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Microchipping your horses may save them from horse slaughter

A growing number of horse owners are implanting microchips into their horses as a possible protective measure against slaughter. According to a source article in The Middletown Press on Aug. 27, microchips may aid against the slaughter of horses.

Certainly the horses are not enjoying this microchipping and trimming
Certainly the horses are not enjoying this microchipping and trimming
Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images
Author's horse
Heidi Rucki of www.dressyourhorse.com

With an implanted microchip in the horse and registration of that chip, the horse can readily be scanned while at an auction. In this way, a previous owner can be notified before a horse is loaded and transported to slaughter.

The use of microchips for horses is gaining increased acceptance by owners since the horse slaughter issue has been raging in the media. It is a relatively new concept for horses and, according to the Equine Rescue Network (ERN), needs to be seriously considered due to the high numbers of horses that end up in slaughterhouses.

Says veterinarian Stacey Golub, founder of the Connecticut Draft Horse Rescue:

It’s the up-and-coming new way to identify horses.

The ERN is establishing a registry called the Equine Protection Registry for all microchipped horses. Included in the data per horse are the medications and vaccinations each horse has received.

Most of the medicines administered to horses admonish on the label “not for use in horses intended for food.” This automatically renders horses unfit for slaughter, helping to protect them from the slaughterhouse. It is an important reason for a microchip and registry.

This registry could become an excellent resource during natural disaster emergencies or during investigations of neglected and abandoned horses. It is obvious that a mandatory horse microchip could greatly reduce the number of horses in danger.

ERN “hosts a 24-hour Hotline” to allow time to connect the horse to the microchip ownert.

There is another benefit of the microchips in horses. If a horse is stolen, ERN gets out the word to state brand inspectors, Stolen Horse International, rescues, veterinarians and even the Texas Rangers.

Additional improvements are scheduled to the ERN registry including immediate and mobile access to data on horses. This includes Coggins tests, health certificates, registration papers, bills of sale, show records, and other helpful data. Information will be private and accessible to owners via passwords and made available to authorities during crises. Also planned in the near future is an Equine Microchip Lookup tool that provides a national alert system for microchipped horses.

To put the chips into practice, ERN volunteers at horse auctions scan horses for microchips. If any of the horses are found at risk, the volunteers get in touch with the former owners and emergency contacts listed in the registry. ERN also offers emergency funding to hold horses for 24 hours up to seven days and aid in coordinating safe transportation.

There is one thing that cannot be controlled, of course. The microchips are an aid to save horses but are not totally failsafe. Once a horse is no longer in a responsible owner’s care, there are no guarantees.

In Haddam Neck, Connecticut, a horse microchip clinic and registration is scheduled on Sept. 14 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Connecticut Draft Horse Rescue on Rock Landing Road.

All individuals interested must pre-register. The cost per horse is $50. Mail a check to Connecticut Draft Horse Rescue, 15 Rock Landing Road, Haddam Neck, CT 06424. PayPal may also be used for payment using email ctdraftrescue@aol.com – appointments must be scheduled because each microchip required per horse is preordered. Confirmations will be made by CDHR one week prior to the clinic.

Additional reading:

This YouTube video shows how the microchip is inserted into the horse's neck. Click here.