Equine Welfare Alliance (pdf)
This report is intended to aggregate all available data that is pertinent for assessing
the welfare of US equines. It will be updated annually. Since earlier analysis has
shown that equine welfare is tightly correlated with the price and availability of hay,
this report contains extensive data on hay production, cost and related land use
and land use policy.
The report also contains historical data on the rates of equine abuse and neglect for
those few states that keep such records. Luckily, these states are distributed across
the country, providing something of an insight into regional trends.
Finally, the report contains statistics on the number of US equines registered and
sent to slaughter, as well as recent legal and legislative actions related to equine
The period since 2008 has been one of extreme pressure on horse ownership. The
“great recession”, which began in 2008, turns out to be only one of many
concurrent pressures that have hit horse keepers. These forces are impacting not
only equine welfare, but the entire equine industry as well.
The biggest pressure on horse owners has been determined in an earlier study to
be the often severe increases in the price of hay in many regions. These prices
have been driven by long term land use changes modulated by the short term
impact of weather.
New foal registrations were found to have been in broad and steep decline across
all breeds since approximately 2005, almost certainly because of these same
pressures on horse owners.
This report finds some signs of improvement in the overall environment in 2013,
including reduced neglect rates, increased hay production and declining slaughter.
However, it must be stated that these trends are tentative and at best nascent in
(This is a quite lengthy, detailed report.)
Click HERE to read it in its entirety.