Horse News

Wild Horse Chaos, Thanks to Obama

Source: By Andrew Cohen as published on Esquire

“Babies of weaning age — maybe three months old — were pulled from their mothers and immediately herded into the auction ring, one by one, crying and looking for their mothers as they were sold to the highest bidder…”

Captive Wild HorsesIt’s hard to believe or describe what just happened to hundreds of horses who were, until last week, roaming free in northern Nevada. Unwanted by members of a Native American tribe living near them, quietly delivered up by federal agents who wanted to make room for grazing livestock, unprotected by Obama Administration which says it is opposed to slaughter even as it enables it, the horses, more than 460 of them, were rounded up and shipped late last week to a public auction known for attracting “kill buyers” looking to fill slaughter plants in Canada and Mexico.

I’m told that approximately 149 horses — unbranded and thus likely to be wild horses protected by federal law — were spared from slaughter on Saturday thanks to wild horse advocates, public interest lawyers, and a federal judge who late Friday night issued a restraining order because of the “serious questions” she had about the way the roundup was conceived and executed. But approximately 316 other horses, branded and thus considered private property, found on federal or tribal lands or otherwise brought to auction by their legitimate owners, were sold at a public sale Saturday in Fallon, Nevada.

As Congress contemplates two measures that would again ban such slaughter around the nation, and as officials in New Mexico and Iowa grapple with the controversial return of slaughterhouses to their jurisdictions, many of the horses sold Saturday, perhaps as many as 200 according to witnesses at the sale, will be killed for meat — or already have been. From a wild horse advocate, here’s one account of what happened Saturday at the Fallon sale:

“Babies of weaning age — maybe three months old — were pulled from their mothers and immediately herded into the auction ring, one by one, crying and looking for their mothers as they were sold to the highest bidder. Then their mothers followed, pushed into the ring in groups of 5-6 horses, huddled together, terrified and auctioned in lots and purchased by a kill buyer. It was brutal.”

The story of what happened to these horses is part of a broader story of the Obama Administration’s deliberate indifference to the nation’s wild herds and to the federal laws and policies designed both to protect and manage them. It is also a story that highlights the uneasy contradictions in the administration’s policy toward horse slaughter. Administration officials — like Agricultural Department Secretary Tom Vilsack, for example — have gone on the record saying they are opposed to slaughter. But it was the USDA’s Forest Service, in ways still not fully explained to the American people, that planned to facilitate the roundup of these horses (both the branded and unbranded ones) on behalf of the Paiute-Shoshone tribe — a roundup destined (as it did) to lead to slaughter for many of the horses.

There is no law in America today that says a person can’t sell his horse to slaughter. Members of the tribe had a right to collect and sell their own horses. But many serious questions remain about what happened last week, most notably these two: How did it come to pass that hundreds of horses were rounded up and shipped off for sale in the days immediately following a public announcement by the Forest Service that it was postponing that very roundup? And why, a week later, has the Forest Service still failed or refused to explain precisely what happened to cause these horses to be rounded up before officials satisfied their reporting requirements under federal law?

Had the advocates not intervened, and the judge not ruled, wild horses almost certainly would have been slaughtered in violation of federal law and policy. Moreover, if this episode represents a policy shift for the administration — if it is now the policy of the United States to actively help private parties sell their horses to slaughter — the American people surely deserve to have a fuller opportunity to debate the wisdom of that policy. On Friday, as the story drew attention in court and in the field, and as the emergency injunction filed by horse advocates was being evaluated by a federal judge, two of the three federal spokespeople responsible for keeping us all abreast of wild horse developments were gone for the weekend. A third told me via email that “it is Forest Service policy to defer to DOJ for comment on matters under litigation.”…CONTINUED

Please click (HERE) to read the story in it’s entirety and to COMMENT at Esquire!

17 replies »

  1. I remember reading an article a while back that stated it takes 3 generations and everything about any group, business (3rd generation usually sells off a thriving business) or in this case ancestor teachings are forgotten. This is the case with this young Indian generation-they have forgoten the lies of the previous governments that stole their lands, horses, buffalo, and self respect. Of all nations you would think that the American Indian who has suffered so much at the hands of government with deplorable conditions on reservations-loss of their heritage would
    again be fooled by another government agent who is only in this not for the good of the Indan but again to dup the Indian.
    This is supposed to be the time of the 7th generation and instead of the return of Rainbow Warriors and the wisdom of elders-this generation has only created a Trail of Tears for Horses.

    http://www.birdclan.org/rainbow.htm

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    • Native Americans have not forget their past and what once way. They suffer a generational memory of pain and horrific loss. They have not forgotton – They do not believe the words of a government agent. Their land and culture is still stolen It should be realized that the unyielding deplorable conditions on reservations- that they do what they can to make a little money. Did you know they cannot even own a business on the reservations. Don’t put full blame on the tribes, its the same gov’t agencies at at work. I suffer from these generational memories and what I see is they are now killing all the beautiful animals. And they don’t care.

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      • Elaine~~I do not want to sound insensitive to Native American Indians, as a young person I grew up close to the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota and had childhood friends from Pine Ridge-my sister who still lives there, still has her childhood friends from Pine Ridge-I seen so much as a young person that I did not comprehend until I got much older and moved away-but the plains indian was one of the greatest nations in world history what has become of them at our hands is
        unforgiving – the Indian should not sell out his heratige for money no matter what Nation they are.

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      • Geri, I agree with you that the Indian should not sell out his heritage for money no matter what Nation they are But, first nation heritage has been so shattered. In the present the spirit is weak and seemingly falling apart. In the meantime we must do what we can to protect the creatures who need our help.

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  2. It is unbelievable what is happening to these beautiful creatures!!!! We are surrounded by liars and greedy, heartless individuals that have no respect for mankind let alone animals. If they think they can get away with even the smallest thing that will line their pockets they will not stop at any expense to make it happen!!! The Obama Administration is full of liars and cheats. They would not know the truth if it slapped them in the face. The sad part is the American people are asleep and unaware of what is going on. Until they awaken the chaos and horrific acts keep happening. It is a crying shame that our society has reduced itself to this. Don’t we have bigger problems than a few horses running free. Instead of buying more helicopters to round them up consider sterile methods to slow the population. We can send a man to the moon but we cannot compassionately handle our animals. Very sad state of affairs!!! Those who commit these crimes will pay in the long run!! The Horse was Gods Gift to Man — God Bless our Horses and all animals that have no voice to be heard! Wake up America!!!!

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    • DEAR Robyn, I have the greatest respect for America, and its people and Animals….it was and is Saddest day of all. when The Greatest gift to Man ever given is sent to Slaughter , and we Cannot make it Stop ! I ask myself what have we become when we have to sit , with our hands tied and our Souls weeping , our stomachs wrenching because we have no control to make it Stop…..for the Mustangs………

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  3. Will any of us get any answers in what happened last weekend OR will this never be answered and NO ONE will be held accountable as usual??? I hope to god this does NOT go unanswered??? AND ALL pay for what they tried to do……………… This was a great article, and am sending it to the President and Mrs. and others….. A lot of good it will do??? BUT you never know??? Despicable… I am fairly new at all this and it is SO VERY hard I get so wrapped up in it can’t help not to sense we ALL LOVE HORSES, just thinking about these horses torn away from their baby’s sent to be tortured hearing there screaming seeing there horror in those eye’s < oh my god I will say it again to ALL that have tried to help for so, so long I honestly can't even imagine….. I was ignorant of ALL that was going on, BUT now I know and can NEVER go back, so with tears and heartbreak we all forge forward in hopes to STOP it ALL…….. Thanks to ALL that helped the horses they could last weekend, tough bunch of Angles for sure….I think I will write to Oprah she just LOVES Obama maybe she will help??? RIGHT

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    • please let us know if you get any responses. We all need to contact all of our Congressmen and women. There has to be a way that we, as Americans, can put a stop to such senseless and brutal murdering of these graceful gifts from God!

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  4. This goes on all the time and has been forever with the Indians. In Arizona the first time I heard of this was in the early 2000’s. The Gila River tribe – that owns the fancy Wild Horse Resort and Casino – rounded up 200 wild mares on their land and they didn’t wait for the auction to separate the babies from their mothers, they had babies as young as a week old in with others about 3 months old in one pen with nothing but crappy dirty hay and dirty water. The older foals kept the younger ones away from the feed. Some women tried to help the babies, offered to hand feed them and were told “Hands Off – no one was allowed to touch them until Auction day.” They were told this on the Wednesday before the following Saturday auction. One baby died before Saturday, the women bought the youngest of the babies at the Sat auction for $50 a piece. A vet then confirmed that some were just a week old. This is the “livestock industry” for you, and this is how Indians treat their wild horses. Life means NOTHING to any of them, not ranchers, not Indians – they are all the same. Kindness and caring and compassion is NON EXISTENT. The same tribe mentioned above promotes being able to see wild horses on their land. They even named their damn casino after the wild horses they do this to. Why did they separate the babies from their mothers? So their mothers could be sold directly to slaughter buyers. FYI, we couldn’t get the statewide newspaper to do a factual story on this incident, they did a fluff piece for the casino instead, because guess what? The casino is a big advertiser.

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  5. This goes on all the time and has been forever with the Indians. In Arizona the first time I heard of this was in the early 2000’s. The Gila River tribe – that owns the fancy Wild Horse Pass Resort, Casino, and Convention Center – rounded up 200 wild mares on their land and they didn’t wait for the auction to separate the babies from their mothers, they had babies as young as a week old in with others about 3 months old in one pen with nothing but crappy dirty hay and dirty water. The older foals kept the younger ones away from the feed, like they could actually eat it anyway. Some women tried to help the babies, offered to hand/bottle feed them and were told “Hands Off – no one was allowed to touch them until Auction day.” They were told this on the Wednesday before the following Saturday auction. One baby died before Saturday, the women bought the youngest of the babies at the Sat auction for $50 a piece. A vet then confirmed that some were just a week old. One of the women started a horse rescue with the 3 foals she bought from this auction and is still rescuing today. This is the “livestock industry” for you, and this is how Indians treat their wild horses. Life means NOTHING to any of them, not ranchers, not Indians – they are all the same. Kindness and caring and compassion are NON EXISTENT. The resort/casino mentioned above promotes being able to see wild horses on their land. They even named their damn casino after the wild horses they do this to. Why did they separate the babies from their mothers? So their mothers could be sold directly to slaughter buyers. FYI, we couldn’t get the statewide newspaper (Arizona Republic) to do a factual story on this incident, they did a fluff piece for the resort instead, because guess what? The casino is a big advertiser.

    Date: Tue, 20 Aug 2013 19:12:24 +0000 To: blazingsaddles@frontiernet.net

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  6. Today I am ashamed to be an American !! I am so saddened that there is nothing we can do , to stop the Slaughtering of all Mustangs and their Foals at Fallon, It is an atrocity that i will not forget !!!!!God Bless our Mustangs and their little innocent foals//// I am sorry we could not stop these deranged Beings that call themselves Human……..

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  7. Great article – the Obama Admin has a lot of explaining to do – maybe the Muslim Brotherhood suddenly decided they like horse meat – when will the President actually BE OUR president & serve the interests of the 80% of Americans against horse slaughter – instead of special interests??

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  8. Simple….when actions contradict words, believe the actions. I’ve never been as sorry to be right as I was way back when, when i was pointing out Obama’s bald face lies and the contradictions because his words and his actions.

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  9. This is really simple, money-has anyone read the detailed loon work up on St Jo Channel? Its about horse slaughter, just google St Jo Channel and horse slaughter and there are our horses being compared by Sue Wallis and the slaughter house in Iowa! Come on, no one really thought they were out of this picture, who do you suppose keeps the Indian Nations worked up over ALL the cash they will make. And I will refer to my favorite question once again. Folks if these reservations are so Overcrowded with the Feral horses then why are they picking up the BLM horses? Seriously? What the??? And the last little gem of the evening, the Navajo want you and I to believe its much more humane to take these wild sacred, scared, Uranium filled horses on a trek to New Mexico or Iowa instead of a shorter distance to Canada-they want the Government and the public to believe, that although the GAO was a lie their horses are dying of starvation and drought meanwhile they are consuming ALL plant life, vegetation stomped out, and wells (filled with Uranium from fracking-see EPA and assume the FSIS doesn’t test for radioactive Uranium in the horse meat before shipping overseas) drank empty but the horses are starving to death, however, you cannot consume feeds and drinks and still be starving to the death, as well, this has been going on for wow! the exact length of time since the DeKalb Illinois plant closed! Well they should just have killed off nearly the ENTIRE herd to starvation by now! Isn’t amazing these tribal horses have lived malnourished and reproducing quickly for the past 6 years and they have not hardly had any die? The occasional photo of a few horses dead come on they should be dead in record numbers! So if you were overrun with horses and you could hand the other party back theirs to rid yourselves of them and get rid of your own, why would you take theirs to slaughter??? See there’s just no realism to their bull hockey! And the Chicago Tribune quoted Ben Shelly as stating in the 2006 argument to keep the plant in Illinois open that “When the plant closes we will just set all our horses free to multiply and we will see how the Government will handle that!” So this was Irresponsible management predicted by Them in 2006. This was a decision they want us to suffer for and they are hurting the horses over! This is a really sick business and they forget who all they interviewed with and what they stated and what years they said it, but it never goes away once its out there! And the shady Wikipedia on Horse meat I am sure that Mrs Wallis is responsible for changing now clearly has removed more of the damaging issues surrounding horse meat and why its been banned from pet food and other issues. I am amazed at how crazy this is getting anymore’

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  10. and some Horse activists got on face book when we were voting for president and had the nerve to say vote for Obama, he is the only chance for our horses…..and my main argument was we know what Obama did..;… made it worse and he is still doing NOTHING and they are almost gone, I am furious that we can’t even get on the same page to save them, we have to storm Washington, with more than 150 people…. they don’t give a crap how many people write and call, we are not making a big enough compact.

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