WITH regard to the increase in the number of horses being slaughtered in Spain (International News, 14 April), Raphael Minder refers to Alberto Martin, who has been forced to sell 50 of his 70 “beloved” mares and, a few paragraphs on, he refers to Spain as a “horse-loving country”. He also quotes Martin saying: “I don’t believe anybody in my family ever faced a crisis like this.”
The horses aren’t “beloved”; they are seen and treated as part of a business and, if business isn’t going well, although people such as Alberto Martin have presumably made vast sums of money by treating horses as his business assets, he has no qualms about sending horses to slaughter when, instead, he could keep them and give them a loving home, if he couldn’t find other loving homes for them.
As for Spain supposedly being “a horse-loving country”, much has been written about the cruelty of bullfighting, with regard to what happens to the bulls, but the cruelty that horses are forced to endure in the bullring is rarely commented on outside of animal rights circles. Horses often suffer serious injuries and have their painful wounds patched up, only to be sent back into the ring again and again. If Spain really were a horse-loving country, this would not be allowed.
It is the poor horses who face the real crisis, not those such as Alberto Martin.
Sandra Busell, Edinburgh