It is with a heavy heart that I write this.
A few weeks ago approximately 45 of the West Bench horses were rounded up. Thankfully some of the horses and foals were sold to caring homes, but many were sold as bucking stock and the
remaining unsold horses were shipped to slaughter.
For reasons I will never understand, this sale was not advertised or announced in any way. It seems that the whole event was mostly a secret with only a few people told.
As someone who lives on the West Bench I have known many of these horses since the day of their birth. I helped to rescue a mare and foal last spring when one of the young stallions tried to kill her foal and I was there on the evening when a young stallion was hit and killed in a motor
vehicle accident, while driving home from school in Kelowna.
I feel betrayed by all involved in this roundup and sale. Why would it not be advertised that these horses were now available to be sold?
Why does it seem that some work so hard against people who could offer these horses a lifetime home and that only the dark side of the horse world is allowed to be involved, with many of the horses sold for meat to the European market?
Would it not make more sense to have as many people as possible aware and able to purchase these horses? Would the horse owners not make more money this way, as it is my understanding that the prices paid for slaughter are quite low at the moment?
Would it not make for better
relationships with the public sending a message of caring and compassion as opposed to one of disregard and callousness
towards the horses and their fate?
I am left totally confused as to how and why this issue of the horses continues to be handled in this manner.
The West Bench residents will probably not see any horses in their neighbourhood for quite awhile, but there are still over 500 horses left on the PIB lands that need to be dealt with. I am hoping this mindset of turning away those who want to help will change and the remaining horses can be dealt with in a more caring and thoughtful way.