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MINNESOTA’S UNWANTED HORSE TRACY A. TURNER, DVM, MS, Dipl.ACVS Vice President, MN Horse Council Board of Directors, MN Horse Expo.

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Presentation on theme: "MINNESOTA’S UNWANTED HORSE TRACY A. TURNER, DVM, MS, Dipl.ACVS Vice President, MN Horse Council Board of Directors, MN Horse Expo."— Presentation transcript:

1 MINNESOTA’S UNWANTED HORSE TRACY A. TURNER, DVM, MS, Dipl.ACVS Vice President, MN Horse Council Board of Directors, MN Horse Expo

2 THE PROBLEM  ESTIMATED 9.2 MILLION HORSES IN THE U.S.  1997: 155,000 IN MN  1997: MN RANKED 9 th IN HORSES  2009: ESTIMATE > 200,000 HORSES

3 THE PROBLEM  THE AMERICAN HORSE COUNCIL ESTIMATES 1-1.5% ARE UNWANTED = 92, ,000/yr  MN ESTIMATE = 2,000-3,000/yr  COST =$1900/yr  MN INVESTMENT = $3.8-$5.7 MILLION/yr  CURRENTLY 8 EQUINE RESCUES IN MN

4 WHY DO HORSES BECOME UNWANTED  MN REQUIRES: 1.Horses be provided with food of sufficient quantity and quality to allow for normal growth or maintenance 2.Horses be provided with clean, potable water in sufficient quantity 3.Horses be provided with shelter from adverse weather conditions 4.Horses be provided with a clean environment and enough space for periodic exercise 5.Horses have their hooves properly trimmed to prevent lameness 6.Horses be transported safely  UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA EXTENSION ESTIMATES COSTS OF OWNING 1 HEALTHY HORSE = $6500/yr

5 WHY DO HORSES BECOME UNWANTED  Horses that are old  Horses that are incurably lame

6 WHY DO HORSES BECOME UNWANTED  Horses with behavioral problems  Horses that are dangerous  Un-adoptable feral horses

7 WHY DO HORSES BECOME UNWANTED  Horses that fail to meet owner’s expectations Unattractive Not athletic Unmarketable Wrong color (no color)  Cost too much to care for  Normal, healthy horses of various ages and breeds

8 WHY DO HORSES BECOME UNWANTED  CHILDREN (or adults) BECOME DISINTERESTED  DIVORCE  JOB LOSS  THE HOUSING AND MORTGAGE CRISIS HAVE ALSO EXACERBATED THE PROBLEM

9 WHAT DO YOU DO WITH THE HORSES?  CHANGE OF OCCUPATION

10 WHAT DO YOU DO WITH THE HORSES?  RESCUE/RETIREMENT FACILITY  ADOPTION

11 WHAT DO YOU DO WITH THE HORSES?  DONATING TO THERAPEUTIC RIDING PROGRAM  DONATE TO TEACHING/RESEARCH INSTITUTION  EUTHANASIA  ABUSE/ NEGLECT/ ABANDONMENT  EUTHANASIA AT PROCESSING PLANT

12 WHAT DO YOU DO WITH THE HORSES  EUTHANASIA >>>>DISPOSAL  THE LEGAL OPTIONS FOR HORSE CARCASSES IN MN: BURIAL COMPOSTING CREMATION RENDERING FUR FARM USE AND PET FOOD

13 MINNESOTA HORSE COUNCIL  BECAME THE FIRST STATE HORSE COUNCIL TO JOIN THE UNWANTED HORSE COALITION

14 THE UNWANTED HORSE COALITION A BROAD ALLIANCE OF EQUINE ORGANIAZATIONS THAT HAVE JOINED TOGETHER UNDER THE AMERICAN HORSE COUNCIL TO RAISE AWARENESS OF THE UNWANTED HORSE ISSUE AND ITS CONSEQUENCES TO HORSES AND THE INDUSTRY

15 THE UNWANTED HORSE COALITION MISSION TO REDUCE THE NUMBER OF UNWANTED HORSES AND TO IMPROVE THEIR WELFARE THROUGH EDUCATION AND THE EFFORTS OF ORGANIZATIONS COMMITTED TO THE HEALTH, SAFETY, AND RESPONSIBLE CARE AND DISPOSITION OF THE HORSE GOALS  REDUCE THE NUMBER OF UNWANTED HORSES  RAISE AWARENESS OF THE ISSUE AND ITS CONSEQUENCES  EDUCATE HORSE OWNERS AND POTENTIAL OWNERS  FACILITATE THE EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION  HIGHLIGHT “ALTERNATIVE CAREERS” AVAILABLE TO HORSES  PROVIDE INFORMATION ON END-OF-LIFE DECISIONS

16 MINNESOTA HORSE COUNCIL Minnesota Horse Council Position on the Transportation and Processing of Horses  ADVOCATES THE HUMANE TREATMENT OF ALL HORSES  BELIEVES THAT THE PROCESSING OF UNWANTED HORSES IS NECESSARY  RECOGNIZES THAT THE SLAUGHTER OF HORSES PROVIDES A HUMANE ALTERNATIVE FOR THE HORSE WITH CHRONIC DISCOMFORT AND PAIN, OR INADEQUATE CARE AND ABANDONMENT  HORSES DESTINED FOR PROCESSING MUST: BE TREATED HUMANELY AND WITH DIGNITY BE TRANSPORTED ACCORDING TO THE USDA GUIDELINES BE EUTHANIZED IN A HUMANE MANNER IN ACCORDANCE WITH GUIDELINES ESTABLISHED BY THE AVMA

17 MINNESOTA HORSE COUNCIL  MARCH 2009 PASSED A RESOLUTION TO CERTIFY MINNESOTA RESCUES 501 c 3 NON-PROFIT MEET or EXCEED THE AAEP “CARE GUIDELINES FOR RESCUES AND RETIREMENT FACILITIES”

18 MINNESOTA HORSE COUNCIL  THE UNWANTED HORSE IS THE SINGLE BIGGEST WELFARE ISSUE FACING THE HORSE INDUSTRY TODAY  1 STALLION CAN BE RESPONSIBLE FOR OVER 100 FOALS IN A SINGLE YEAR

19 THE GELDING PROJECT “HELPING THE UNWANTED HORSE 1 STALLION AT A TIME”  Education Earns Stallions to Geldings 1.Get an official voucher 2.Attend 8 horse health educational sessions 3.Contact a participating veterinarian to arrange castration of the stallion EDUCATIONAL SESSIONS:  General Horse Care  Reproduction  Nutrition  Facilities/Manure Management  Equine Dentistry  Vaccinations and/or De- worming  Horse Behavior  Lecture on the Unwanted Horse or volunteer 2 hours at a Horse Rescue

20 THE GELDING PROJECT II September 26, 2009 Washington County Fairgrounds  MHC certified rescues can bring colts and stallions for free castration  Performed by University of Minnesota Veterinary students under the supervision of Minnesota Association of Equine Practitioners  The first of a series of clinics to be held around the state

21 QUESTIONS? Contact Dr. Tracy Turner, MHC


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