As I raised my hand to bid at the New Holland Auction on a cold January day, I noted I was bidding against a known killbuyer. After paying too much for an adorable white mini filly, I approached the killbuyer to ask why he would be interested in a mini horse.
His answer was as I should have expected. He bids on cute minis for profit. Although they are tiny in size, mini’s are typically fat, well-fed and ‘easy keepers’. If he can win the low bid on a mini, take it to another auction to sell it for even a slightly higher price, it’s worth the investment. He remarked “the cost of feeding a mini for a few days until the next auction is less than feeding my dog. I can sell it next week and may make a 100 bucks. If it doesn’t sell next week or online, I always have a way of getting rid of it.”
Killbuyers are ultimately horse dealers with multiple revenue sources: Auctions, Slaughterhouses and Social Media channels. Yet in the end, whatever does not sell or if they have a contract to fulfil at the slaughterhouse, they load them onto the slaughter trucks: minis, donkeys and mules are included.
Finally, I have seen the evidence of minis shipping. There is a lot at Bastrop filled with random donkeys, mules and minis that you don’t see posted on Facebook. All of the photos from this post are from minis in that ‘Backlot’. ERN has a volunteer who helps us pulls from this backlot. ERN works to find approved homes and provides quarantine at multiple locations in LA, VA, PA and MA.
“Micro” is one example. He was ornery and wild upon arrival but now he has unviel a new personality as an absolute sweetie! He follows me every morning while I do the barn chores. I will miss him when he goes to his new home….but it’s my role to save and rehome with approved ERN homes.
If you want to learn more about rescue and how you might be able to help. Please read “Lost Horses” as its a guide for horse lover’s to learn to make a difference.
Early Edition Copies available at http://bit.ly/2jpdpjZ