Monday, October 13, 2008

Horse neglect could rise due to drought, economy

The director of equine protection for The Humane Society of the United States warns that horse neglect may be on the rise in the coming months, as drought and a rough economy tighten farmers' purse strings. Keith Dane told Greg Kocher of the Lexington Herald-Leader that the drought has drastically reduced farmers' hay supply, and horse owners in crisis can prevent most cases of horse neglect by turning early to horse-rescue groups. "If they anticipate they are going to have a problem, they should seek help before it becomes a problem for the horse and before it becomes a welfare issue and the horse needs to be seized or, even worse, possibly euthanized," Dane said.

Dane also said the Humane Society hopes to begin accrediting horse-rescue programs in the next year. Most such operations are in good shape, "but then there are some that are on shaky ground," he said. "So there's a need to ensure the public, to ensure Congress, to ensure the horse industry that horse rescues that are in operation meet a certain standard." (Read more) Dane was in Lexington Saturday to honor U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Hopkinsville), who was named the organization's "Horseman of the Year" for his efforts to help horses.

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