Is it necessary to create a horse not much bigger than a chihuahua? Or even small enough to fit in a human hand? When does meddling in the gene pool of animals reach an extreme to be considered animal abuse?
In April a horse weighing only six pounds was born on a farm in New Hampshire. (Normal birth weight for a standard sized horse is 60-100 lbs.) The new horse (named Einstein) weighs three pounds less than the previous World Record Holder for Smallest Horse. World Record for Smallest Horse? Has there been a competition going on for years breeding smaller and smaller horses, that I wasn’t aware of? What exactly is the benefit to humankind of genetically altering the makeup of horses to make them fit in a gym bag?
Some people are uncomfortable with making normal sized horses carry humans around. What would they say about people carrying horses around, say, to the coffee shop for a chat, and some very small oats?
A geneticist from the Wired article remarked, “It takes a while to work them out so that you end up with a horse that not only fits in the palm of your hand but is happy and healthy.”
So how happy is a horse the size of a tea cup going to be when it sees a normal large, 1,200 pound version? How could such genetic manipulation produce a healthy, happy animal? The whole enterprise sounds alarming and obsessive. Its very easy to imagine the kind of animal abuse that is likely to occur with artificially created munchkins that would likely be sold and treated as toys. Animals are not play things, or merely objects of gross sentiment. The effort to shrink horses down to toy size is a questionable practice. Is it a new form of animal abuse?
Note: the animal in the left portion of the photo is a mature pony, not a full size horse.