Our "Pet Project" - Equilandia, o.s.It is not a secret that the equestrian industry is plagued with welfare issues. As our knowledge of equine physiology and behavior rises, and the need of "working for food" for our horses diminishes, we realize how increasingly difficult is to justify the use of horses for a human entertainment. An entertainment, that largely relies on constant veterinary care, and also politics of the profiting industry to stay alive.
A number of volunteer projects has sparked from the need to address a large turnover and waste of our companion horses, but the impact has been limited mainly due to the lack of support of the uninformed and indifferent general public. Veterinary organizations are well aware of horse welfare issues, however, as a profit-oriented private enterprise it tends to serve a mainstream interest, stepping only very hesitantly into an arena of any political controversy. Therefore, the most common grassroots activity that deals with welfare issues involves various attempts to rescue unwanted horse destined for a slaughter. Behind the emotional outpour of those rescuers is the horse transport to the slaughter facilities, the handling of those horses, and the fact, that many of these horses are sick, fatigued, fearful and in pain. The process of a slaughter alone is also controversial, since many of these facilities are not properly equipped to deliver a humane death in all cases. The problem is, the number of unwanted horses produced by the equestrian industry far exceeds any rescue capacity, moreover, some rescue organizations fail to provide adequate care and scholarship, thus missing the target, which is:
to increase the awareness of the general, as well as equestrian public about the equine condition and the causes leading to the loss of productivity and to the premature end of their lives.
What is missing in the efforts of the rescuers is the demonstration that these horses are a needless waste. What is at core of the problem? When a society treats an emotional investment to an object as just a mind game played on young people, it shows to the next generation, that an emotion is dispensable the moment, the object becomes unable to perform and outgrows its immediate use. Such is the case for horses that are bred to be pets, unlike many other food animals. The horses are becoming an object of the emotional investment. The implication of such dispensable societal attitude can be very dangerous. The development of an ethical feeling is based on empathy. But these higher emotions do not come to humans naturally, they are culturally cultivated. And the human mind is not generally capable of a true, unselfish feelings till the adolescent age, but it might never develop under a lack of cultural influence. The way society treats companion animals, is an important tool how to cultivate young minds toward a responsibility, an empathy and a higher morality.
Equilandia, o.s. is buying off horses destined for meat, enables their rehabilitation from the mental and physical damage, and attempts to extend their usefulness. The goal is to turn these horses into an educational mean to raise awareness of the ethical issues in the equestrian world. Equilandia has the ambition to become more than just a rescue place. It tries to become a meeting point, where young people can see animals, previously condemned as unusable, to be rehabilitated, returned to the work, and show ways how to slow down the wasteful turnover of the horse production by the equestrian industry. However, Equilandia does not make false promises. Equilandia pledges, that all those horses, that pass a point after which a rehabilitation is not possible, will be a and should be, humanely euthanized.
Equilandia, o.s. is one of those unique projects which goes beyond a simple rescue. It provides a care, education, and strives on a rational approach toward a big problem in the horse industry. The production of a needless WASTE. Equilandia is a non-profitable organization that needs a support of similarly concerned people. Therefore, we ask you to join our co-operative efforts and donate financial or material gifts to Equilandia, o.s. Your 2% taxes, financial gifts of any amount, or just material donations such as horse tack, building materials, bedding and feed would be greatly appreciated. Payment can be received via Pay Pal by major credit cards. For a direct transfer, see http://equilandia.sk/?page_id=68
Equilandia can be found at www.Equilandia.sk