Horse News

Utah Flips-Off Feds by Voting To Butcher Protected American Wild Horses

By | The Salt Lake Tribune

Subsidized Welfare Cattle Okay – Federally Protected Wild Equines to be Slaughtered

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Federal management of wild horses has been a dismal failure, resulting in ecological and economic havoc on Utah’s public ranges, according to new legislation that seeks repeal of the 1971 statute protecting free-roaming horses and burros.

Two bills and an appropriation request promote state management that envisions sharply reducing horse numbers through slaughter and permanent sterilization — measures sure to draw stiff opposition from horse advocates.

But Utah lawmakers and county commissioners are fed up with the Bureau of Land Management‘s approach, which they say allows horses to proliferate at the expense of range health, livestock operators and native wildlife while wasting $50 million a year confining horses that could be slaughtered for their meat.

“The fragmentation coming out of D.C. is tremendous,” Rep. Ken Ivory, R-West Jordan, told the House Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environmental Quality Committee on Wednesday. “This is a hell for the ecosystem, it’s is a hell for the wildlife species, it’s is a hell for those on the ground who are told the solution is to cut back their livelihoods and their herds. It’s a hell for the animals themselves; they are starving and dying. Clearly we can do this better.” Ivory is the sponsor of HCR22, a resolution calling on the federal government to either take immediate steps to “humanely preserve the feral horse and burro populations in the West at established population management objectives” or cede that authority to the state.

Horse advocates reject the premise of this measure, which is one component of a package of legislative actions targeting wild horse management.

Rep. Keven Stratton, R-Orem, is seeking $1.1 million to manage Utah’s 19 herds, whose population now exceeds 5,000, or about 2½ times the BLM’s target. He is also sponsoring a bill that lays out a state management plan. Stratton and others have made it clear state management could entail slaughtering horses, but horse advocates say such proposals would face a buzz saw of controversy.

“Utah is a beautiful state. I would hate to see it get a black eye with these crazy inhumane plans,” said filmmaker Ginger Kathrens, executive director of the Cloud Foundation and member of the BLM’s wild horse advisory board. “You would have to have the law changed where Utah is this special place where they get management and their plan is to kill them. That’s jumping through an awfully narrow hoop. It irks me that they are so blind to the benefits [of free-roaming horses] and can’t see beyond their ignorance. They are so out of step with what the American public wants. When you talk about killing healthy animals and trafficking them to Mexico, it’s just disgusting.”

But lethal population control is in line with positions advocated by Interior Secretary nominee Ryan Zinke as well as the BLM advisory panel, which urged the agency last September to offer “all suitable animals in long- and short-term holding deemed unadoptable for sale without limitation or humane euthanasia. Those animals deemed unsuitable for sale should then be destroyed in the most humane manner possible.” Advisory panel members said they were not endorsing slaughter for meat, but after a negative public reaction, the BLM pledged it would not destroy healthy horses and burros.

Ironically, Utah’s new legislative push comes as the BLM conducts its most aggressive roundups in Utah in years. Last month, 700 horses from the Sulphur herd were gathered in Beaver County and the agency is currently rounding up the Cedar Mountain herd west of Tooele. So far, 534 horses have been gathered with a goal of 600 to 700. In both these gathers, the BLM planned to administer a fertility vaccine to 200 mares and return them to the range with an equal number of stallions. That decision prompted a lawsuit from Beaver County, alleging the BLM should not return horses to the Sulphur herd area, where horse numbers still exceed the “appropriate management level.”

The Utah operations deploy birth control known as PZP-22, which activates the immune system to thwart conception. This drug is effective for a year or two, and Utah lawmakers want to see something longer lasting. In addition to lethal measures, Ivory’s resolution calls for scaled-up use of GnRH-based vaccines, a new fertility-control technology that “can permanently sterilize a young horse by inhibiting the hormones that would make it sexually mature.”

Most horse-advocacy groups endorse PZP, but that is not the case with GnRH, or GonaCon, which they say has not been proven safe…(CONTINUED)

22 replies »

  1. don’t let the horse eaters get a toe in the door, PLEASE. right now many dogs have died and the dog food was just tested by FDA and they found HORSE DNA in pet foods “guaranteed to be human quality beef” heres the story link. I guarantee if any states are allowed to start slaughtering horses in USA, America has NO tracking system and meat will start to be mixed into beef supply. horses contaminated with lethal drugs will be slipped into the food supply for pets and humans. The only answer is stop horse slaughter in USA for any reason. and no transport of Americas horses to mexico or Canada or exported to any USA seaports.


  2. Stop the slaughter of these beautiful innocent wild horses! They don’t deserve this…….they deserve to live free on the land they have always known! The are an icon of the west! Stop BLM!!!!


  3. “Horse advocates say it’s ridiculous to blame horses for range conditions when cattle outnumber horses by as much as 9-to-1 on the West’s public ranges.” I don’t know where they got 9-1 from. The polls that I’ve read state that cattle outnumber wild horses 30-1, privately owned livestock (cattle and sheep combined) outnumber horses approximately 50-1, and in some cases, allowable AUM’s outnumber the horses 71-1 such as in the Blue Wing Complex.


  4. I posted several comments on this article but don’t see any of them published.
    I’ve also found that many publications won’t publish a comment if it contains a link so I’ve taken to just crediting the source and date.
    There looks to be a lot of paid trolls commenting in these articles. I recognize the names as they keep showing up.


  5. Comments need to be made to the author of this article which is full of lies and mis-information. If you follow the link, you can find the author’s email address.


  6. Killer Buyers are Finding it harder to amass horses. They have to Attack the Wild Horses. This is a BIOSECURITY ISSUE to continue to ship ANY HORSES to Slaughter. The Pro Horse Slaughter straglers. The last of the Lackeys that believe in it.. like Sue Humphries who pretends to understand the issues more than we do are infiltrating amywhere they can to butcher, braise or broil these horses. The dangerous numbers of Welfare Cattle on Public Lands is ignored because Honest producers believe its an attack on their rights if they side with saving Mustangs. The real truth IS Real Beef producers are Not the problem but the Welfare Ranchers who truly stir up turmoil fpr the Entire cattle Industry. Cattle producers should Note were Not after You at all and proslaughter are braggards and liarsand Welfare Ranchers are the reason for All the turmoil. Sue I know you read every Straight from the horses heart posts and report back. So report this: Were Foghting fpr The Wild Horses LIVES AND WE WONT QUIT! As for these horses in Utah there better be a Huge backlash from Advocates and Horse Lovers. Federal Law overrules State and local and we need to be very clear the tes of the Act were in place and enacted by Congress and ONLY Congress can change that. The State of Utah iz recognized for its Horrible Animal Abuse Ratings and we need to Fight just like Illinois Has tp change these horrible animal abuse states into better ones. Their solution to Wild Horse POPULATIONS they say is More Animal Abuse via Slaughter. Time to stop the Abuse they are attempting to cause by seizure, harrassment, theft of Government Federally Protected Horses, trapping, injuring and Ultimately murdering them! Slaughter IS the Ultimate Horse Abuse system and poses a Realistic BIOSECURITY RISK. We have to stop the entire chain of abuse in Utah. This isnt a Solution to neglect by the BLM its a way to profit off the desecration and torment horses because these people are just MAD at the Federal Government. The hprses didnt cause issues and the Government wont feel their pain yet abusers in Utah still want to do it.


  7. I posted this article on Salt Lake Tribune…they have not published my comment

    Wild horses & burros being removed for Richfield Tar Sands plan
    January 7, 2016

    The document goes so far as to say, ‘the management of wild horse and burro herds is not compatible within those portions of commercial tar sands lease areas.’”
    In addition to the welfare ranchers, here is another major cause of our wild ones being captured & removed & sterilized … please become aware of the Richfield tar sands plan.

    The Richfield tar sands has already effected our wild ones and continues to do so as of TODAY with the BLM proposal to rid the White Mountain and Little Colorado of more/all of the wild ones and the same with the Sinbad wild burro HMA

    The Richfield tar sands plan has been in progress since about 2010 and if you look at the list below you will see that most of these HMAs (plus West Douglas HA) have been heavily captured/removed in recent years.
    The document goes so far as to say, “the management of wild horse and burro herds is not compatible within those portions of commercial tar sands lease areas”. How much clearer can it be. They want the wild ones GONE.

    TABLE 3.1.3-1 Wild Horse Herd Management Areas within the Oil Shale and Tar Sands Study Area (page 3-167)
    Piceance-East Douglas
    Muddy Creek
    Range Creek
    Little Colorado
    White Mountain
    Salt Wells
    Adobe Town
    [PLUS Herd Areas which are not discussed in this report – such as the West Douglas HA]
    More Richfield tar sands information:

    Click to access UT33-RichfieldFinalPlan.pdf

    Sinbad Wild Burro EA information:

    Click to access Sinbad%20Draft%20EA.pdf


  8. I also posted this comment and question…it’s not published either…..doubt that Salt Lake Tribune will have the courage to challenge Utah’s senators…who are pushing for state take-over of Public Lands.

    .”WHO stands to profit as special interests plunder America’s natural resources/public lands while destroying the wildlife and ecosystem?”

    Congress Quietly Passes New Rule Allowing House Members To Hide Records From Ethics Probes
    Politicians can now shield expenditures from investigations.
    The change essentially makes a member of Congress the owner and sole controller of any records he or she creates, regardless of whether those documents touch on a public interest, such as use of taxpayer funds or the commission of a crime.
    “Records created, generated, or received by the congressional office of a Member … are exclusively the personal property of the individual member … and such Member … has control over such records,” the regulation states.
    The change granting records control to members was passed without much notice amid news of a plan to gut the independence of the Office of Congressional Ethics, which caused a public outcry but failed to pass.
    Under the new regulation, a lawmaker being investigated for misuse of taxpayer funds, for example, might now assert the privilege to withhold spending records from law enforcement authorities. Had that measure existed earlier, certain accounts might not have been accessible for corruption investigations that resulted in charges against members of Congress.


  9. …and this comment wasn’t published either

    In Supreme Court documents, the State Bank of Southern Utah confirmed that financial institutions hold an estimated $10 billion in loans and related credit transactions to the public land ranching industry, with the grazing privileges alone worth approximately $1 billion

    The majority of BLM and Forest Service grazing fees are not deposited to the U.S.
    Treasury, but instead are diverted to the “Range Betterment Fund” to pay for fencing, water developments, and related infrastructure to support continued livestock grazing

    The Forest Service “escrow waiver” program is further described in M. Salvo. 2002. “Mortgaging Public Assets: How
    Ranchers Use Grazing Permits as Collateral.” Pages 271-273 in G. Wuerthner and M. Matteson (eds.). WELFARE
    5 T. Jones and M. Salvo. 2006. “Mortgaging Our Natural Heritage: An Analysis of the Use of Bureau of Land
    Management Grazing Permits as Collateral for Private Loans.” Distributed report. Forest Guardians, Santa Fe, NM;
    Sagebrush Sea Campaign, Chandler, AZ.
    6 Mortgaging Our Natural Heritage: 5.
    7 Mortgaging Our Natural Heritage: 5.
    8 Brief of Amici Curiae State Bank of Southern Utah in Support of Petitioner, Public Lands Council v. Babbitt, 529
    U.S. 728 (2000).

    Click to access factsheet_Grazing_Fiscal_Costs(3).pdf


  10. It would seem one solution might be for the boundaries of the State of Utah to be redefined to exclude any and all public lands. A large outdoor retailer trade show has just pulled out of Utah for their objectionable stance on public lands (which by definition are not owned by Utah, but by the entire US public). Recall here the wild horses were legally restricted to a few hundred areas nationwide in 1971, while grazing permits and mineral extraction leases etc. are allowed on vastly more acreage, and that the legal areas for wild horses have been severely reduced and most must share even those with for-profit non-native livestock.

    The answer isn’t to give away and destroy our national treasures but instead to redefine Utahs borders so they can manage just their own affairs and keep private lands private, and public lands public.


  11. This article could use comments. The only problem is that it looks as though you have to have a facebook account in order to comment.


    Slaughtering wild horses and the BLM: A fatal mix
    Jack Ferm

    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!

    There are other preserves attempting to make a difference, but we need more.
    We also need more U.S. Attorneys with the backbone to go after the lawbreakers who are slaughtering wild horses and put them where they belong: in prison!
    Thankfully, one U.S. Attorney for Utah had the guts to prosecute some of these criminals in United States of America v. Robert W. Capson, at the time 60 years old (case number 2:11 cr-00813-1 DAK), and United States of America v. Dennis K. Kunz, at the time 58 years old (case number 2:11 cr-00813 DAK).
    But while these case resulted in two guilty pleas to felony charges, there are probably hundreds of these criminals still roaming free and still selling our wild horses and burros to Mexican and Canadian slaughterhouses.


  12. One of the reader comments on the Salt Lake Tribune

    “What is wrong with our state leaders??? Neanderthals are not extinct, they are alive and well in Utah government!
    I hunt out in the area where the horses roam.
    These horses are not causing any trouble to the other wildlife or the range.
    The only trouble they’re causing is that they irritate ranchers by eating a little bit of grass that the ranchers think belongs to their cows! Ken Ivory is just a tool and a broken one at that.
    The West Jordan Ward needs to vote him out of office!
    It is the most beautiful scene to see a wild horse running majestically through the Utah desert.
    Ranchers need to keep their cows on their own ranches! Just a heads up to ranchers, sage fed cows taste like crap!
    Maybe we should start a movement to boycott Utah beef that is raised on public range lands?”


  13. From Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER)

    Start Collecting Fair Market Rents and Stop Leaving Taxpayers Holding the Bag
    Posted on Jan 23, 2017

    Besides watchdogging expenditures, the next Director of the Office of Management and Budget should also start collecting fair market rates for resource extraction from the federal estate that now costs taxpayers billions of dollars, according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). The group is urging Trump’s OMB to apply business principles to end the gushers of red ink run up each year by money-losing federal timber sales, grazing, mining, drilling, and irrigation programs.
    In a letter sent today to the Senate Budget Committee which this week considers the nomination of U.S. Representative Mick Mulvaney (R–S.C.) as OMB Director, PEER asks the nominee be put on the record as to whether he will fix unprofitable land and water practices in trying to cut the federal deficit, such as:
    • Many federal timber sales cost more for preparing the area for loggers than they receive in receipts from the sale of the timber;
    • Royalty-free hard rock mining carries a substantial cost to taxpayers, including the cleanup of the estimated tens of thousands of abandoned hard rock mines;
    • Below-market federal grazing fees mean that ranchers pay only a tiny fraction of the direct costs of grazing, with taxpayers subsidizing the remainder;
    • The U.S. receives one of the lowest government takes in the world from oil and gas leases, royalties, and fees; and
    • The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation does not require most of the largest irrigators to pay the true cost of infrastructure, delivery, and fees associated with providing federally subsidized water.
    “Businesses do not sell their products below cost, why should the federal government?” asked PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, noting that candidate Donald Trump often touted his business experience as a key qualification for improving government operations. “The next OMB Director should commit to ensuring the taxpayer is receiving a fair share of the profits from exploitation of the public’s resources.”
    The extent of losses to the public treasury from its federal resource management practices is huge, representing hundreds of billions of dollars each year, according to some estimates. Moreover if as promised, the Trump administration pushes for greater energy and other resource extraction from public lands, taxpayer losses could multiply unless a much better rate-of-return is struck.

    “We could sure use some ‘Art of the Deal’ to renegotiate these public resource giveaways,” added Ruch, pointing out that President Trump is calling for a massive investment in infrastructure but has not identified a funding source. “Collecting fair rents, royalties and fees should be eyed not only as a way to reduce deficits but also as a potential major revenue source.”


  14. To BRIAN MAFFLY | The Salt Lake Tribune
    regarding article below : Utah Flips-Off Feds by Voting To Butcher Protected American Wild Horses
    Please Brian can you tell me why Utah, in it’s efforts to exterminate wild horses, would NOT HAVE to repeal 1976 FLPMA in order to repeal the 1971 (not so) FREE ROAMING WILD horse and burro act…after the Kleppe v New Mexico Supreme Court findings?? The Western States want sovereign rights that are founded in seminal laws and yet federal laws regarding public ownership of wildlife have existed since the Magna Carta. Wild horse and burro herds are no exception. See Mt States v Hodel See Case Law Mountain States v. Hodel
    ” In structure and purpose, the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act is nothing more than a land-use regulation enacted by Congress to ensure the survival of a particular species of wildlife. At the outset, it is important to note that wild horses and burros are no less “wild” animals than are the grizzly bears that roam our national parks and forests.” In addition Herd areas relevant to the exemption clause” of the 1976 Federal Land Planning & Management Act. Sec. 302(a) which says; in relevant part,
    “where a tract of the BLM lands has been dedicated to specific uses according to other provisions of law, it shall be managed in accordance with such laws.” i.e.such as the intent of the 1966 National Historic Preservation Act. 1971 Free Roaming Wild Horse and Burro Act,and the 1973 Endangered species Act.
    So while wild horse and burros constitute less than one percent of all grazing on public lands, there are more warehoused off the range. Wild horse and burro herds are credited with the damage that by shear numbers belong to Elk..see


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