THE “OVER-BREEDING” CANARD

Critics often assign blame to commercial and backyard horse breeders for enabling the business of horse slaughter.  The standard charge is “over-breeding.”  Overproduction creates an imbalance or disequilibrium between supply and demand that overwhelms rescue and aftercare facilities.

The Thoroughbred breed is less vulnerable than other registries to legitimate concerns about excess supply because The Jockey Club’s rules pertaining to how procreation can take place are far more restrictive than in other breeds.  The Jockey Club does not permit horses to be registered as Thoroughbreds if they are the product of artificial insemination, not even if a stallion and mare bred to him are physically on the same property.  Advanced reproductive techniques like embryo transplants and cloning do increase the number of foals born but these methods are also banned by The Jockey Club.

Thoroughbred stallions with very large books of mares are said to be major contributors to over-breeding.  On the contrary, highly sought-after stallions do not increase the size of the foal crop as there are a finite number of mares available to breed in a given year.  Whether these mares are bred to stallions with large books or small books has no effect on how many foals are born.  Moreover, there is a physical limit to how many mares a stallion can cover, unlike in the artificial-insemination approach allowed by most breed registries.

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