Posts Tagged 'horses'

Price tag

On the worth of Manitoba’s horses, urine included.

A 2009 study by Kelwin Management Consulting, The Economic Impact of the Equine Industry in Manitoba put the capital value of the estimated 81,000 horses, the associated equipment to haul them and the gear with which to ride them at nearly $1 billion in Manitoba.

Plus, people spend about $256 million annually looking after those horses, making the sector an important market for feed and bedding. That doesn’t factor in the spending on training, gas, entry fees and concession-stand food while people use their horses recreationally.

Underpinning much of that activity has been a niche-market opportunity that opened up about 60 years ago to harvest pregnant mare’s urine (PMU) for medicinal purposes.

Along that line

Sweet Nothing gets a prosthetic limb.

Saved first from the slaughterhouse, then from a devastating leg injury that veterinarians said called for euthanasia, the small bay mare is now one of a handful of horses in the world to sport a customized prosthetic limb after her bad hind leg was amputated below the hock.

“When you save a person’s life that person becomes your responsibility until the end of his days,” said Roger Brincker, the 74-year-old Alberta man who has spent the last three decades rescuing animals and, nine years ago, added Sweet Nothing to his brood.

“I look at my animals along that line. Once I’ve saved animals from being slaughtered or mistreated, this animal is now in my care and I can’t abandon it.”

Honest and true

Ottawa Citizen readers tell horse stories in anticipation of Canadian Museum of Civilization’s exhibit The Horse.

My horse completes me. His name is Tyke, and in the 10 years I’ve had him, he has helped me out in more ways than one. Tyke helped bring me out of my shell in a time when I was so shy that if I left my house at all, I would cross the street to avoid others coming my way. I gained confidence from our years of success in the show ring together. He has been my rock through several turbulent bouts of depression, and when I was betrayed and let down by people I thought I could trust, Tyke was there for me, as honest and as true as he’d always been, and he still is. I know him like the back of my hand, and I’ve known him longer than I’ve known most people. I can honestly say that I don’t know where I would be without my beloved Tyke.

Loathsome nature

John Sorenson on the RCMP’s claim that there is no cruelty at Bouvry Horse Exports Ltd.

. . . the RCMP were probably persuaded by Bouvry that their operations conformed to standard practices. This is probably true, but this is simply an indication of the loathsome nature of the entire industry. Anyone seeking verification of this may turn to Gail Eisnitz’s book Slaughterhouse.

As depraved and horrific as they are, the scenes at Bouvry are simply instances of a far greater pattern. The entire industry is based on cruelty: deliberately depriving sentient beings of the lives they enjoy simply to satisfy the trivial desire to savour their flesh in our mouths.

Wilful abuse

Videos reveal below-standards treatment at Quebec and Alberta horse abattoirs.

A review of the 189 slaughters on the Bouvry facility video, carried out by animal-welfare expert Temple Grandin, found six per cent of its horses had to be fired on a second time when the first shot didn’t knock them out or kill them. An audit by the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies put the number at seven per cent — exceeding the standard of five per cent.

Those limits also stipulate that no more than one per cent of animals can slip or fall in the kill pen before they’re shot, but the audits found that threshold was exceeded at both Bouvry and Richelieu.

As for jolting horses in the face with an electrical prod, Grandin told CBC News that’s “a wilful act of abuse” and an automatic failed audit.

“Something like that horse being whipped in the face, I’d blame that on plant management. Plant management needs to be controlling that stuff,” she said.

No idea

Five horses shot since March on Kawacatoose First Nation.

“I don’t even know what to think. I have no idea what’s happening,” said Machiskinic. “That was all my tamest horses that were killed and the kids ride them. We have been asking around and nobody knows anything.”

The horse killings have not only left Machiskinic and his family shaken, but has also caused great concern among the community.

 One love

John Sorenson reviews Wild Horse Annie and the Last of the Mustangs.

 Wild Horse Annie and the Last of the Mustangs is both inspiring and frustrating. The book demonstrates that individuals can have an impact but also that governments are always ready to serve the interests of private profiteers, and that constant, organized oversight is required.

Beyond that, the book demonstrates some of the shortcomings of campaigns that focus on particular species. Johnston’s efforts on behalf of wild horses were certainly admirable but there is no indication of any broader concerns for other animals or of consistency of ethical principles through awareness of animal rights. Throughout the book, defenders of horses are depicted wearing buckskin jackets and sitting down to chicken pot pies and never giving a thought to their contradictory behaviour. Why love one but eat the other?



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