“but one horse for every 575 acres is one too many…”
LAS VEGAS — Any wild horse advocates who were hoping for big changes when the Texas cowboy president gave way to the urbanite from Chicago have been sorely disappointed. During the past four years, the number and pace of wild horse roundups have seemingly increased.
Millions of acres that were set aside by federal law to be the permanent home of wild horse herds have been zeroed out, that is, wiped clean of mustangs, though thousands of private cattle have been allowed to remain on the public lands. And each time a roundup operation is undertaken by the Bureau of Land Management, horses are terrorized, injured and killed while running across miles of rocky terrain.
Now comes word of a new — some say insidious — plan to remove every single mustang from a gigantic area: the 575,000 acre Sheldon Wildlife Refuge in northern Nevada, along the Oregon line. The government thinks there are less than 1,000 horses in that vast area, but one horse for every 575 acres is one too many, and they all have to go. The irony of removing wild horses from a wildlife refuge is not lost on the mustang advocates, but they’re not laughing. That’s because unlike mustangs captured by the BLM, these horses will almost certainly end up at a slaughterhouse, and then on the dinner plate of horse flesh fans in France or Japan.
The Sheldon refuge is controlled not by the BLM, but by the Fish and Wildlife Agency, and that agency figures it does not have to abide by the same laws that offer minimal protection to mustangs on BLM land. Both agencies are under the Department of the Interior, so we wanted to ask the head guy, the Secretary of Interior, “What’s the deal?” Our I-Team colleague Steve Sebelius interviewed Secretary Ken Salazar via satellite about the roundup…
Click (HERE) to visit KLAS, read the interview, view the video and to comment
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