Reading the NorthFortyNews.com story of the malnourished horses in Livermore seized by the Larimer County Sheriffs’ office truly infuriates me as I’m sure all readers are.
Being a horse owner, it is appalling to me how anyone could treat any animal like that. While I am in no way defending the perpetrators of animal cruelty, I can tell you that there is a problem in Northern Colorado, my area of interest. The problem is price fixing on hay.
I have experienced situations where I have gone to purchase hay, from my hay broker, only to learn that another hay broker came and purchased the entire inventory. Free enterprise? I think not. Hay prices have been outrageous for the past two years due to the drought. However, demand has decreased as people have sold horses and cattle, some or all, due to the price of feed. There is lots of hay out there if you’re willing to pay the price.
Which brings me to my point: There is going to be hay available, which should drive the price down, but it continues to rise, tripled in the last year. Try buying hay from the hay auctions, it’s all bought up by hay brokers. If they are willing to outbid anyone to get the hay, how much do you think they are going to sell it for? It will get higher with this price fixing. Not only does it hurt my wallet, it hurts my faith in humanity. Local agriculture people are forced to do business with the greedy, who don’t just want to make a good living, they want to make a killing on the backs of good people trying to keep their livestock fed.
Perhaps the situation the owner of those horses in Livermore was put in, or he’s just cruel, maybe not so far from those hay brokers. An investigation should be in order, but my faith in that system is also less than optimal.