Tom Martino’s report in November that CSU indirectly sells
horses to slaughterhouses understandably upset many viewers and put
the equine science program under intense scrutiny. Certainly it
seems that any school as dedicated to animal welfare as CSU (the
No. 2 veterinary school in the country and home to one of the top
animal cancer centers) would want to take precautions that animals
students have benefited from are treated well in the next part of
their lives. But we have no doubts that nobody at CSU was
heartlessly selling these animals with the intent that they wind up
at a slaughterhouse.
CSU has to sell these animals. A state law requires CSU to sell
off their assets and return the money to the state. Even without
this law, the university can’t feed a horse forever when a horse
can live up to 35 years, much less house every horse that comes
through CSU. At some point CSU has to place good faith in any
middlemen buyers that they will make every effort to find a home
for the horses before turning to slaughterhouses.
Any institution that works with animals potentially faces the
problem of what to do with the animals when it is done with them.
In this case, we feel assured that CSU made the best effort it
could under the circumstances to take care of these horses through
advertising the auction and looking for new options.