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Humane options for unwanted horses

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Quick facts

  • Horses become unwanted due to cost, age, illness, injury or poor performance.

  • Humane options for unwanted horses include selling, sending to a rescue or euthanizing.

  • Euthanasia is humane when done by a veterinarian and is a better alternative than neglect or prolonged suffering.

The American Horse Council estimates there are 7.2 million horses in the United States. Each year there are over 170,000 unwanted horses.

Why do horses become unwanted?

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Humane options for unwanted horses

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Krishona Martinson, equine Extension specialist, and Julie Wilson, DVM formerly with the University of Minnesota

Reviewed in 2018

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