Horse hair is apparently a hot item on the black market, with reports of lopped-off tails reaching a fever pitch last fall. WPSD-6 in Illinois has the latest report.
According to this story aired yesterday, “The crooks hit the Southern Illinois Equestrian Center in Williamson County twice since the beginning of the year. Six horses lost their tales, some by as much as three feet. But the crimes didn’t stop there. The Williamson County Sheriff said in the past two weeks as many as seven other horse owners have called telling the same tale.”
Investigators say that horsehair can be valuable and is often used to create belts, jewelry, paintbrushes, tail extensions and the bows of musical instruments. A full, thick tail may go for hundreds of dollars on the black market. Some suspect that the closure of slaughterhouses has exacerbated the problem.
A rash of tail-cutting incidents have taken place over the past few months, most notably in Wyoming, which has had about 100 missing tails reported in the fall.
Read the full story on the latest incident in Williamson County, Illinois, here.
Another Illinois television station, KFVS-12, also ran this story on the crime.
Go lock up your horse’s tail.