Information supplied by the Alliance of Wild Horse Advocates.org
Status: Working Incident
Date: January 3, 2013
For some months horse advocates have predicted two things. That the Nevada Department of Agriculture’s claims that they aren’t trying to sell horses for slaughter is the pure nonsense that it is, and that the end game is to test public opinion to see if the public would stomach having our free-roaming horses go to the slaughterhouses.
In reality advocates apparently underestimated the actual situation. After struggling to get documents from the Department of Agriculture, Carrol Abel has been going through the minutes of meetings of the Board of Agriculture and is discovering that some startling conversations have taken place.
The minutes also reveal that the Department of Agriculture is flat lying to the public when they put out statements that horses that they dump off the livestock auction aren’t at risk of going to the slaughter buyers.
The following text is from the December 6th, 2011 meeting of the Nevada Board of Agriculture. A complete copy of the minutes can be downloaded (HERE).
We chose to print the entire discussion about the Virginia Range horses in order to provide more complete context. The slaughterhouse issue, and references to discussions with Governor Sandoval, start in the 5th paragraph.
(Typos that appear below are the same as they appear in the minutes.)
Name of Organization: Nevada Board of Agriculture
Date and Time of Meeting: December 6, 2011
Place of Meeting: Nevada Department of Agriculture
405 S. 21st Street
Sparks, Nevada 89431
Minutes December 6, 2011
Board Members Present: Board Members Absent:
Alan Perazzo, Chairman Ramona Morrison
Dave Stix, Jr.
Staff Members Present: Guests:
Jim Barbee Don Alt,NLSA
Bryan Stockton Jerry Lentz
Mark Jensen John M. Wildlife
Jay Ludlow Trish Swain, Trail Safe
Joann Mothershead, Elko Joey Hastings, Governor’s Office
Jodi Protopappas Audry Spratling
Doug Busselman, NV Farm Bureau
Billy Howard, Trail Safe
(Jump to item in Director’s Report, bottom of Page 3.)
October 4, 2011- conference call meeting with Board to go to
workshop. Met with Dept. of corrections and worked thru Gov
office dealing with VR Horse issues. Horses up for sale at the
Stewart Correctional facility we are giving the horse advocacy
groups an opportunity at the horse we have collected first come
first serve, identified cost to Agriculture to collect horses in
traps take horses to prison, feed, processing, branding on left
hip if they do not buy horses today then horses will be
transported to fallon on Wednesday can’t afford to hold and feed
horses with the budget restraints we are in. We will continue
to keep horses off the roadway for public safety. We continue
to have horses hit on the highway. Don Alt shared that along 95
route looking at completing fence line by dept. of
transporation. Word from DOT putting in a horse underpass past
moundhouse around stagecoach area that will hopefully help with
the horses coming across the roadway.
October 13,2011- met with Amy Lueder, USDA re: V. Range issues
felt there is a connection between the pinenut herd and the
Lahontan herd areas. They are adamate there is no genetic
connection between those horses and Carson river keeps horses
from moving back and forth. I have walked across the Carson
river when things are pretty dry, Director questions that stand.
They are willing to support us with equipment, traps but they
believe they have no responsibility or liablility with the horses
that are on the Virginia Range.
Dave Sticks Jr. comment: -for the record can you tell everyone
where the funding is coming for for state personnel to do this?
Barbee answers: Animal identification which is fee based thru
Brands, and registrations, certificates, trip permits is the fee
source. Advertised price for this mornings sale is 90.00 per
Charlie Frey comment, question: for the record: – Have you had
meetings with Governor re: the slaughter of horses, how is public
conception being changed?
Jim Barbee: Briefly talked about it. Have not seen it as huge
impact relative to VR horses immediately.
Charlie Frey: Thought if we could create demand it would take
some of the responsibility off this dept. and open up a market
place. I think it is something for the general public to
consider in view that overseas some of that meat is real good
Jim Barbee: response: We are continuing based on motion you
guys passed 2 meetings ago to look at other opportunities to the
dept of Ag managing the VR horses, working with AG’s office
regarding statutes and what option we have there and continuing
to work with Gov office on ideas and ways we could more
appropriately transfer that authority to a better place.
Dean Baker for the record: Put on agenda to say ability to
slaughter horses because we are agriculture and it is an
important thing to do. It would cause up controversy and
problems there are many putting that out. I am not pushing this
just putting idea out.
Jim Barbee: As I understand it with the uplifting of the band it
is anywhere that you have a slaughter house it is legal now.
Dean Baker: But if we supported it, legislators couldn’t do
anything in legislation about wild horses like the water thing,
they got hammered in the ground. We would not get hammered the
same way it would be a subject we could put out.
Boyd Spratling: Financial strategy on getting slaughter house
going because that is when the river is going to meet the road
is when they slaughter the first horse. Think looking at
putting facilities on Indian reservations which takes
legislature and everybody out of the equation.
Dean Baker: I would hope it might some help to some of the
legislators if the Board of Agriculture would take a clear
position. Just throwing it out.
Dave Styx Jr: I think we should trust that the private sector
will handle this eventually if slaughters increase, need to talk
with Gov office have to be careful where this Board goes with
that because it may take care of itself, however brings up issue
you need to be prepared as well as the Governor that prior to
today there has only been 1 buyer at the sale yards purchasing
horses and that is why market is so bad. This could increase
more buyers at the sale like 10 years ago. If we take VR horses
to the sale we need to be prepared for that. Right now with 1
buyer everyone knows where those horses are going.
Jim Barbee: I think you are right about how it will play out in
private industry but one would assume that it would affect that
issue and we have to make justifications one way or another.
Paragraph Eleven in This discussion serves as a good example as to why members serving on any policy making bodies need to be elected and be directly accountable to the voters! Those who are appointed to secure positions appear to get the sense that they can do anything they want.
Carrol will likely file a more complete report once she goes through additional documents.
If you have an opinion on this issue, you can express it to the following officials.
Director Jim Barbee
Nevada Department of Agriculture
405 South 21st St
Sparks NV 89431
Catherine Cortez Masto
Nevada Attorney General
100 N. Carson St.
Carson City, NV 89701
775-684-1189 (Edie Cartwright, Public Affairs Officer)
Nevada Board of Agriculture
Contact Page for Board of Agriculture
SLAUGHTER IS NOT THE ANSWER RALLY
When: Friday, January 4th, 10:30 AM (assemble and organize) until 1:00 PM The actual rally starts at 11.
Where: In front of the Nevada State Legislature building 401 South Carson Street, Carson City, NV.
Notes: Dress warmly. There will be hot beverages available. Watch the parking regulations. The two-hour parking zones on the public streets are patrolled!
Contact: Bonnie Matton, firstname.lastname@example.org, 775-220-6806.