The issue of surplus horses may result from uncontrolled, or inappropriately planned, reproduction, and also when owners no longer can keep, or want, their animals. Some unwanted horses may be old, injured or ill, express undesirable behaviors and/or fail to meet their owner’s desires. Normal, healthy horses of varying ages and breeds may also become unwanted. Economic, and many other factors, likely result in animals being rejected. Because our nation’s animal care and control facilities rarely accept horses relinquished by owners, and because euthanizing and disposing of an unwanted horse is costly, these animals may be at risk for abandonment and suffering.
American Humane supports the responsible breeding of horses with the goal that each foal born has the opportunity to live a healthy, safe and full life. When horses are unhealthy and suffer from illness or injury, it may be best to end the suffering of certain animals with humane euthanasia. American Humane supports the collaboration between partners from the equine industry, animal welfare agencies, regulatory agencies, academic scientists and others, to address how humane euthanasia and alternatives might be made available to owners at affordable costs.
American Humane encourages research into the development and use of nonsurgical methods of sterilization, and research that carefully evaluates risk-factors for relinquishment or abandonment.