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Responsible horse ownership

January 19, 2008

Re "Drought is a hard time for horses," Jan. 13

I was both surprised and disappointed to find that no one made mention of the root cause of the drought, which is undoubtedly the impact of climate change on agriculture.

As we mostly continue to live a lifestyle unchanged by the findings in science and the warnings of Mother Nature, I imagine we can expect to see such tragedies and more drastic ones in the future. Perhaps we can see this heartbreaking story as a metaphor for our own fates: When there are too many people and not enough food, who will we leave to die in the fields?

Amanda Packard

Mission Viejo

Thanks to The Times for this much-needed exposure of the current plight of American horses.

The average American is repulsed by the practice of horse slaughter and supports passage of the pending federal legislation to ban it. But the same people who created a glut of unsustainable horses -- irresponsible breeders, kill buyers and meat exporters -- are vigorously opposing that legislation.

There are too many abandoned and neglected horses, not because slaughter has moved across the borders and is less easily available but because breeders continue to overproduce, because in a declining economy, a horse becomes an unsustainable luxury, and because of uncontrollable weather, such as prolonged drought, driving up the cost of less-available feed.

Readily available and horribly inhumane slaughter is not the answer. Our animals, especially those that give us a lifetime of work or pleasure, should not suffer a cruel end because of our societal stupidity and greed.

Sandra Switzer

Glendale

The Times writes, "Some horse owners cannot afford $200 or $300 to put down a horse and dispose of the carcass." If you cannot afford to humanely euthanize your horse, you simply cannot afford to own one. Irresponsible breeding practices and irresponsible horse ownership are creating an endless supply of unwanted horses. Stop overbreeding and humanely euthanize your horses when the time comes, and the problem is solved.

Christian L. Dunville

Hatteras, N.C.

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