Horse News

Horse Slaughter Just The Beginning

Story by John L. Smith of the Mesquite Local News

Wallis and Duquette may want to eat more than just Horse

Wallis and Duquette's Dream

I have concluded it’s a good thing Sue Wallis isn’t a welfare department director or superintendent of public schools.

Wallis is a Wyoming rancher, state legislator, and the vice president of a group called United Horsemen.

Wallis and her group were among the sponsors of the recent Summit of the Horse event at the South Point casino in Las Vegas. “United Horsemen” and “Summit of the Horse” have proud, high-minded rings to them, don’t they?

United Horsemen exists in large part to work to lift the ban on the practice of horse slaughter in the United States. The summit provided a forum mostly for advocates of the practice to express their deep concerns about conservation and the preservation of the wild species through effective management. That is, by rounding up the beasts, killing them, and butchering them so the meat can be sold to countries where horsemeat waters mouths instead of turn stomachs.

Public opinion has turned against the horse killers, too. A 2009 Public Opinion Strategies poll found 69 percent of American voters opposed horse slaughter for human consumption. Unless Congress is unexpectedly overtaken by delegates from France, Mexico, Japan, and China – nations where you can still find Seabiscuit on restaurant menus – it’s difficult to imagine the American ban being lifted any time soon.

But that doesn’t stop folks like Willis from dreaming of the day when wild horses are reduced to steaks, roasts, and ground round, and ranchers have made a tidy profit.

Taking the folks with United Horsemen at their word, that they are interested in seeing healthy wild horse populations instead of, as their critics suspect, no wild horses at all, for a moment I thought Wallis and her friends might be onto something.

If wild horses have overpopulated, kill them and eat them. But why stop there?

If this is, as they claim, more about politics and public perception than the best interests of the species, why not continue the theme? Surely there are other critters in our midst whose existence is hard to justify.

Stray dogs, for one. Millions are in animal shelters across the land.

And don’t forget cats. They breed prolifically. When they turn feral, they’re bad for the environment.

The solution is simple. Round them up and slaughter them. Hey, we’ve all heard of people in distant lands eating Spot and Fido. I’m sure there are examples of humans dining on Puff and Garfield, too. It’s just a matter of politics and perception, right?

Moving to the next level is difficult, but, well, you can’t deny that there are an awful lot of Americans out of work these days. Call it a modest proposal, if you will. With the economy in recession, there are a lot of folks who, it could be argued, have outlived their usefulness to society.

And then there are the elderly. Are they proliferating, or what? Everyone talks about fixing Social Security and Medicare, but nobody seems willing to do anything about it. Well, now’s your chance. Perhaps someone will create a high-minded group called “United Seniors” and work toward a solution.

At the risk of sounding soft on this issue, I think the day of horse slaughter in America is over. Other countries have many practices and culinary traditions we don’t share.

Wild horses aren’t simply pests or nuisances. They’re somewhat federally protected animals. They’re majestic symbols and part of our Western heritage. And if that description is too poetic for you, remember ranchers use the same romantic imagery whenever it suits their political purposes.

The horses should be protected through management, private and public, not by bringing back the glue factory.

John L. Smith writes a weekly column on rural Nevada which appears on every Wednesday and in the print edition every Thursday. His Las Vegas Review-Journal column appears four times a week.

47 replies »

    • The best Sat. night live material ever. That ‘meeting’ of the Vegas ghoulfest..they don’t even need masks. did any of them ever smile? lol

      Would be very funny if the bottom-line wasn’t killing horses ‘in front of’ (within their scent/hearing of miles)of other ‘waiting to die’ horses.

      strange but very telling..most of the horse-eaters are BREEDERS of massive numbers of horses.


      • Arlene, it has not been on actual Saturday Night Live — Laura was just saying that it is good MATERIAL for SNL.


      • Thank You Seabiscute, Awesome name , oh my bad , I thought it was actually on Sat nite live… You are right it would be awesome ……………………………..


  1. On this topic, I just received my issue of Audubon magazine. It has an article by a Ted Williams that is very pro-slaughter and calls the wild horses “feral” animals that are “ruining the wild grasslands”, causing damage and eating grasses and shrubs that would feed “legitimate” wildlife. He states that the helicopters don’t terrify the horses. He says that a less than 1% death rate is acceptable on “gathers”. I am appalled at his article and he ALSO urges Audubon Society members to write and contact their congressmen and women and urge them to NOT to reinstate ROAM!
    I am disgusted that the Audubon Society magazine, supposedly bird lovers, would publish such trash and I intend to write and tell them so.


    • I once debated Ted Williams on the subject of our Wild Mustangs he got so angry as to begin name calling and finally removed all my posts, when I asked him what was different between long lining with a thousand hooks and a thousand fishermen fishing with one hook. Why is it some peoples rights are always superior to other peoples rights?


    • Ted Williams (and I wish we were talking about the frozen or homeless one) is a self apointed “bird/fish Nazi” (now my post will go into awainting moderation), but Frank has this guy dead-on.

      He ain’t a naturalist….he’s a specialist; you know, like special interest.

      It is impossible to have a constructive debate with this individual….he has tunnel vision and consistently dismisses science and facts. But he sure talks a good game.

      As to the post, “sometime you feel like a nut, sometime you are!” (spoken to the tune of Mounds/Almond Joy jingle). SS and DD are nuts. The editorial is great….why stop at equines???????


    • In North Carolina the USFWS has created a conflict between a species of wild bird and wild horse habitat on the Outer Banks. I think I saw this same article several weeks ago. Wild horses are being blamed for habitat degradation by other wild-life groups. Therefore, I am grateful that Western Watersheds Project seems to be resolute that the damage on the range is caused by cattle.


  2. Good piece. Snarky works in this wild world. Eating cats and dogs? Hey if there was a way to make it pay without public outcry, I am sure someone in this country would go for it. Speaking as a foster owner for the abandoned dogs in our area, not many people really give a flying whatever as to how strays are handled. Not enough to do much about it.
    The writer and poet Alice Walker said that ” horses make a landscape more beautiful” and whenever I see a horse, that is the window I view through. Creation is too magnificent to give it less than our full attention and most humble respect.


  3. Oh, and in addition to his other vile comments, Ted Williams knocks the policy of the BLM to require adopters of mustangs NOT to send the horses they adopt to slaughter! Is this man an idiot or what?. First he says the horses are starving, then he says they are over populating the grasslands, which is it, dying or overpopulating? There are so many oxymoronic statements by this man and all of the pro slaughter people that it makes you wonder what their IQ is.


    • I wish he was an idiot….he is worse than stupid; he is more than educated with a personal biais and bent against equines.

      I would just like to know what animals served his ancestors and supplied the ecosystem that they arrived to that allowed him to plant his “ass” (pun intended) to become the sanctimonious, pompus piece of human dung that he has become.

      When he dismisses science, bullies opposing scientific thought, he has defeated his own cause. He is not a scientist.

      Hey Mr. Williams…I’m one of those loons that believes that the equines of North America NEVER left…just reduced and more northernly scattered. You know, NO WHITE MAN saw ’em! The native peoples saw ’em and have generational stories to prove it….far before the Spainards. Creep…self serving creep!

      Oh and he cries all the time how he hates cattle grazing, but funny how his protests are not found on regular blogs about misuse of public lands or incompetence re: DOI/USDA.


  4. The pro-slaughter people count on people simply reading an article and buying it hook line and sinker without doing any further research. Ted Williams is counting on that. After reading his article I’m so glad that I told Audubon to go to H*** years ago. There is no place for such hate to be directed at any animal. In fact I am finding that I am crossing more and more orgs off my list Sierra Club, NWF who refused to answer my query on their stance towards the native wild horses. With more time to waste doing research on more such conservation societies I’m sure more would fall.


    • I agree Morgan, I check out every environmental organization as well before i will support their cause..if they have not invested the time to properly research the wild horse issues to form their “erroneous” conclusions-I donot consider them adequately intelligent and forthcoming for me to put faith in the issues they have stated for their own cause-no support on any level


  5. Having some “dark thoughts” about where these so-called “Scummit of the Horse”Profiteers” are truly headed. Since the National Cattlemen and the AQHA people are deeply involved in the scummit, wouldn’t it benefit some of these “horses for profit business” to actually breed horses for slaughter? Another “red meat” that they are envisioning to bring high dollars on the international market? Sue’s brother raises Hafflingers and Belgians—breeds that have been raised in Europe and sold to slaughter.
    Hope I am wrong–but entitled to “dark thoughts”–broke a tooth–on way to dentist!


    • The reality-is that those who breed for slaughter breed ‘heavy”breeds..its not about bloodlines conformation or color..its about POUNDS..the only way you could possibly make money raising slaughter horses is to have plenty of land so you did not have to buy food..keep that in even more profitable way to enter the slaughter business for bottom to buy horses or wild horses that others have invested thousands of dollars into raising..the taxpayers and private citizens and horse owners..buying them for next to nothing..the cheapest horses around..SA wild horses @ $10 a head..a semiload of wild horses from Canon 36 horses would net a slaughter buyer around $21,600.. Now stallions probably weigh more than the mares..and adobe town stallions are big and stout and have good bone..bone weighs more than a kill buyer gains from these types of horses..over the small lightboned horses..don’t believe it -start asking around


      • Don’t disagree with your post except to say, lots of ways to make the pounds.

        If you can’t have pounds via one equine….you just breed more of the smaller ones. That is what the color, grade and quarters have been doing FOREVER…one could even argue the TBs do it.


      • Just costs money to feed those cost me 1600 a month to feed hay to 16 horses–after 6 months of feeding..wheres the profit on a full grown certainly not raise a foal and profit from that leaves slaughter buyers looking to scoop horses up at a price where they can make a kill buyers at a sale..they can look at a horse and guess its weight within a few lbs..they are only going to pay a minimum amount for a horse at auction so they can make a profit..figuring they still have to coonsider the cost to get it to mexico or canada to slaughter..if you go to know who the kill buyers are..they are usually down in the ring for a close up look..they quit bidding when they have reached the dollar amount where they can make a profit..if you want to save these horses from slaughter have people watching the slaughter buyers and bid $10 dollars more and see what happened


      • Speaking of those Adobe horses… there was some question recently about a “buyer” for about 250 (?) of those horses … anyone know where those horses are today? BLM emails gave me different answers but mostly said that this “buyer” had purchased horses before and it was OK with them if he purchased more since he had to sign the sale authority questionaire that he would not sell them to slaughter – yeah right, sure, uh huh, like I believe that? I repeat, does anyone know where those Adobe horses are this minute? Please tell me … I would love to be wrong about what I am afraid happened to them.


      • I was the person who found out about this as i was and on the phone to secure the stallion Grey Beard and band Carol walker photoed at the adobe town roundup..I called the facility while he was enroute to Canon City make sure he was not gelded..In the process of finding a ‘wild and free preserve for him to be released to I was asked if I wanted to also get some mares to go with him..all Sale Authority over 12 yr. horses..on up into the back I go, because I had been approved already to buy Grey Beard to inquire about a semiload of mares and a few more stallions..I was told i’d better contact the DC office as they had a buyer for all 255 SA horses at canon,,so i got right on the phone to sally Spencer in DC, and it was also confirmed there was a buyer and someone they had done business with before, and I was assured he was someone “above reproach’..and get this..he is going to drop these horses in small groups on different properties to different people..thruout the country, to allow them to claim “farm deferrals” on their since i have owned ranches since the age of 23-I am very familiar with farm deferal raising stock..the idea that anyone would put wild horses on their property to fufill those requirements-defies common sense, when you could get a handful of llamas or goats or sheep or even rent your property to graze someones cows..makes no sense what so ever..and highly suspicious, you cannot manage a bunch of loose wild horse on some are these people going to roundup or move these horses..whats going to happen if they are forclosed, subdivide or sell the property..what happens to these horses in a couple of years..even if this were to actually be an ill conceived idea-what happens in a year or 2 when they no longer need them..a slaughter buyer is the only option..Sally is holding up approval on allowing us to take 60 mares and approx 12 studs..who are now the only ungelded horses left on the premises..and if she does not allow us to take them to the preserve..which is by the way-40,000 acres..they will be gelded and every last one of these horses will go to this buyer..I have been after this since the adobe roundup in October..wish me luck..cause we are really getting the runaround.


      • Or, they can just steal them. That’s we method of procurement I was most familiar with in Texas.


      • Sandra,
        Would it help if Advocates called Sally in DC to release Grey Beard, stallions and mares to you? If so, telephone #’s, emails, please.


  6. Great writing can always be found here !!!!!!! That was awesome !!!!! Thank You Mr. Williams, for showing and proving How absolutely Ridiculous these people are, and how horrible to have Horse Slaughter………….These Wild Mustangs are to be Praised and Cherished for all they have done and will do for America , Stepping up and demanding that this end now, is the right of ALL America , and is the Right of The Mustangs !!!! TO BE FREE !!!!!


      • My all time favorite ad..right up their with the bud horse ads! combining my 2 fav. creatures horses and cats! I have had cats jump from the arena fence where they were watching me ride colts onto the frount of the saddle and ride with me for awhile..had one that would jump on to the back of one of my stallions when i would lead him down the drive to a stallion turnout.


  7. Well and don’t forget we could solve the nasty unemployement problem in one fell swoop by putting all those lazy sofa sitters to work slitting the throats of the struggling animals, just tell them it’s a new kind of video game, with super interactive features, like real horses screaming surround sound and authentic temperature blood spatter!



  8. So let me get this straight— I can become a “welfare rancher” with a herd of “heef horses” and lease land from BLM and pay grazing rights of $1.46 per “heef” unit (mare/foal/gelding) and put them out on land formerly known as wild horse range–and BLM will have to “gather ” some of the present beefers to make room for my “heefers” under the multiple use policy. Well they can’t deny me my rights for a legitimate new endeavor (and jobs) on public land! How slow can helicopters go before they crash? Will the other welfare ranchers be really angry if their feral cattle are removed to make room for my units?


  9. I am laughing my head off because i think you are right !!!!! Imagine that scenario ….. Funny I wondered if the Helicopters could fly with broken propellers ????? Yes the ranchers would be mad, toooooooo bad aint it !!!!!



    BLM suspends Northern Nevada horse roundup
    January 12, 2011

    CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — The Bureau of Land Management is canceling a wild horse roundup east of Fallon after an aerial survey showed the number of animals isn’t as high as previously thought.

    The gather had been scheduled to begin around Feb. 1, and mares were to be given fertility treatments.

    But BLM field manager Terri Knutson says an aerial census conducted in late December shows the population is low enough that the gather is unnecessary.

    She says the federal agency will continue to monitor the herd.


    • Thank you Louie, BUT……

      (1) they are freaking, documented, psychotic liars;

      (2) DUH???????????????? NO freaking horses/burros left to round up??????????? Science, population count problem?????????????? And they just figured that out??????? Thought they had SCIENCE behind their lyin, Killtoor,.Kookem handout equine meat money machine?????????????

      (3) Go back to (1), remember (2) and then see how many roundups they have done with the same circumstances.



    • p.s. Good ol’ Terri Knumbskull has just had an ephiphany?????????????

      C’mon folks…this is either a lie, ruse, feint or Terri is just a complete puppet idiot.

      BTW…the US Park Police Chief (DOI) that got fired for saying she was worried about DC Mall security and didn’t have enough employees, got reinstated with 6 years back pay. It’s still subject to DOI appeal…but ya’ gotta love it!


  11. This columnist was a fellow Nevada Writers Hall of Fame Silver Pen award winner and his daughter loves horses 🙂
    I’m so glad he’s keeping his eyes on this topic. Go John!


  12. Grandma Gregg, here is the rest of the information from AMERICAN WILD HORSE PRESERVATION CAMPAIGN:

    Clan Alpine wild horse roundup suspended
    A Feb. 1 roundup of wild horses in the Clan Alpine Herd Management Area has been suspended, according to the Bureau of Land Management. “An aerial census conducted in late December of the wild horses in the Clan Alpines shows that the population is low enough that gathering horses in that area to treat the mares with a fertility control vaccine… Read more of this article



  13. Thank you Sandra. You are not alone in your problems to purchase sale authority horses. I for one have been trying to purchase one for over two months now … and now he apparently has “disappeared”. I know of another person who, since last summer, has been trying to purchase about 30 and although approved … the horses have still not been shipped. These two cases are both legitimate purchases to try to give new lives to the horses (since they were not allowed to stay on their land where they REALLY belong) and BLM not only does not cooperate but prefers ignoring our requests for help in these acquisitions. Long story … but I am sure you get the idea.

    As for the purchaser of the approximately 250 Adobe horses … I agree with your doubts about the welfare of those horses and wonder where those animals actually are today. This whole BLM WH&B situation is such a multi-layered disgrace … from the unscientific census to the illegal and inhumane treatment of the animals themselves to the ill-handled adoption/sale authority procedures to the unaccountable LTHF and on and on and on. You and I know this but I wish the American public would wake up and be sickened by how the animals and we the taxpayers are being abused.

    Let me know if you hear what happened to those 250 SA purchased horses from the Adobe – I know other persons want to know also. I wish you the best of luck … for the sake of the horses.


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