The War on Wild Horses
by Marcia Mueller
I don’t think the BLM or the ranching and other special interests will rest until the horses are gone or the herds are reduced to insignificant numbers.
Take the case of Tom Davis. Mr. Davis is a livestock hauler and long-time advocate of horse slaughter. He is on the record with statements like the following: “Hell, some of the finest meat you will ever eat is a fat yearling colt.” And “What is wrong with taking all those BLM horses after they get all fat shiny and setting up a kill plant.”
So it is to Mr. Davis that the BLM sold almost 1800 horses at $10 each. When some wondered where all the horse were taken and started investigating, it seemed Mr. Davis sold them all for slaughter in Mexico. This, after Davis signed a sales contract promising he would find them good homes and not send them to die.
Mr. Davis received no punishment for what he did. And maybe he has a legal (if not a moral case), for he maintains that the BLM knew full well where the horses would go. What did the BLM think he was going to do, asks Davis, with that many horses?
As for the future now being planned for the horses, look at the groups on the steering committee: Arizona Sportsmen, Nevada Division of Wildlife, Oregon Cattlemen’s Association, Western Landowners Alliance, Wyoming state Grazing Board.
And look at the National Horse and Burro Rangeland Management Coalition: American Farm Bureau Federation, American Sheep Industry, Masters of Foxhounds Association, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Rifle Association, Wyoming Stock Growers Association.
Yeah, they’re all groups looking after the welfare of the horses. You can see where this is all going.
For those of us who hate the thoughts of the horses being sent to slaughter, what are the alternatives? We’re told they are taken to be cared for at holding pens. How many people have seen those holding pens? How many people are following up on the welfare of the horses once deposited in such a limbo. There is this information on the Internet, and it is not pretty: https://wildhorseeducation.org/short-term-holding/
Maybe those of us who care about the horses and their welfare have to think about the alternatives. What if there is no good solution for the horses, nothing that is truly in their interest?
The forces against them are many and strong: powerful government bureaucracies that pander to special interest groups, along with hunters and cattlemen and extractors that want the land for themselves and their profits.
Now the horses are already being sent to slaughter and being held in terrible conditions. They are rounded up in a manner so brutal that some do not survive it.
If we can’t fight hard enough to save the horses from a long and difficult truck trip to a terrible death in a slaughterhouse or from a barren life in a holding pen out in the desert with no shelter or real care, do we need to consider euthanasia? No, we don’t that for innocent horses who were supposed to be left safe on their lands. But they’re suffering and dying anyway.
We may need to have that discussion of the horses’ fate and demand that advocates determine who is involved and how it is carried out.