Advocate analyzes slaughter situation in video series

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Horseman and longtime equine advocate Alex Brown launched a three-part video series earlier this year with a goal of educating people on the controversial issue of horse slaughter in the United States.

Brown calls the series “Horses: Sports, Culture, and Slaughter” and it’s his attempt to “provide a 360-degree view of the issue of horse slaughter, through the lens of horse sports, horse cultures and horse history.”

“It is my fundamental belief that we should all understand all the issues that impact the horse; the animal that provides us our careers,” Brown wrote earlier this month. “Many of us also have a deep-seated love of the horse, which only makes it more important that we understand these issues.

“One critical issue that is highly controversial is horse slaughter. Should we allow it, is it an appropriate means of disposal of “unwanted horses?” Is humane horse slaughter an oxymoron? Is the slaughter market simply just another marketplace for the horse, increasing the overall demand for the horse?”

Brown believes the majority of horsemen and horse lovers don’t understand the complex issues involving slaughter. He points out that positive steps have been taken in the racing industry to support Thoroughbreds once their racing careers are complete, mentioning the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance and its recent partnership with the Maryland Jockey Club among others.

“There are many other programs now in play and there is momentum and buzz behind the off-the-track Thoroughbred. Kudos to those who have helped make that happen,” Brown wrote. “What all these programs do is increase the demand for second careers for our athletes. That’s terrific. What they are not able to do is guarantee that all our stars have good outcomes.”

Brown said he’s dedicated the last six or seven years to the topic and his series includes additional video clips from auctions, feedlots, outside slaughterhouses as well as racetracks such as Saratoga Race Course, Ruidoso Downs and even the Crow Fair in Montana.

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