Four years ago, the U.S. economy was beginning to take a dive, bad weather made it difficult for farmers to feed their horses, and domestic horse slaughter came to a halt. Essie Rogers of the Kentucky Horse Council says not much has changed in the number of unwanted and neglected horses.
"It just seems like the problem unfortunately hasn't gone away. We've had a few years of good weather and a few years of drought mixed in over the last four years. The economy, as we all know, has just continued to be terrible and unfortunately forced some horse owners to make some really tough decisions."
At a Tuesday meeting of the Kentucky Equine Networking Association, Rogers says horse enthusiasts will discuss what can be done about unwanted horses.
A recent report [PDF] from the Government Accountability Office found that over the past four years, U.S. horse exports to Canadian slaughterhouses increased by 148 percent. Horse exports to Mexico increased by 660 percent.
The federal report said Congress may want to consider allowing the USDA to resume inspecting horses that are being sent to slaughter, or banning the export of U.S. horses intended for slaughter in a foreign country.