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One equine veterinarian's reaction to the equine slaughter ban

With too many horses and not enough homes for them, Dr. Erica Lacher—like most equine practitioners—sees slaughter as necessary.
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Aug 01, 2008
By dvm360.com staff

With too many horses and not enough homes for them, Dr. Erica Lacher—like most equine practitioners—sees slaughter as necessary. "We slaughter cats and dogs every year in shelters," she says. "I'd love to not have slaughter in this country, but I just don't think it's a realistic expectation."

Dr. Lacher, owner of Springhill Equine Veterinary Clinic in Gainesville, Fla., knows many others don't agree, and she tries to explain things. She ran into an animal rights lawyer recently who told her, "Of course I'm against horse slaughter. I'm morally opposed to it." Well, Dr.?Lacher responded, was she also morally opposed to shipping them to Mexico for slaughter, where many are being sent? Without an avenue to humane slaughter in America, a glut of lower-quality horses—horses that can't earn their keep at a racetrack and can't find a home with a hobbyist—has driven prices down. That means increased horse abandonment by owners who can't afford to keep them and can't sell them.

It's supply and demand, Dr. Lacher says. "Breeders make money by selling racehorses. But when those horses are injured or don't perform well enough, there aren't enough rescue groups to take care of them."