Canadian horse owners could be forced to sell for slaughter as finances battered by COVID-19

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The governing body for Canadian equestrian sports and horse welfare is warning that without financial support, horse owners could be forced to sell their animals for slaughter as the coronavirus economic shutdown takes a toll on their bottom lines.

In a press release issued Thursday, Equestrian Canada said its members are disappointed that the $252 million in federal support for the agricultural sector announced this week didn’t include help for horse owners, whose livelihoods are suffering from shutdowns on things like horse racing and riding lessons.

“Equine farms across Canada are currently facing unprecedented financial instability. Since all public-facing activities have stopped, many businesses are unable to pay for animal care as their incomes have largely disappeared,” said Kristy House, the group’s manager of welfare and industry.

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“Without urgent government support, many equine owners are now or will soon be facing the horrendous decision to offload perfectly healthy, capable animals into a marketplace in which supply far exceeds demand.”

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