Horse News

Horse-Eating Cult Attacks Children, Education and Learning Institutions

OpEd by R.T. Fitch ~ Equine Author and volunteer President of the Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Frustration Mounts as the Horse Slaughter Vehicle of Death Slowly Sinks

Disclaimer: Not for those under the age of 15 or individuals who refer to the 5th grade as their “Senior Year”!

American Children's right of free speech under attack by corrupt Horse-Eaters ~ photo courtesy of EWA

Several months ago, a young boy became agitated, frustrated and upset over the idea that the inhumane act of slaughtering companion animals (horses) for human consumption abroad could be returning to the shores of the United States.  Growing up in a family that knew the difference between food animals and pets the young man decided to take things into his own hands and began a letter writing campaign to the members of Congress in an effort to head off the agenda of a few twisted alleged citizens funded by foreigner’s bloody money.  His idea picked up momentum and through the support of the Equine Welfare Alliance and The United Federation of Teachers Humane Education Committee not only did the letter writing campaign blossom but lesson plans on the subject were developed and the young ones are now teaching their elders a thing or two about appropriate advocacy and matters of the heart.

As warming and uplifting as it is to see the future of this country share compassion and understanding it does not come without a price and that sickening toll is levied by the seamy dark side that believes killing and eating your lifelong friend is something that all Americans should rally around and support.  It’s bad enough that these heartless and uneducated vermin exist but they are not content to share and spit their slimy, evil rhetoric in private but instead they find it necessary to crawl out of their holes and spatter their spew of hatred and blood lust upon the beautiful landscape that the rest of the sane world inhabits.

Call it fear, jealousy, stupidity or unprintable words that are perhaps better descriptors but they are gnawing at the small tidbits that the enlightened leave behind and shaking their fists and hurling cuss words at those whom they envy.  They are the underworld and have been around for centuries but today, they have gone after the children.

Spawned from the handful of lemmings that follow the hapless and hollow mouthpiece for the corrupt foreign slaughter trade, $ue Walli$, the denizens of depravity have attempted to concoct a heartless attack against the children’s letter writing campaign.  Fearful of the truth and dreading being exposed for the low life’s that they truly are they have composed a letter which they are sending out to school systems condemning the First Amendment, right of free speech and the very principle of children learning both sides of the story so that they can make qualified decisions on their own.  In their feeble little minds, such concepts cannot be allowed to exist.

“I am writing to you today regarding a political campaign launched by the Equine Welfare Alliance ( This is an animal rights group, who with the help of the Million Horse Letter Writing Campaign seeks to utilize the public school systems and class room Civic…s, to lobby for the change of laws regarding horses and humane horse processing.”, is how the letter begins.

Straight up in their opener they lay waste to the truth and to any sort of factual representation.  It never was nor is it still a campaign launched by the Equine Welfare Alliance, it was initiated by a young man and brought forward to the group which, by the way, is NOT an “animal rights group”.  EWA is exclusively an EQUINE Welfare alliance; wait a second, isn’t that what they are named?  The EWA is a collection of EQUINE welfare organizations that are actively engaged in improving the present and future welfare of American equines both domestic and wild.  Not a “rights” group or a generic “animal” group but an “Equine” group which, for the dummies who don’t get it, are horses, donkeys, mules, etc…not rabbits, turtles, frogs, bats or plankton.  Granted, members like those critters but they are not what the group is centered on, that would be Horse type creatures.

And these butcher wanna-bees can’t even bring themselves to call a spade a spade; they now want to rename bloody “horse slaughter” to “horse processing” further indicating their inability to use the English language correctly as “slaughter” means “kill to eat” and that is about as blunt and to the point as you can get, there is no polishing that turd, but they try…and “humane” never was and never will be as with the captive bolt gun a horse is rarely rendered unconscious and most are alive as they are hung upside down, their throats slit and then skinned alive…not too much that is humane about that; their turd just got a whole lot bigger.

“I could spend copious amounts of time sharing the contribution of the horse as a food, work, sport and pleasure animal worldwide, as well as their impact nationally on the agricultural industry.”, the letter continues.

Move over English language as you are no more safe from $ue Walli$ and her cult than the horses are.  Copious amounts of time?  Hmmm, copious means abundant, plentiful, profuse, bountiful, many, numerous, one or two…let’s see, “abundant amounts of time”, “plentiful amounts of time”, profuse amounts of time”, “bountiful amounts of time”…arrrghhh, it just doesn’t work, does it?  But it DOES work if I said that I drank copious amounts of Wrangler Iced Tea after reading their profane and idiot letter; that makes sense and is pretty much on the money, but wait…when was the last time you were talking about horses with friends, family or in public and chatted about horses as food, HORSES AS FOOD?  I can honestly say NEVER.  Sitting around the feed store, the tractor dealer, the rodeo, never have I heard ANYONE talk about horses as food and these social rejects put it up as number one front and center.  Kind of makes you wonder what happened to them in their early years to have warped or damaged their moral compasses so severely.  Scary thing is that as they attack the children of sane and compassionate people they are free to raise offspring to whom they will teach this bloody rage and hatred for all living things.  That is the real crime, here.

And finally in true Gestapo and book-burning fashion they threaten the school systems as fear and violence is their last resort and the trademark of a coward.

“In closing, schools who allows their teachers the latitude of using our children to participate in this campaign is effectually putting our children at risk for emotional trauma, is endorsing the work of these special interest animal rights groups, endorsing political agendas and opening the States and Districts up to the possibility of a large law suit by parents who do not believe these topics appropriate for a public school system and have no desire to have our children used and taken advantage of without parental consent.”

Arrrgghhhh, I am playing taps for the death of the written word and placing my hat over my heart; I hate to see it go, I loved it so very much but these fools have stuck a knife in it and then twisted it until it is dead, and they did so while writing, ahh, hmmm…TEACHERS!

But far worse is their unwitting exposure of the deep seated sickness that festers in their hearts and infects their souls.  “Using” is a word that the anti-horse crowd are all too quick to “use” and it comes screaming to the forefront as they commit the Freudian slip and “use” a phrase that points to their own sordid behavior, “using our children”.  Sick, disgusting and over the top but what these intellectually challenged perverts do not understand is that instead of helping their failing cause they only further damaged it as our educators and learning institutions can easily recognize them for the deranged individuals that they are.  And on the flip side; here in the United States of America we do NOT easily accept threats to our right for free speech, not in this country.

So besides being totally out of touch with the reality of American sentiment the horse-eating dark side prove, once again, that they and their leaders like $ue Walli$ and her lapdog Dave Duquette are about as far away from the principles that this country was founded upon as you can get.  With every bogus web page, organization and so-called company that they form they like to use “United” as their key catch word in all of the titles but the only thing that is United about what they do is that 80% of the American public is United in finding the likes of them and their money oriented motives to be disgusting, distasteful and degrading.

We support our children, the horses and all that makes this country free.  Our youth are our hope and even they can see through the slimy veneer that the horse-eaters cloak themselves in.  Young eyes not only visualize, but they comprehend.

Keep the faith, young ones, you are the future and we stand beside you.

Horse-eaters, climb back in your holes, there is no place for you in contemporary society.

Be gone.

Click (HERE) to Learn More About the Children’s Letter Writing Campaign

41 replies »

    • You know, children today have so few REAL opportunities to make their voices heard, what’s wrong with the letter writing campaign? Is $ue so afraid of young people that she wishes to stop this? How PATHETIC she is! I say, KIDS~GO FOR IT AND MAKE YOUR VOICES HEARD! They are our future voters and leaders and they deserve to know the truth about horse SLAUGHTER (not “processing”)


  1. What would we expect from people who s greed far exceeds their guilt, they exploit everything in their paths , especially when then are faltering, they grab at straws, the children can see right through them…………………….. The children already know what is right and just , their will be no concessions from them, they speak the truth, and thats what they are afraid of the truth!!!!!! The truth will set our horses free…who better to interpret the truth then the innocent for the innocent??????? When a child is with a horse the most amazing things can and does happen…………………there is a understanding that defies explanation…………….. no words need to be spoken……………………….. I know this because I was a child when i met my first horse, he looked at me and I felt a bond that still exists today……………………….


  2. I have to point out their poor use of grammar as well, particularly amusing given this is a letter to educational institutions. “Schools who allows their teachers”? For the horse eating brainiacs out there, “allows” is a conjugation for a singular noun. Schools is of course plural.

    Along with the other details RT points out, i.e., the extremely dubious, “contribution of the horse as a food”, I’m sure the school administration will be sufficiently dumbstruck by this effort.


    • CanAmFam:

      If the killers can’t get morality and ethics right in their heads, how could they ever begin to understand grammar; one has to work at that……killing equines this way is all about the most base level of human character flaws. Actually, religion and participation of same are supposed to correct that flawed compass. Please beg my pardon if I have not stated properly. I do not believe in killing and eating equines this way. I believe we are saying the same thing. I am just surprised you think they care about grammar since they can’t get the life and death, right and wrong premise correct in the most important, primary starting place…conscience.

      Broken moral compass.


    • Here’s another correction from an English teacher. Schools is not a personal noun–therefore it doesn’t use a personal pronoun such as theirs. It should read “Schools that allow its teachers. . . . ‘ It’s apparent that the horse-eaters weren’t in my English classes.


  3. Their true fear besides public knowledge is that their own children will learn through school their deceit, their propaganda, their support of a cruel industry that takes the entire blame for toxic meat being fed to children and pregnant women across this globe. Their true fear is that their children will learn their beliefs and support of this industry leave them to be greed filled at the cost of our equine and global health. Must be scary to know your children just might discover you are the root of evil. Their poop is rolling downhill and the children sadly will be at the bottom of that hill, with the bucket.


    • You are on point here. One of the sub-themes of horse slaughterers is that HSUS has been waging a war to win the hearts and minds of children for years, and teaching them about how to treat animals humanely. The public is far better educated about animal welfare. One of the concerns these people have is that HSUS is winning the PR campaign.

      I seriously doubt if these people who are so afraid that a little knowledge will destroy animal agriculture could have foreseen all the ways their insistence on slaughtering an animal that was given to us for companionship and service, a noble, beautiful, generous animal who despite his instinctive fear of us, nevertheless, gives us his trust, would create such deep, widespread outrage among such a large number of Americans.

      This song is perfect. Equine welfare advocates are living on love. Our movement is about love for horses and wanting to make the world a safer, better place.

      I don’t know if the people who want to butcher these beautiful animals can comprehend the strength of love united. Are they capable of imagining that people like us are willing to give away out hard earned dollars to save horses from slaughter, sacrifice time we might be spending earning money or doing things for and with our family with no expectation of earning a profit. I don’t think they can fathom the power of love.

      Love is the most powerful force in the world. Love can defeat fear, greed, and evil. We will prevail because we are fueled by our love.


  4. I’m sorry to see it written in this article that there is the view of differentiation between ‘pet animals’ and ‘food animals’. From my viewpoint, all animals are sentient beings and NONE are considered ”food’ animals’. No one gave humans the right to force procreation upon and exploit living beings for so-called ‘food’. Chickens, pigs, sheep, goat, cows, horses, dogs, etc. are all animals that have been proven to have strong familial ties to their own parents and siblings, and are intelligent in their own right. For humans to consider them as ‘food’ is disheartening.


    • I can see your point and do accept it. I intended no insult and have compassion for all animals but I cannot honestly consider myself to be a vegetarian. Perhaps I should have used the term “livestock”. Even the USDA does not consider horses to be livestock and the term I used as “food animal” is what agriculture uses for animals that are grown for human consumption. Horses have never been recognized to be in that group.


      • RT

        Technically, while equines were raised for service, in the old days it was always common practice to send to the local butcher. The difference is now that we have vital drugs to exclude equines from the human change, we also have equine owners that don’t know a knacker and use a vet…..way, way different than 60 years ago.


    • The battle over whether to eat meat or not is not the cause of most equine welfare advocates. A legitimate argument can be made that the current system, by which equines suffer will have to be addressed. I suggest you read Michael Pollan’s numerous books. They are more about the lie that is nutrition (and SS uses that all the time, denying food safety) and factory farming, globalization and corporate take over of our individual responsibilities with regard to food.

      This is about children organizing with some help from educators being attacked as liars and drones. They are not. I took heat in my own house during the ’60s about civil rights.

      Right is right. Ethical is ethical….no matter the culture from which one claims. We can debate the “truth”. The equines are running out of time and the humans that are being misled eating them are too.


      • I agree with you totally, Denise. This post is about children and the attempt by the SS to silence them.

        I taught secondary English for 22 years, and I know very well that children are extraordinarily capable of understanding complex issues and expressing their understanding. I enjoyed teaching children how to think, but not what to think. Letting children gather information and draw their own conclusions about what they are researching is an exciting process. There are often multiple correct conclusions as well as incorrect conclusions, and the teacher is there to help the child discern the difference.

        Watching Declan and the work he is doing warmed my heart. I have some important advocacy work to get together today, and Declan’s light has given me an extra spark.


    • I agree with you Collin. Your heart is in the right place. I also got labelled on another blog as a vegan, which I am not. I’m not even a very good vegetarian, but for health and moral reasons I’m working on it. The world would indeed be a better place without war and slaughterhouses. I told one of my clients how I read on one of the EWA alerts that now they want to offer horsemeat to Americans. I kid you not, her reply was, “so what now, we should eat dogs too?” On that same blog Dr. Ann Marini verified that animals who go through slaughterhouses often revive, and then become vivisected. So what does that say about humans? It’s ok to torture them and then eat them? We’re not an advanced society at all, or rather some members aren’t. However, we have the choice to overcome this, and for sure, as someone else here mentioned, love will help us prevail. I know you meant no insult, RT. Loving horses puts you in the right place in my mind. Thank you for such powerful words in defense of our best friends, the horses.


  5. Sue Wallis and her minions don’t seem to hold a very high opinion of children at ALL! Which makes me feel sorry for their own offspring. Those kids are probably not allowed to ever voice a thought or opinion of their own. Therefore, it would seem to me, that they are oppressed emotionally and mentally, possibly even physically. And what’s even worse is I would think they are having the cruel, heartless lack of moral and ethical treatment of horses that their parents insist on shoved down their little throats. BUT, if the 80% of Americans that are vehemently against horse slaughter is also 80% of the children, then the 20% of children that belong to these “horse haters” will surely be hearing, loud and clear, from the 80% with a conscience, and who have love in their hearts and a healthy moral compass when it comes to horses. THAT’s what Sue and all are terrified of!


  6. Dr. Grandin writes in her book ANIMALS MAKE US HUMAN that the biggest problem with equine welfare is that owners buy horses without understanding how to manage them, handle them, what their needs are, etc. So to make life better for horses, we need to find ways of teaching children about horses, so that when they are older and get involved with horses, they have an idea of the basics. Most horse owners do not realize what resources are available from the Departments of Agriculture Extension Service. In North Carolina there is a REINS program where people volunteer to become mentors for new horse owners. There are still many horses that suffer.

    Just based on observation, not data, I think some of the problems with welfare issues have to do with an owner becoming ill—either physically or mentally. People who once took good care of their animals just getting overwhelmed with life. Then there are the ignorant who do not know what they do not know and insist on staying that way.

    Our rescue works with veterinarians to educate owners, and usually this is all it takes to make life better for horses. In our area there are several rescues that work together with local animal control to take of horses that the owner can no longer care for. It is state law in North Carolina that if an owner decides to give up a horse, that horse must be removed that day by animal control or one of the rescues that acts with animal control.


  7. One last thought (maybe). As a adult struggling with how to tell this story to children, I think this video and Declan’s own words as a child (wise beyond his years) is a perfect way to communicate what this business of slaughter is all about. If anyone is planning a presentation to young children or young adults, this is a powerful megaphone.


    • Please feel free to use Declan’s video (in a positive manner) to let other kids know what is going on – that’s exactly why he wanted to make the video in the first place! He’s only 9, but he has taken the initiative to learn more on his own. Declan’s message is simple and clear enough for all children, younger and older, to understand. As it says at the end of his video, Declan’s message is two-fold… horses, and in fact all animals, should be treated humanely and be cared for with love and respect. And just because you are a kid, doesn’t mean your voice shouldn’t be used to stand up for something you believe in. This is ALL coming from him and HIS heart. I have NOT indoctrinated my child in any way, shape or form. He is taking the lead on this and yes, I am there to support him along the way, but he is doing this of his own fruition and through his own passion and self-motivation to save America’s horse from slaughter. When he finds things to blog about, he gets so excited and its been amazing to see that over the last few months how he has figured so much out on his own. I have allowed that natural progression to occur and as I think is totally evident by the things he has to say and has testified to, that the words are HIS, not mine. He is NOT regurgitating things he has “learned” from me or being some sort of parrot. Declan is coming to conclusions on his own and making judgements based on what research he has done himself. Am I there “monitoring” where he goes on the internet and what information he reads, absolutely – I am a parent and I think a pretty good one. BUT, I do NOT guide him only to those articles, postings, pictures, etc. that support only what my opinions and thoughts are on horse slaughter. I have always taught both my boys that you need to inform yourself and know both sides and points of view before you stand up and choose where you fall. I know I am a bit biased, but Declan is an amazing kid with a heart of gold. When I asked him if he would loll to go to Washington DC to bring letters to the Congress and Senate, he started jumping up and down saying, “yes, yes, yes!!”. When I asked him why, his simple response was, “Because I can go and help save the horses!” I don’t know about you, but that did it for me… This IS Declan, through and through!!


      • I could tell that Declan was speaking his own words straight from his horse-loving heart, Stacie. I was glad I could go to the YouTube site and “like” the video; maybe other readers of R.T.’s blog have done the same!

        Are you and Declan any relation to NH Gov. Judd Gregg, by the way? 🙂

        Declan gives me great hope for this country and our horses!


    America’s Wild Burros need help
    Please Urge the BLM to Cancel Arizona Burro Roundup, Removal & Castration Plan
    Comments Due February 28, 2012
    The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM’s) Yuma, Arizona Field Office is seeking public comments on an Environmental Assessment for a massive burro roundup and removal plan. The agency plans to use helicopters to stampede and capture 400 wild burros in the Cibola-Trigo Herd Management Area (HMA) in southwestern Arizona and permanently remove 350 of them from their home in this remote and rugged region on the border of California.


    • Interesting…there AIN’T NO burros left!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just like the wild mustangs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Stripped bare. NO MORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      LIARS on my dime!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  9. Denise, it looks as though BLM intends to “zero out” the Trigo-Cibola HMA. Your are absolutely CORRECT….there aren’t any Wild Burros left…at least there won’t be by the time BLM gets done.
    This is something else that factors into the equation:

    Mitigation Monitoring Program for the North Baja Pipeline Expansion Project
    “The Project would cross a small portion of the Cibola-Trigo Herd Management Area (HMA) and Chocolate-Mules HMA where wild horses and/or burros could be found watering. Construction could affect wild horses or burros if the animals were to fall into the open trench.”


  10. Denise, it looks as though BLM intends to “zero out” the Trigo-Cibola HMA. Your are absolutely CORRECT….there aren’t any Wild Burros left…at least there won’t be by the time BLM gets done.


  11. Slaughter Sue really has a problem…kinda like which end of the turd is the clean be able to pick it up and give it a fling….It’s a simple issue to handle for the teachers …if it is the class room..part of the class lesson can be on saving our equines from slaughter and it benefits..the other part of the lesson can be on slaughter..videos on the auction sites rite thru to the slaughter and cutting up the horse for meat…$ue can even narrate she can insure that the so called bleeding hearts won’t be twisting her truth..EH??


  12. You know I was thinking about this this morning running around getting my antibiotics and stuff.

    To Sue and her league of horse eaters (barf)


    Only a bully would pick on someone smaller than themselves. Plus guess who it was that started the Wild Horse and Burro Act???? CHILDREN! who wrote Congress begging them to save the wild horses.

    I happen to think its excellent that kids want to stand up for something they believe in. Doesn’t matter if I agree or not. WE ALL HAVE A RIGHT TO OUR OWN OPINIONS!

    This in part is what Laura went to Court for. FOR EACH OF US! Because WE all have a right to freedom of speech. It doesn’t say in the Bill of Rights that we have to agree. It says WE (meaning each individual) HAVE A RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH.


  13. BLM proposed roundup and removal of Wild Burros from Cibola-Trigo HMA/Arizona
    From the Environmental Assessment: Proposed Action
    The process for selecting jacks to be gelded is described in appendix C. Although the gelding process is very stressful to jacks, precautionary actions will be implemented to lesson these impacts on the castrated jacks.
    Standard Operating Procedures
    for Field Castration (Gelding) of Jacks in Cibola-Trigo HMA
    January 2012

    9. Any jack determined or believed to be a cryptorchid would be allowed to recover from the anesthesia, marked for later recognition, and shipped to a BLM prep facility for appropriate surgery or EUTHANASIA if it is determined that they cannot be fully castrated. At no time would a partial castration be performed. Because cryptorchidism is an inherited condition, at no time should cryptorchid jacks be released back into an HMA.

    5.1 List of Preparers
    John Hall, Project Lead
    Wild Horse and Burro Specialist, BLM YFO
    Dave Daniels
    Planning and Environmental Coordinator, BLM CRD
    Erica Stewart
    Fire Ecologist and Wildlife Biologist, BLM YFO
    Tom Jones
    Archaeologist, BLM YFO
    Arturo Lopez
    Realty Specialist, BLM YFO
    Ron Morfin
    Team Lead, Wilderness and Recreation, BLM YFO
    Karen Reichhardt
    Assistant Field Manager, BLM YFO


    • I am really a tad bit upset as a friend sent me a request for Linkedin and somehow it hiccuped and sent out Lord only knows how many requests. EVEN TO THE BLOG…so sorry, that was not my intent and I am about to strangle the one who started all of this. It’s like being a prisoner of technology.


  14. Declan, I think you must be one of these Children. This Earth will belong to you and to your generation. I have a very good feeling that you will cherish and protect it.


    The Rainbow Warrior
    That statue is called the “Rainbow Warrior” in memory of the Indian story called “The Rainbow Warrior.” Would you like to ‘Hear that story?
    Do you know what a rainbow is, Yes, a beautiful bow of colors in the sky. A warrior is a brave person. One who has courage instead of being afraid.
    Well, the Indians would tell this story to their children around the campfire. The story goes like this:
    Sometime in the future, the Indians said, the animals would begin to disappear. People would no longer see the wolf, or the bear, or the eagles. And, the story goes, the giant trees would also disappear. And people would fight with each other and not love each other. And, the story goes, the beautiful rainbow in the sky would fade away, and people would not see the rainbow anymore.
    Well, children would come. And these children would love the animals, and they would bring back the animals. They would love trees, and they would bring back the giant trees. And these children would love other people and they would help people to live in peace with, each other. And these children would love the rainbow, and they would bring back the beautiful rainbow in the sky. For this reason the Indians called these children the rainbow warriors.
    Now let me ask you a question. Do you love animals or hate animals? (We love animals.) Do you love trees or hate trees? (We love trees.) Do you love people or hate people? (We love people.) Do you love the rainbow or hate the rainbow? (We love the rainbow.)
    Well, if you love animals and trees, people and rainbows, then maybe you are the rainbow warriors and that is a statue of you.


  15. I think, it is so wonderful, that a little boy, by him self, started educating other children,, [and I am sure, also some grown-ups,] by talking about the wild Horses, beeing captured, and send off to be slaughtered . It reminds me of the story ; ” the new clothes of the emperor,” where a child calls out, “he is naked!” We ALL should listen to the boy and do what we can, to fight for the Horses. The Round Ups, done by the BLM is a CRIME. The BLM ,they are acting like the NAZZIS in world war TWO. Capturing innocent lives, and sending them to death!! WHY??????????????? WE have to stop this crazyness The BLM have NO Right to take those horses away, out of their land given to them long time ago. They are part of the American History, and we should leave them alone. Thank you, little boy, we will follow you. ” We are the voices of the voiceless” Solvejg Zaferes.


    • I’m so proud of all of the children in the project, but I’m glad I could provide a Vehicle for the children’s voices to be heard. When my grandson, JC asked to write Obama I was taken aback for a second and then said of course you may write him… then when his friend came over and he asked him to write a letter… it snowballed from there. We need to listen to our children more.


  16. Ecosanctuary Planned for Wild Horses Removed from the Range
    WASHINGTON, DC, February 27, 2012 (ENS) – The Bureau of Land Management announced Friday that it has selected a location for the nation’s first wild horse ecosanctuary – a privately owned ranch in southeastern Wyoming 30 miles west of Laramie.

    The BLM will conduct an environmental assessment of the site under the provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act. The BLM expects its NEPA analysis to be completed in three to six months. Then the agency decide whether or not to enter into a formal partnership with the landowner.

    The proposed 250-horse ecosanctuary would help the BLM feed and care for “excess” wild horses that have been removed from Western public rangelands. The facility would be publicly accessible for potential ecotourism opportunities.

    In all, 19 parties submitted private land ecosanctuary proposals to the BLM in response to its Request for Applications posted on on March 15, 2011.
    Wild horses in Wyoming (Photo by bmtpix)

    Proposals were turned down if they did not meet the BLM’s minimum requirements, including ownership or control of the necessary land and a proven ability to provide humane care for at least 200 wild horses.

    The BLM selected a proposal from Richard Wilson, owner of a 4,000-acre ranch in Wyoming’s Centennial Valley, a summer and winter recreational area.

    If a partnership agreement with Wilson is finalized, the BLM would sponsor the ecosanctuary at a funding level comparable to what the agency pays ranchers who take care of “excess” wild horses on long-term pastures in the Midwest.

    The agreement would also contain a fundraising component to help defray costs for operating the sanctuary, saving taxpayer dollars.

    “This selection is a milestone in our overall effort to reform the Wild Horse and Burro Program and put it on a cost-effective, sustainable track,” said BLM Director Bob Abbey.

    “Although the Wyoming ranch can likely handle more than 250 horses, taking a cautious approach will enable the BLM and Mr. Wilson to properly assess and resolve any issues that may arise in the early phases of this innovative partnership,” he said.

    Wilson and his wife Jana manage their family-owned Deerwood Ranch, which they call “a perfect place, a safe haven for wild horses.” The Wilsons have 15 horses of their own. “I’m excited about the prospects of operating an ecosanctuary for wild horses,” said Wilson, who has 26 years of ranching experience. “I look forward to the possibility of working with the BLM in caring for these icons of the American West.”

    Wildlife ecologist and author Craig Downer, who has studied America’s wild horses for decades from his base in Nevada, does not support the ecosanctuary direction the BLM is taking, calling it, “a whitewash for what is most certainly a very unfair and discriminating policy against the wild horses and burros in the wild.”

    “While on the surface the ‘ecosanctuaries’ that Secretary Salazar promotes appear benign, in fact they mask a real devastating blow that has and continues to be dealt to the wild horses and burros living naturally in the wild,” Downer told ENS.

    “Those ecotourists who come to view the ‘wild horses’ will be viewing horses who have been displaced from their legal herd areas. They will be viewing horses that have lost much of their natural freedom both as individuals and as a collective, evolving social group. The latter was and remains the core intent of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971,” he said.

    Downer said the BLM and the U.S. Forest Service have failed to allocate and defend forage, water, land for wild horses and burros and is rounding them up and eliminating them from the Western states in favor of cattle.

    “As an example,” he says, citing FY 2011 Herd Area Statistics published by BLM, “nationwide on BLM administered, original 1971 wild horse and burro Herd Areas totalling 53,813,117 acres, there remains only one individual wild horse or burro per 1,398 acres of legal land.”

    “Yet in spite of the enormity of this injustice,” Downer says, “the BLM is planning on further reducing the populations of wild horses and burros to ever more cripplingly low, genetically non-viable levels in all of the 10 western states where they still remain.”

    “They are planning on allowing only one individual wild horse or burro to remain per 2,025 of its original 1971 legal acres dispersed over 350 Herd Areas, of which about 60 percent have now been totally zeroed out.”

    BLM Director Abbey says the agency is preparing to publish a proposed wild horse and burro management strategy that “emphasizes population control techniques; promotes public-private ecosanctuaries to hold excess wild horses and encourage ecotourism; seeks to boost adoptions by making more trained wild horses available to the public; and establishes a comprehensive animal welfare program that is built on sound science and research.”

    Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2012. All rights reserved.


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