Resource prepared to help owners when horses near end

August 5, 2009

A list of humane options for the disposal for horse remains has been prepared by the Humane Society of the United States.

The list, covering all of the United States, is intended to help horse owners making end-of-life arrangements for their equine companions.

"Providing a humane, dignified death for your horse is simply responsible horse ownership," said Keith Dane, the society's director of equine protection.

"No-one likes to think about the death of a beloved companion, but planning ahead is key to understanding your options. This resource list gives horse owners the information they need to plan effectively."

The list includes state-by-state information on low-cost euthanasia programmes, equine crematories, horse cemeteries, rendering facilities and landfills.

State agriculture and veterinary contacts and state regulations are also included.

A recent survey of equine veterinarians and carcass disposal service providers indicated it costs about $US300 for humane euthanasia and carcass disposal.

In most parts of the US, this is equal to or less than the cost of one month's care. With proper care, horses can live well into their 20s and 30s. The latest available data shows there are more than nine million horses in the United States.

The society said the resource would be a valuable tool for the millions of Americans involved with horses.

The society said it was providing the list because, due to variations in laws and the availability of services across the US, horse owners often don't know their options when it comes to disposing of their horse's remains.

It is expected that the list will grow over time, as the public and service providers become aware of it.