VOLUME 5 - 2012-2013 - ISSUE 2
5 Ky. J. Equine, Agric. & Nat. Resources L. 225 (2013).
AN ANALYSIS OF FACTORS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DECLINE OF THE U.S. HORSE INDUSTRY: WHY HORSE SLAUGHTER IS NOT THE SOLUTION
Article Written By: John Holland and Laura Allen
Like the U.S. economy, the U.S. horse industry has experienced a significant economic decline in recent years. The American Horse Council Foundation performed a comprehensive study of the U.S. horse industry in 2005, and detailed the industry's economic impact on the overall U.S. economy. The study estimated that two million people owned horses, the direct annual economic impact of the industry was $39 billion, and the total economic impact was $102 billion. Since that study, there has been no equivalent comprehensive examination of the industry, but available data, such as foal registrations, indicate that the industry has suffered a major and prolonged downturn.
Some have suggested that the decline in the horse industry and in domestic horse ownership is due to the ban on slaughtering horses in the U.S. In fact, the ban on horse slaughter has not caused this decline. This article first reviews some of the state and federal laws that ended horse slaughter in the U.S. Next, this article discusses the real factors causing the decline in the domestic horse industry, such as increased feed and fuel costs. Lastly, the article explains that the real problem facing the horse industry is the allocation of the various resources that impact costs and government programs that significantly influence the allocation of these resources. Consequently, turning back the clock to allow domestic horse slaughter will not save the horse industry.