Horse News

Nevada Wild Horse Advocates Protest Horse Slaughter

Reporter: Terri Russell of Reno’s KOLO Channel 8 News

“They are headed to slaughter…”

The protestors gathered in front of the legislative building near noon on Friday in Carson City.

This isn’t the first time they’ve been here, and it won’t be their last.

But their message today had to do with Nevada’s Department of Agriculture.

Its handling of the wild horses on the Virginia Range, and what they say is the department’s advocacy of horse slaughter.

“They are headed to slaughter. They go to the Fallon Auction Yard after they have been picked up. Then it’s anyone is fair game. And I’m told they are shipped of to Mexico and Canada,” says Lisa Light an advocate.

“And the Department of Agriculture who now has purview over them is refusing to so far to release the horses even though somebody wants to buy them,” says Suzanne McMann another advocate.

The advocates say their position has been bolstered by the revelation of 2011 transcripts from an agriculture board meeting where three members discussed horse slaughter, a market overseas where the meat is a delicacy, and was there an interest in drumming up public support for the practice.

You may recall two years ago, Congress lifted the ban on horse slaughter in this country–a move that could have had ramifications here in Nevada–and something the AG Board might want to discuss.

Which is what they did, says the AG Department’s Director.

“There is one applicant that has been made to the USDA for a slaughter plant in New Mexico. But we’ve never made contact with them or any other facility. Our intention has been to protect public safety,” Director Jim Barbee.

Barbee says budget constraints and staff shortages prevent his department from entering into cooperative agreements with wild horse advocates at this time.

Advocates may have to go elsewhere to make such agreements happen, the state legislature, or even the governor himself.

Protestors say so far the governor has been unresponsive but they are hoping after they hand deliver 2000 signatures to his office, that will change.

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24 replies »

  1. keep hoping….always better than being depressed. Though unless a shock effect by paying them random visits and standing in front of the doors of their private homes so theu know and feel it is time the friendly protesting is over…nothing will happen. BLM people, either staff or a contractor are just there for the money, create enough fear and they will look for other opportunities. Right now Obama and Salazar and pals have business deals with eachother and are laughing at horse advocates. I wonder how long this so called friendliness will go on!…perhaps until they wiped out all wild horses? They find new earning opportunities. There are no bad people, just people with bad behaviour….

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  2. Krap on a Cracker!

    The NV Ag guy is a liar and full of B$.

    He can reach out to killers, but doesn’t have the staff or funds to reach out to wild equine advocates?!?!??? OH PUHLEEZE!

    What a freakin’ LIAR!

    Public safety my a$$!

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  3. BTW, I have a question:

    I know wild equines are migratory by Nature and the FEDS and STATES have cut up the wild equines land/territory to the point that the average American Citizen can’t figure out who’s in charge, where the equines should be, etc; do Virginia range wild equines migrate onto FED lands?….just state lands?…or both?

    Seriously…help me understand, anyone?

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    • Herds can move, Denise, and being that their reading skills are not on par with yours or mine they will cross between HMA boundaries, at times, and enter State or in the case of the Pryor herd, Forest service land. With the Pryor herd the migration is seasonal and only a matter of a few miles but a fence was erected to keep the horses from what they had been doing for hundreds of years and it has cost the lives of several horses.

      Likewise, we are of the opinion that the BLM will drive horses from one HMA to another in an effort to skew the figures and justify removal.

      In the end, the horses always lose.

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      • Well then, with wild equine migration, the cutting up/reduction of HMAs, various agencies’ manipulation (fences, state v Fed, water hole fence off, fraudulent movements) and proprietary rights that are transitory by the very nature of the wild equine, these animals are DOOMED and the agencies charged with their protection are actually their worst enemies.

        God…grant me the serenity……

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      • I forgot to mention the nefarious state and Fed public lands’ lease system where the wildlife, especially wild equines ALWAYS lose.

        Now…really…how can any agency claim they are “protecting” wild equines??? Seriously!

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    • Denise: Yes, there should be a Cooperative Agreement as per Section 6 of the Wild Horse Act that would allow the Virginia Range and Flowery Range population of wild horses to have a complete habitat including seasonal migrations. But BLM relinquished its responsibility to the wild horses and their legal herd areas around this region and ignored this possibility under Section 6. This area was tailor made for just such an agreement. The good news, however, is that we can rectify this situation and reinstate the true and benign intent of the Act. Happy New Year to the wild horses and their natural freedom! Craig

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  4. Just a few thoughts come to mind…First of all Congress never banned the slaughtering of horses in this country. They did disallow the USDA from spending money for inspectors in horse slaughtering facilities. The end result being the same as without inspection the horses could not be slaughtered.

    The very slight difference is they never banned the ‘practice’. In November 2011 Congress voted on another appropriations bill that Jack Kingston of GA among others had reinstated the verbiage allowing the USDA to spend money on inspectors for horse slaughter facilities. The hold up has been even though the USDA now could spend the money…they didn’t have any money appropriated for the program and to hire inspectors would have taken money out of the budgets for cattle, pigs, chicken…all the typical targets.

    {In the meeting transcripts Jim Barbee showed his ignorance by stating “As I understand it with the uplifting of the ban(d) (their spelling not mine) it is anywhere you have a slaughterhouse it is legal now”. By law horses cannot be slaughtered in the same facility as other animals thus creating the problems of Sue Wallis, Rick de los Santos, et. al. Existing facilities must be completely cleaned and then inspected by the USDA to approve it before it can begin operation.}

    Our job has to be to get Congress to pass the Horse slaughter prevention act. We need to be sure that it is a felony and covers all Americans including Natives and their lands. The reservation idea pushed by our old friend Boyd Spratling is scary. (Think about Casinos) It’s my understanding that reservations currently have many thousands of wild horses and burros we know little or nothing about number wise or their legal status. I’ve heard there could be over 100,000. Are they hunted by the Native Americans? Shot? If anyone can shed light on this subject I would love to learn more.

    Bottom Line the LAW has to be passed. All congressmen and women need to be made aware of the vast majority of American’s disapprove of the slaughtering of horses and it’s not up to them or lobbyists to decide differently.

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  5. Instead of us asking God to give us serenity, we need to pray that God will grant us the strength & power to stop these monsters from destroying, forever, His most beautiful, precious gift to us, the Horse!! I really don’t get why we can’t seem to really do much more than discuss these issues, versus actually accomplishing our goals. Talking & venting may help us, but it does nothing to help the horses & burros, whether wild or domestic. I truly believe America needs to say, “STOP!”, &, ENFORCE what we say, at any cost. Like, perhaps, a major physical revolution, the Good/us, against the Bad/evil/”them”! It’s time to gather up our arms & fight for what we believe in. “They” do NOT “listen” to words, maybe they’ll listen to action! I can’t be the only one who’s sick & fed up with this crap, if we would protect our own property, our families, pets, friends, then why can’t we help our equines? All we need is direction, & dedication.

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    • I’m with you on this. Why can’t the people that live out there and are advocates and activists go onto the same piece of land and round up the horses directing them away from the traps and when they see these men abusing the foals and horses/ burros go out and stop i. I’ll be damned if I was there if I’d just commnt on here or stand there and just watch this crime happen with out trying my best to stop it.

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      • witch 33 , I was at the rally in front of the governors office that friday, and, unfortunately, even with the 2,000 signitures turned in that day, the gov. still said the auction of the 41 horses will proceed. EVEN tho, some horse advocates have agreed to purchase the horses and provide for them…they have set in place a ruling that only 4 horses can be adopted every six months, and the sale of these animals to the members of horse advocacy groups is being denied…This perticular group was taken, and we want them back !!!! The undercrossing that was supposedly built on the hiway between Stage Coach and Carson, looks to me like it has been back filled…They have launched a vendetta against these mustangs, and they want the public to know who is boss !! I believe that we should have protested in front of the doa, not the state buildings..If one out of every five that honked that day would have taken 5 min out of their busy schedule to stand with us we would have scared the hell outa them. But unfortunately there were only about 40 of us…weather was bad and it was hard for people to get in to town,,,The man that trapped our small band ,stirred concerns in the area, so a family rounded up another band and corraled them temporarily at her home..she was ordered to set them loose or face felony charges..I didnt think I would ever see them again , but they are out there….We try to do the best we can within the law, but the law sucks and is altered whenever !!! If we were to get involved in blocking their round ups, you can bet yer bottom doller we would all go to jail cuz we “interfered” ! We ARE trying to stop it !!!!

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    • Valerie and witch33….if you know the prayer, you’d know it is a petition to God to live a life with peace AND purpose. Read it.

      I was saying the prayer to deal with the evil humans that are in control of our wild equines and are so FRUSTRATING (specifically that Ag A$$ in NV). It was not my intention to invoke the prayer to give up and live happily ever after.

      Both of you suggest options that are very difficult to execute….like diverting roundup animals.

      Please take the time to speak with advocates that do go out there and what threats of violence and flat out denial of access they experience.

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  6. @Denise I totally agree. We the people …thought ..(were mis-lead).. that Federally Protected meant that our tax dollars went to preserve,maintain,sustain wildlife,water,resources from being “killed off”. However, we were wrong. It means that your taxes are allotted to agencies that will protect themselves while they make big money using your money to do it. The agencies are federally protected–not the wild life,rivers,resources. Warped, isn’t it. Putrid, isn’t it.

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  7. Three hours in 10-20 degree weather, on a workday and the protesters kept on coming. At the height of the gathering, my crowd count said 70 — some veterans, but many new people as well. A pediatrician, a grad student w/ Master’s in wildlife biology, little Robin Warren and others. One new man asked me what galvanizes people for some protests & not others. Good question and one advocates need to mull over. This time, it was state govt. skullduggery, mistreatment of a foal and AP coverage that got those stories out worldwide. Good job, all.

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  8. I am angry and very sad these horses are marked for death due to human greed not need. With the newsletters I recieve informing me of all these horses being rounded up , thousands of them, how many are left in the wild? Will the round up’s ever stop and from what I’m seeing there seems to be no ” season” for round up’s they seem to continue year round. Does any of these horses et adopted out to the public or is the blm not in buisness to the slaughter industry for kick backs?

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  9. Excellent turnout and excellent statement made by Hidden Valley wild horse protection group in governor’s office. We can stop this dreadful torture and removal of the wild horses!

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  10. My hope I’d that somebody with power took notice. Many thanks to those who were able to show up and be counted. I was there in spirit but wished i could have been there in person.

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  11. The information that I saw in a email the other day was that the anti-slaughter bills died in committee. I doubt there was anyone interested enough to try to get the bills moving forward. Just like all of the other bills that never made it out of committee. The only hope to stop horse slaughter is the EU stopping US horse meat via Canada/Mexico from being shipped to the EU countries that eat it.

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