“We don’t need these federal land leeches who promote slaughtering wild horses and burros that belong on the land more rightfully than cattle or sheep.”
“We at Wild Horse Freedom Federation would like to thank Mr. Jack Ferm for not only being a very loud voice for the Wild Horses & Burros but for also acknowledging the efforts of our volunteer non-profit, Wild Horse Freedom Federation. My hat is off to him.” ~ R.T.
Wild horses have long been the victims of U.S. government aggression by “intentional” slaughter. In the 1830s the Choctaw Indian Pony was ordered destroyed to separate the Native Americans from their war mounts. They were a gentle breed that would carry women and children over the nefarious “Trail of Tears” after Native Americans had been ordered to relocate from their ancestral lands to the reservation in what is now Oklahoma. They were also the preferred war pony for Native Americans during the Indian/settler wars, because of their agility and speed. Some settlers hid a few so that today we have almost 300 surviving Choctaw ponies roaming free on private reserves.
We are now seeing a replay of the 1830s, but now it’s a different story: cattle, oil, gas, mineral rights, solar, and wind farms have made wild horses and the BLM a fatal mix.
The Trail of Tears is another story of U.S. aggression against a people who only wanted to live free, wherein 16,000 Cherokee people were forced to travel 1,200 miles, walking and riding; 4,000 died. Likewise our wild horses and burros want to be free and to live out their lives without being chased to death by helicopters or captured and sold to slaughterhouses by individuals who lack compassion for living creatures. This is not the end they deserve!
I have written, researched, and spoken to individuals about the plight of our mustangs but have failed to learn how many of these wild horses and burros have been captured from their rightful place on public land (roaming free as they are meant) and sold to slaughterhouses in Mexico. What I have learned is that some 140,000 horses are sold to slaughterhouses in Mexico annually; the thought of these majestic animals reaching that end angers me. This needless slaughter must be stopped, even if we must march on Congress to make it happen!
Over 92 percent of horses sent to Mexico for slaughter are healthy and in good shape. They are able to live out productive lives. These horses would be sold, donated, or otherwise provided a new home; however, kill buyers outbid legitimate horse owners and rescuers at auctions, robbing horses of ever having a second chance at life. Right after the auction, the horses are boarded onto trucks for their last ride in life.
Modern western civilization considers horses companion animals and not part of any food chain. We would no sooner eat a horse than our dogs! But this is not how some people feel; horses and dogs are a delicacy for many people around the world. Slaughtering wild horses and dogs for food is something I don’t understand.
Unfortunately, we have agencies that employ monsters like Ken Salazar, a cattle rancher and neighbor of the now infamous Tom Davis, who have no concern or compassion for wild horses or for America’s heritage. The BLM has been fully aware of him slaughtering wild horses but have turned their back on the laws that protect them. Former Secretary Salazar, our number one lawbreaker, gets a free pass from liability.
Within two weeks of his confirmation in 2009, Ken Salazar began shipping truckloads of horses to Tom Davis, Salazar’s neighbor and business associate. Salazar is a fifth-generation rancher; ranchers throughout the western U.S. lobby for the removal of mustangs from public lands to make room for their cheap, taxpayer-subsidized livestock grazing. The livestock industry has been a very vocal advocate for slaughtering wild horses.
In my opinion, if a rancher doesn’t have enough grazing land to raise cattle or sheep, he should not be in ranching but should find a different profession or raise fewer animals that his land would be capable of supporting. It is not my job or the public’s job to subsidize ranching that isn’t necessary as evidenced by the 779,000 ranchers who have shown that this grazing permit program isn’t needed to support their ranching or ability to be in business. There are about 800,000 livestock operators and cattle producers in the United States. Of those, fewer than 21,000 benefit from the Forest Service and BLM grazing programs in the West. We don’t need these federal land leeches who promote slaughtering wild horses and burros that belong on the land more rightfully than cattle or sheep. The wild horses and burros should rightfully be protected, not slaughtered.
When ranchers like Salazar and Davis lobby for removing and slaughtering wild horses, they engage my ire.
If I am going to subsidize ranchers by financing their cattle and sheep grazing and feed, am I not entitled to a part of their profits? Why is it that the BLM does not make a profit on cattle and sheep grazing? Perhaps they need to raise the grazing fees — or better yet, end this worthless program.
This to me is just another range war, but instead of the cattle vs. sheep wars over government grazing lands in the 1880s, now we have cattle and sheep ranchers against the horse — an animal that has no protection against the rim-rocking of the powerful cattle lobby and no ability to fight back against a worthless BLM that itself is no better than a domestic terrorist.
Tom Davis and other large BLM buyers pay $10 a head for horses captured by the BLM. They sell these horses to kill buyers who pay around $500 a horse. Tom Davis bought 1,794 horses from the BLM and paid them $10 each or a total of $17,940. He sold them immediately to kill buyers, generating $897,000 and a profit of $879,060 through a fraud scheme to acquire slaughter horses that by contract he was not allowed to resell to kill buyers. Yet he did.
I have even personally attempted to speak with U.S. Attorney for Colorado John Walsh, but when he heard I wanted to discuss his failure to bring criminal charges and possibly a civil complaint against Tom Davis and that I was from the media, he went dark and most likely hid under his desk. I have learned that to mention wild horses and the BLM in the same sentence evokes a state of panic in both the BLM and law enforcement. Everyone goes into hiding at the mention of wild horses and the BLM and for good reason: this agency is at the top of the Obama administration corruption list, and that list is a long one.
I want to acknowledge and thank two organizations that continue to make a difference: The Wild Horse Freedom Federation and the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary, an 11,000-acre reserve where Dayton O. Hyde continues to save wild horses and the land they inhabit. Hyde, with his passion for life, allows our wild horses to remain wild and free and to reproduce while living out their lives as they are meant to.
You can view some of the lucky horses Hyde has adopted and set free here. You can even become a sponsor and help feed them, which is always greatly appreciated.