I have nothing against a grade horse. Many of them are great. But even if the poor guy sold with a golden ticket he won't bring more money than a horse of equal training/ability who has papers.
The end to this is education. Education on how to ride, how to train, and how to breed responsibly. Slaughter quality horses will begin to drop off the map when its no longer profitable to breed them. Someday.