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I had the opportunity to hear some good discussions at the Idaho Horse Council convention and membership meeting earlier this month in Pocatello. The panel members in the photo handled the topic of “Unintended Consequences – How the Horse Slaughter Ban and Economics Effect Humane Treatment of Unwanted Equines.” As in most other parts of the country, the perspective depends on personal experience, business interests and which part of the sequence a person is most directly involved with.

You’ve probably read about the proposal by Madeleine Pickens, wife of T. Boone, the oil baron, to create a million-acre refuge for the wild horses already in captivity. Her plan came amid criticism of the BLM’s proposed plan to euthanize part of the collection to control numbers and costs. This points to future debates about the emotional and economic factors within the issue.

I think the panel participants are (left to right): Phillip Erickson, Animal Rescue; Mark Hyndman, investigator for the State Veterinarian’s Office; Dan McGregor, breeder and boarder; Max Palmer, shipper; and Terrell Hill, Idaho Brand Inspector.

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