Problems with the economy, drought, rising costs of hay and increases in the cost of euthanasia and carcass disposal are leading to a nationwide rise in the number of unwanted, neglected or abandoned horses.
With the help of equine associations, veterinarians, breeders, horse owners and related groups, the problem of unwanted horses is being studied through a nationwide initiative by the Unwanted Horse Coalition. Everyone with an interest in the welfare of horses is asked to take a survey at http://survey.ictgroup.com/uhcsurvey/.
The survey is phase I of the study. It will collect information from people most affected by and involved with the issue. This will help researchers learn more about the problem and possible solutions.
The American Association of Equine Practitioners says unwanted horse are "horses which are no longer wanted by their current owner because they are old, injured, sick, unmanageable, fail to meet their owner's expectations, or the owner can no longer afford or is incapable of caring for them."
By Allie Byrd
University of Georgia
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