The theory of unintended consequences underscores Kurt Vonnegut’s 1963 novel, Cat’s Cradle.
According to QMI, it’s possible thousands of Ontario broodmares have been slaughtered for meat since the Liberal government announced the cancellation of a slot-machine program that generated millions in revenue for the horse-racing industry, an equine veterinarian says.
He said many of his clients have sold theirs.
Broodmares are retired female racehorses used to breed the next generation. But with the horse-racing industry in dire straits — facing hundreds of millions in losses — the old girls aren’t worth much anymore.
“The broodmares are the first casualty of the industry,” Biederman said. “There isn’t any market for them other than going for meat.”
Ontario’s horse-racing industry reels in $354 million a year from the soon-to-be-dead Slots at Racetracks Program, which divvies up profits from slot machines at tracks between the industry, the track owners and the government.
The province announced in the spring its plan to axe the program and divert the money to health care and education instead. Slot machines have already been removed from some racetracks in Ontario, and they’ll all be gone by March 31, 2013.
The move was met with opposition from people in the industry, and has forced some major tracks — such as the Windsor Raceway — to shut down.
It also means many horse owners can no longer afford to keep the animals.
Biederman says business is down 50% at his veterinarian clinic. He’s had to lay off staff and reduce hours. When the program officially ends in March 2013, he said he’ll probably pack up and leave the province.
“If the slot program is ultimately cancelled, I think that’ll be the death of the industry. I don’t think there will be any way to stay in Ontario. I think you’re gonna have a mass exodus of horses.”
Or as Vonnegut wrote,
“I’m not a drug salesman. I’m a writer.”
“What makes you think a writer isn’t a drug salesman?”