Horse News

Nevada Board of Agriculture Discusses Horse Slaughter Plant for Virginia Range Wild Horses

Information supplied by the Alliance of Wild Horse

Is this
Governor’s team
horse slaughter
in Nevada?

mustang_meat_pattiesIssue: The Nevada Board of Agriculture minutes reveal a discussion on how to open up a horse slaughter plant for the Virginia Range horses.

Priority: HIGH

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
Paul Anderson
Dean Baker
Charlie Frey
Grady Jones
Paul Noe
Jim Snyder
Boyd Spratling
Dave Stix, Jr.
Hank Vogler

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
Don Molde
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.

chef_brianGovernor Brian Sandoval
101 N. Carson Street
Carson City, NV 89701
Fax: 775-684-5683
Contact form: Contact Governor Sandoval

Director Jim Barbee
Nevada Department of Agriculture
405 South 21st St
Sparks NV 89431
Fax: 775-353-3638

Catherine Cortez Masto
Nevada Attorney General
100 N. Carson St.
Carson City, NV 89701
775-684-1100 (switchboard)
FAX: 775-684-1108
775-684-1189 (Edie Cartwright, Public Affairs Officer)

Nevada Board of Agriculture
Contact Page for Board of Agriculture


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,, 775-220-6806.

45 replies »

  1. This comes as no surprise. With the current economic budget problems, there will be even a greater push for stupidity, with the blessings of the DOI, and the President of the U.S. This idea of pushing it off on the Indian Reservations has been one that was thought of quite some time ago because there are problems that arise due to water. On some parts of some Indian Reservations, the people themselves have to pay for and dig very deep wells for water; and have to truck in this water in storage containers, especially to the elderly who can’t help themselves, the Indian tribes have to take on additional responsibilities. The way the Bureau of Indian Affairs is ran on reservations is to block Indian tribes from becoming prosperous – and that all American Indians do not benefit from the casinos that so many complain are making the tribes wealthy. The horses do struggle, and with the BIA making it hard (through legislation of the congress, etc.) for Indian tribes to do any type of electrical, water, or basic necessities of economic growth, the American Indian tribes have indeed considered horse slaughter…with the government’s blessings of course, when they wouldn’t allow any other economic growth in business or basic needs. This is one reason why the BLM will use any means necessary to cover their collective arses when it comes to being caught in the act of selling these horses to slaughter; as it was stated above, they only have one buyer and they know where the horses are going. Getting the DOI under control is not going to happen unless there is some major break in the ability to win court cases against the BLM and DOI for breaking the laws…the laws and policies that the DOI set for themselves and allow BLM to set for their department concerning the wild horses and burros. It is impossible to stop the sale of race horses and horses that have been family pets, much less the government which has set their own laws, rules and regulations with the blessings of the President and the congressional body of government. Having some senators on our side isn’t enough. The rules of the senate are such that they can table a bill, filibuster a bill, and wait 30 hours to even make a decision on tabling a bill which may never be voted on or will end up in a chain of loop reactions to keep the public from knowing what they are doing. This last economic bill that was passed contained items that most of the senate members, unless they wrote the amendments, didn’t even know about because they claim they didn’t get the bill to read before it was passed. This has become a ruthless and unruly government and I don’t have the answers.


    • Why does the President always get the blame? It probably has to do with the greedy ranchers (not all) who hate wild horses. I didn’t know that the Govt was being corrupt regarding that though. I just recently read about Ken Salazar and Tom Davis (kill horse buyer). Now I read this article about Nevada and the slaughterhouse idea. Are these people all sickos? I guess so. The day might come that we all have to eat horses, cats, dogs, etc. for survival, but why does it have to be now? My little grandkids love the wildhorses and they are are American Heritage. Didn’t they learn anything from the slaughter of the Buffalo? Apparently not. I think that this government of ours should be ashamed of themselves for what they are allowing and those kill horse buyers need to be slaughtered themselves and fed to the pigs. What goes around comes around.


      • Redemption for President Obama , would be for him to reverse his signing of the Slaughter Bill………………… And to answer the thousandths of Phone calls on the subject !!!!!! Sorry silence is not Golden in his case only incriminating !!!!!!


      • How dare him sign that Bill, which I didn’t know. I have the utmost respect for President Obama, but not if he is letting this happen. I wonder if his girls know this. I bet not. I live in Nevada and wasn’t aware of our Governor discussing a slaughterhouse here for the Virginia Range horses. How gruesome and disgusting. Pretty soon our allies are going to hate us for sneaking horse meat into their food chain.for the greed of some AH’s living in the U.S. I can’t believe it. The greed and corruption of this country is taking us down.


  2. Everyone needs to KEEP IN MIND what Boyd Spratling said:
    “Think looking at putting facilities on Indian reservations which takes
    legislature and everybody out of the equation.”

    That sentence is bone-chilling.

    And also keep in mind that the BLM’s proposed “eco-sanctuaries”
    can be on, or partially on, Indian Reservations.


    • …also remember that Boyd Spratling is the chair of your local, friendly, BLM Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board…isn’t that special!?!?!?

        R.T. Fitch Author – “Straight from the Horse’s Heart” President of the Wild Horse Freedom Federation The Force of the Horse®, LLC 1-800-974-FOTH

      “O make me glad for every scalding tear, for hope deferred, ingratitude, disdain! Wait, and love more for every hate, and fear no ill, — since God is good, and loss is gain.” ~ Mary Baker Eddy



      • This is also the same Boyd Spratling, DVM who was interviewed at the recent AAEP convention, and claimed once again that the same number of horses exist on the range that existed the year before, the year before, and the year before, despite serial roundups that continue to decrease effective populations in herds making this a theoretical and practical impossibility. What will he say when the last horse is gone?

        Suppose we should pray for these weakened by their desire for…what? In Dr. Spratling’s case there are several possibilities. When the truth behind the government’s partnership with private business to promote such an outcome for either our wild or domestic horses finally os finally exposed, and the role the BLM has played with out wild horses, I hope there will be justice for the American people and our horses both in this world and the world to come.


  3. I am not in the least bit surprised, except by the fact that they did not shred their minutes. We all know what’s going on. What we don’t know is how to stop it.


  4. This is just sickening. My three e-mails to Gov. Sandoval resulted in his aide telling me to contact the Nevada State Agriculture Dept. The aide for BLM’s Amy Lueder emphatically denied that cows are given more land and consideration than our wild horses. I do have an opinion, but at this point I have to delete the expletives before it may be sent.


  5. All it would take to make these callous AG and BLM people AND the real culprits behind the eradication of OUR wild horses is BOYCOT eating beef everywhere in the country…..when THAT impact is felt in the wallets of the ranchers, both Open Range, and especially those that have to pay higher fees to graze their cattle on private land, THAT would make these greedy S.O.B.s pay attention…..I haven’t eaten beef in over a year now, and when asked why not, my first and foremost answer is that I am protesting Open Range cattle ranching that is behind the eradication of both our federal and State wild horses and that as long as they behave the way they do with their “me first” attitude, I will NOT touch a mouthful of beef of any kind.
    It was surprisingly easy to give up beef once I made up my mind to boycott it…the first month was the most difficult… if we could just get other horse lovers AND ticked-off tax payers who are against the eradication of wild horses AND also against horse slaughter AND are against paying millios in subsidies to private businesses to run their businesses on OUR land to STOP eating beef, a reasonably high number of people NOT buying beef anymore would have an extreme impact on the cattle industry and at the very least, the mid-west and eastern cattle ranchers might finally turn like wild dogs on their Open Range brethren who are always getting the free ride with the stupidly low fees they pay for grazing their cattle out here in the Western States. Then we could divide and conquer these guys who normally stick together no matter what…..smack them in the wallet, make sure you tell everyone why you are boycotting beef, and doing that would make an extreme impression once they saw their $$$ going down, down, down the drain………only then will they come to the bargaining table and will decide they best leave OUR wild horses alone…..

    And yes, I have A LOT of experience with cattle ranchers, kill sales, feedlots, dealing with kill buyers, etc because I live surrounded by BLM and State land where wild horses roam, I interact and have conflict with cattle ranchers all te time with their arrogant attitudes, and I also live just 25 minutes from Fallon, Nevada, where the 2 weekly kill sales are held and where I go to help bid on the State horses for the other rescues when the horses come through the sale.
    Our sanctuary, The Starlight Sanctuary, has been conducting kill sale and feedlot domestic and wild horse, and also mule and donkey rescues, on-going for over 3 months now, and we have rescued 118 horses to date since October 9, 2012 by rescuing them one-by-one and getting them into private homes all over the country by me working with the killbuyer to rescue as many as we can through people bailing a horse they want after I take videos and photos of horses in jeopardy of shipping to Canada, and other people on “Team Starlight” donating for feedlot feed, transport costs for horses to their new homes, etc…..we basically are a Team and folks from all over the United States have joined together to help me working on this end and going to evaluate horses to rescue a bunch….this is on-going for as long as I can afford to do it, so check us out on Facebook at The Starlight Sanctuary to see what you can do to help.
    And yes, we also rescue wild horses and just recently bailed/rescued 3 BLM Titled Mustangs, 2 geldings (a palomino yearling who now is with The Mustang Project 501c3 in Corning, CA and I also rescued a 25 year old palomino gelding who rides gentle) and a buckskin stallion I have named Freedom who is stunning and rides well, who came through the kill sale and ended up at the feedlot where the killbuyer I work through is located.

    WE all can make a difference, and BOYCOTTING BEEF is a fabulous and hard hitting way to go because if thousands and then millions of people across the country STOP eating beef and give the reasons I’ve outlined above when asked, THAT WILL create a huge impact in the beef industry and will show that when the general public majority gets together on something, we ARE going to get what WE want….leave our wild horses alone, or else you guys ARE going to GO BROKE………


    • Great idea, Laura. It’s not hard to give up beef really when you think of our wild horses , wolves and other predators being wiped out and all the damage cattle do to the range and riparian areas and our tax dollars being used . Substitute soy beef in recipes instead. Much better for you too. Many thanks for all the rescues of horses that you’re doing also.


    • And what about the honest beef ranchers who own theeir own property, pay taxes and follow all the rules. Many of them belong to horse rescue facilities, They donate time and money to our cause. I think there are more decent cattle ranchers than there are the ones that do the cheap grazing thing.


    • Just a quick note, we are running into problems rescuing a herd we refer to as Bandits herd in the Virginia range..They were eligally trapped by a resident of Stage Coach and sent off to the doa, have been up for sale but wont sell to the organization due to an elegal sale of horses in Ariz. (I may stand corrected on that )..but at anyrate, we would like to adopt this herd before they are slaughtered and are working on that issue..we were advocating last friday and will continue to do so..thank you for the wonderful work yopu do…


  6. Laura Bell of Starlight Sanctuary is absolutely right. Boycotting beef – the “product” that is being produced at the expense of wild horses – is the only way these commodity oriented legislators and community advisory board members will see that the public does not condone animal abuse. Not eating beef is far healthier for you and for the planet as well.


  7. What will he say when the last horse is gone?

    Suppose we should pray for these weakened by their desire for…what? In Dr. Spratling’s case there are several possibilities. When the truth behind the government’s partnership with private business to promote horse slaughter for either our wild or domestic horses is exposed, and role way that the hope used our wild horses deceitfully to profit hidden sectors of the agriculture industry hope, I hope there will be justice for the American people and our horses both in this world and the world to come.


  8. If Nevada does this I will not set foot in that state again, nor will many, many of my wild horse loving friends. Their integrity will be lost and their tourist industry will suffer. Why don’t these people listen to the rest of the country? If they do this, they will regret it.


    • It isn’t just Nevada. The greed and corruption is everywhere. Most people aren’t even aware of what is going on and I didn’t know until I put two and two together with the horse meat findings in Europe. I immediately thought that the source must be the good ole USA. I also started noticing that more and more wildhorses were being rounded up. I can’t believe how greed and the almighty $$ is the root of all evil and some day the horses will be gone. I hope that the kill horse buyers souls rot in hell when their times come.


  9. All in the name of GREED!!! That is what it comes down to from these lying bastards! I would love to see their wallets…they are all filthy rich off the blood of these innocent horses. I saw a video of horses being loaded onto a trailer for slaughter out of Presidro in NM – all looked to be healthy Mustangs!!!


  10. I’m sorry, but….WTF is WRONG with people!!!! This is SO very immoral & so very wrong! Horses are not, &, have NEVER been, considered a “food source” in this country, the “United States of America”, in our entire history of being! So, do some ignorant people “think” (NOT!!) we don’t already have enough animals being brutally slaughtered everyday to feed their bottomless pits, without needing to add yet another poor creature, one that our Creator never intended as food!! I sincerely hope & pray, both for me to be forgiven for my thoughts, & that anyone even remotely considering such horror, dies a slow, agonizing, painful death!! WHY can’t we, “the supposed 80%”, STOP these monsters?? They ALL need to be exterminated!




  11. As I was driving into Sparks from Stage Coach, the thought crossed my mind about statements made about the horses taking up to much room …ARE YOU KIDDING ME ???????????? I looked out accross the vast plains of the valley, nothing but scrub brush out there and occasionally, a band of wild horses…as I watched them grazing peacfully, I thought back over the years, they were detrimental in the civil war as mounts for the calvery,without them where would the pony express be, the miners used them, they were used to build the gold and silver towns of this state, they hauled provisions over the mountains and yes, without them, the Donner party would have starved to death…as I walk, I see faint traces of their passing, hoof prints in the sand, sighn of their passing on the roads..I miss the sight of wind blowing thru mane and tail,sunlight on buckskin hide,soft whinny of a talkative mare. foals prancing about in the evening light..they know not their future, and I cry…….


    • Dear Alice , you have painted a picture I have seen many times on trip to vegas to go out on the desert and see these Awesome Mustangs and for the life of me, I will never understand why Nevada s people arnt screaming there darn lungs out to save them to let them be , if i lived there I would be there everyday to see them , and I would be making such a stink that they would stop , just to shut me up……………..I have made over the years 175 trips there just to get a glimpse of the Mustangs !!!!! The beauty I have found in them can never be replaced ………. or duplicated, Their elegance can only be admired !!!! Stupidity can be the only answer, Nevada should be so happy to have the Mustangs they should guard them like the Treasures they are !!!!!!!!! Shame on you Nevada !!!!!




      • Chris, I know how you feel . People think they own the whole world and have destroyed most of it and left little for the animals. It’s the people who should be re-located–not the horses.


      • Dear Christine, Sorry didnt mean all the people who love in Nevada, i meant those who cannot embrace the wonderful beauty they were given….. and respect the Mustangs for all they have done for Nevada !!!


  12. I have not seen anything more picturesque and more magnificent then the American Mustang , their beauty is un surpassed or challenged by any other animal they are healthy because Nature provides for them, she knows how needed they are !!!! She gives to them every tool they need in spieght of the murdering BLM……………….. What in the Hell is wrong with these people cant they clearly see that the Mustang is needed !!!!! It doesnt take a Philadelphia Lawyer to figure this out !!!!!!!


    • I agree Arlene. But, its GREED , and the power of people in office who dont want to get their shoes dirty by showing sides…could get them voted out of office ! So, like the govenor, they hide under their beds and hope the boogie man will go away….it wont !!!! Those horses struggle against such odds, no shelter, little food and in the summer,except for some good people who put water out for them, go without water, the later is frowned upon by the way..did you know that a bill was entroduced to prevent mustangs from getting water ??? Is that not a low handed thing to do ! I mean for petes sake, we even put water out on the desert for illigal aliens to drink !!! And no I am not making a snide statement here…The herds are small , the ones I have seen in the Virginia range,I have seen one herd as lg as 30, but not often..and they talk like you cant walk without running into them..why? WHY dont they use the money they spend on helicopters to drive them into pens to re-locate them ???? What might their excuse be for that one ? NUFF SAID ! As I get madder by the minute !


      • Dear Alice , Helicopters , scare and frighten them !!! And the BLM hires animal abusers to fly the helicopters and they are sadistic morons who chase the mustang till they are exhausted and then hit them with the skids………


      • Feeling the fright our beautiful mustangs right down to my bones after seeing just clips of Wild Horses and Renegades. I don’t know if I can watch the whole documentary. We have to keep on trying. Sue the bastids.


  13. Yes Barbara, I know that as I have seen pix and have heard of them using helicopters for round ups…I was simply commenting on the cost to BLM/DOA to round up these horses…couldnt that money be used to re-locate them to other parts of our vast open land ?? Thank you for your comment.


  14. We are over due for the truth about our wild horses. These thugs have no solutions to help them. I am really frustrated by the lack of concern over our wild horses welfare. The govt has no solution but we do and we will accomplish some sense of grace. We have horses that need our love and respect. They deserve to be treated with honor and freedom. I sense the govt is on a war path to destroy every living breathing animal and human.
    Okay horse advocates it is up to us to be well informed about these issues of horse slaughter, we demand change and we will. I am so tired of the wrong answers and people in place that make the very wrong decisions for huge problems we face. We will stand up to them always and be prepared to make our statements to change the policies that have been amended because some of our officials are to stupid to recognize then they sigh on the dotted line, they have not idea they are killing the whole horse industry So lets get going and write our policies are are right by our horses and do right by them. Keep our horses free back out on the range, this is my policy and I am writing this to all of you out there. Read my policy. Simple, develop thriving Eco systems for our wild horses and put them back out on their ranges that they know with monitoring and we can do this better than any BLM running them into the ground and burying them.. We can and we will do something in the future. Mark my words horse advocates and warriors. We love our horses and we will not stand for this ruthless behavior from our stupid govt counterparts of which I did not elect.
    Elect me I will put the puzzle pieces back in order now.
    Stop all BLM round ups, stop horse slaughter now, stop horse transport across state and country lines now.


  15. It is no surprise that those who eat violence and slaughter on their plates 3 times a day would be insensitive to the plight of any of God’s creatures. To them, removing the pesky horses from public lands is a good way to be able to lease these lands to cattle ranchers (or frackers), then they have to dispose of the horses, so, of course, slaughtering and eating them is another plus. All meat is cruelty, all meat is murder – not just horses (who I personally adore). As Voltaire said, if you believe in absurdities (that we “need” meat, of instance), you will commit atrocities.


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