Horse Health

Report finds hope for US equine industry after prolonged decline

Source: The Equine Welfare Alliance

the price of hay in every state over the past decade with increases in many states of over 100%,

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

CHICAGO, July 15, 2014 — The Equine Welfare Alliance (EWA) with the assistance of the Animal Law Coalition has released the first Annual Equine Welfare Report. The report contains statistics and records obtained from federal and state agencies as well as breed registries.

“The findings are grim for the horse industry,” says EWA’s John Holland, “We found that the decline in new registrations which began in 2005 continued into 2013, with some breeds reporting registrations down as much as 75%.”

The report details the price of hay in every state over the past decade with increases in many states of over 100%, and some showing increases as much as 220%. Worst hit were the western and southwestern states, which were plagued by persistent drought.

The report, however, offers a glimmer of hope in recent increases in the amount of land allocated to hay production following the removal of corn ethanol subsidies that Congress terminated in 2011. This marks the first upturn in over a decade.

The report also finds the export of horses to slaughter declined in 2013, down from an almost two decade high in 2012.

An earlier EWA study found that the price of hay was the dominant factor in determining the likely rate of neglect, with the rate of unemployment coming in a distant second.

The report also contains a detailed record of legal and legislative battles that have raged over the past few years, especially as concerns horse slaughter. “Slaughter in the U.S. is now illegal again thanks to the tireless efforts of Americans who care about horse welfare,” said Laura Allen, president of ALC, “but the effort continues to ban the export of horses for slaughter in other countries.”

Finally, the report provides an update in the abuse and neglect rates in the five states where these records are kept at the state level. Only Colorado showed an increased rate of neglect, but it was the only state that reports such data within the drought plagued regions. “When the price of hay increases dramatically, you can be sure that the neglect rate will follow the same trajectory,” explained Holland.

8 replies »

  1. You should Please take into account the price hike/ripoff on hay prices is controlled by the USDA AG reports which hiked hay prices across the US EVENLY. THAT SENT A RED FLAG UP FOR ME. Not all states were in hay shortage or saw increased demands. NOT all states were evenly distressed over hay therefore some which was trucked out was from Large Production Operations attempting to take Over the hay Industry by tying up all the fields to attempt to squeeze little balers out of business. I talked to several angry field owners who signed contracts and yet no first or second cutting has been completed with hay wasting in the fields. This was an attempt to manipulate the industry. The USDA cannot adjust prices on hay due to the different types specific baling and weight each party bales. They tried to Walmart price control and then rate hike which goes along with the GOA report issues in my expirience. The grown fields that were planted and the ones that are being overbaled without rest or replanting affect quality again USDA AG report sets prices woth no consideration for low quality hay. The hay per tonnage hiked the per bale price as some estimated the weight of squares visually by tonnage which cheats the buyer. The leaf and stem quality without any debrie is not accounted for either.


    • Yeah complaining about Starving horses and starving blm animals pressed for grazing rights yet ship all their hay for profits out of the country to China and other locations. Again this reveals the Obvious Choice to Abuse Americas horses. The export hay industry has been thriving however if they reopen plants destroying more animals they would ship more hay. Again the greed weve spoken of for years and again USDA driving UP report prices allows for Export increase and sets higher export pricing as they standardize higher rates here fraudulently they then make more profit Internationally. I have spoken on many Cattle Forums and have complained of this on Drovers Cattle Network for several years. We also contacted the Department of Ag because the rate hikes were not reflecting the entire plethra of variances. The profit markup was to Run people out of livestock including horses so induce america opening plants. In other words choking the snake. They scream snake then they feed the snake and then while its consuming its food and harmless they pick it up and act like a hero only they dont tell you they put the snake there in the first place and came prepared with what to feed it before they choked it to play hero.


  2. To think about it in an even larger global picture that includes America’s western states where our wild ones have land and resources supposedly authorized PRINCIPALLY for their use, take a look at this … “Severe drought plagues California, the Colorado River is perilously low, and yet billions of gallons of water are being “virtually exported” via one of the West’s thirstiest crops: alfalfa.”


  3. Living in CA with nine equine and disliking alfalfa, I join with my neighbors to pay for hay delivered from Oregon. But we are still paying around $22 per 110 pound bale for quality grass hay with about 15% alfalfa. That is about $3 less than feed store moderately good grass or orchard hay and almost three times what I paid for hay ten years ago. I hear my friends in the Mid West complain at paying $8 per bale for hay, I suppose alfalfa, and I am amused.

    Are we surprised that we are exporting our water via alfalfa to Asia? Why?

    We are exporting everything to Asia including such lowly things as crushed plastics as in plastic bottles and containers. We have exported our technology, our resources and our jobs.

    Once we have absorbed this information, we must move on as to how we can end the exporting including the beautiful Canadian Belgians raised for and placed into little boxes and shipped to Japan for their dinner plates.


    • China has taken All of our metals ans scrap alloy is replaced with cheap recycled weaker plastics and shipped to us to break. Sorry China. Think on this gem: in all the past wars the USA was able to melt down nearly eveeything in our country to make weapons and machinery for us to fight. So if they consume all of our scrap and we ship every once of it out of country then if there were an emergency where we needed to start scrapping metal to defend ourselves its alreafy gone. Cheap plastic wont defend us. I am not suggesting thats the plan but we always had a backup plan and I feel like those plans including water and alfalfa w water use are depleting us. To export hay while Americas in times of hardship and recovery is non sense and really deprivation and price gouging in our own Country.


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