Drought in the southeast has raised the cost of feed — and led to hard time for horses. The Los Angeles Times is the latest paper to pick up on the horrific plight of unwanted horses in the US.

The US has closed its horse slaughter houses, but that hasn’t solved the problem of unwanted horses. About 100,000 horses were slaughtered in 2006, and now that those plants are closed, horses are being shipped long distances to Mexico or Canada — or being left to starve in bare pastures.

“People were naive enough to think if we closed down the slaughterhouses, the problem of unwanted horses would go away,” said Nat Messer, associate professor of equine medicine and surgery at the University of Missouri-Columbia, who opposes bans on horse slaughter. “The unwanted horses are still out there.”

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