Humane options for unwanted horses

  • 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.

  • There are several legal carcass disposal options in Minnesota. Make sure you follow all regulations and guidelines for each option respectively.

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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Disclaimer: The University of Minnesota doesn’t endorse any of the companies listed in this publication. These are only meant to serve as a resource for interested horse owners. The listed companies and individuals are ones the authors were aware of at the time of publication, and aren’t meant to serve as complete lists.

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

Reviewed in 2018

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