Horse News

Wild Horses & Burros Adopted Under a Federal Program Are Going to Slaughter

as published on The New York Times

“Nothing new here EXCEPT kill buyers are now paid $1,000.00 per wild equine, your tax dollars, to sell our National Treasurers for human consumption over-seas, sweet…”

In a lifetime of working with horses, Gary Kidd, 73, had never adopted an untrained wild mustang before. But when the federal government started paying people $1,000 a horse to adopt them, he signed up for as many as he could get. So did his wife, two grown daughters and a son-in-law.

Mr. Kidd, who owns a small farm near Hope, Ark., said in a recent telephone interview that he was using the mustangs, which are protected under federal law, to breed colts and that they were happily eating green grass in his pasture.

In fact, by the time he spoke on the phone, the animals were long gone. Records show that Mr. Kidd had sold them almost as soon as he legally could. He and his family received at least $20,000, and the mustangs ended up at a dusty Texas livestock auction frequented by slaughterhouse brokers known as kill buyers.

When asked about the sale, Mr. Kidd abruptly hung up…(CONTINUED)

13 replies »

  1. To me, this is what evil looks like. Lying to the public, hiding something so vile from the public, and carrying it out secretly. We suspected as much with Salazar and Davis, and now, I just don’t know what to say, except feel revulsion.

    BLM under this new regime needs a house cleaning from top to bottom, maybe even these three foolish agencies need to be consolidated into one – BLM, Forest Service and US F&W. Some people may even need to go to prison.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pure evil. People with no souls. These scumbags are why laws & regulations are necessary. The cons should be charged & prosecuted. There are virtually no follow-ups to these sales, except occasional media coverage like this. What a disgusting scam. Biden has been a friend to our wild horses in the past. I hope he learns of this mess & stops the corruption somehow.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I understand all the anger and disgust, but the obvious thing seems to be overlooked. Why don’t we make selling a branded BLM or USFS wild horse at a public auction FELONY. The current system allows sales after just one year of “adoption” but this could easily be changed. Sale barns will sell whatever people bring them, the brands on these horses are absolutely unmistakable, so why not make any secondary transactions illegal — with related stiff fines and pulling of permits to sell levied against the auction companies themselves, as well as the “owners” of these once-treasured horses and burros. Any freeze branded horses found at our borders heading out should also be confiscated and the drivers as well as sellers severely treated.

    This wouldn’t solve all problems but this is a simple enough step that would make a dent in the problem, and would discourage people from getting paid to “adopt” horses then turn and sell them for profit a short while later. The example in this story is telling: one rancher only makes about $800 from raising a calf and made more than twice that buying and selling a single wild horse. Others make far far less on their calves (even with a free ride their first summer grazing on public lands) so even that $800 seems inflated.

    We can make a legal change here, and should. Why aren’t we?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly! And like Ida says the ranching lobby would have a conniption! But so what? We appear to have a person as Sec of DOI in place that actually could do something about the “programs”.. I guess getting any law or regulation passed as to making the sale of a Wild Horse a felony? They seem to not be able to do anything at all, so?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I think the ranching lobby wouldn’t allow it. But they are making a mockery about the Horses and Burros Act, so that ought to be addressed. They have broken the law(s) there, for sure. Somewhere in those lines a felony has been committed.

    I don’t see the wisdom of having three separate agencies at the Interior. It seems one hand doesn’t know what the other is doing – and it certainly would make more sense to have one set of rules. Meanwhile, the wildlife still pay with their lives. To think of the indifference to suffering that these poor horses endure makes me furious. Let’s see what the Interior has to say. They haven’t said much good over the years.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I doubt the ranching lobby would care much at all since these horses are already off-range and no longer a threat to them. It’s also true those being “adopted” are a small fraction of those removed from the ranges altogether, so again not any cause for alarm. The travesty comes when freeze branded horses and burros are later sold through kill auctions to slaughter, which could be largely prevented with soem simple legal implementation.

      Such a legal approach is common enough already, think of illegal drug “taxes” levied when drug busts are made, for those who didn’t pay their “taxes” or buy a “stamp” etc. to market their (illegal) goods. Or in Colorado, gun owners can now be fined if someone else takes their guns and they don’t report it within three days. This also is just an add-on way to fine criminals after the fact. So we could indeed do something similar for our unluckiest wild ones.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I disagree. It is a very powerful lobby, and just like with other wildlife, they want to keep everything under their iron fist – whether these poor horses are off the range, or the potential for the ones still on the range. The don’t really allow for much wiggle room. I have to wonder why it hasn’t been done before, but try, try again I suppose. I’m all for that. 😦

        Liked by 1 person

  5. What’s most upsetting is that this has gone on for so many years, no matter which party is in power. Getting the congressional servants of the powerful lobbies, ranching and energy, whether fossil fuel or greenwashed, hasn’t been easy. It’s terrible to know that many people who buy these horses are corrupt. How do you fix that? People will always find a way to do a selfish, greedy thing, it seems. This should have been seen, that selling a horse after a year would be a red flag, not a forever home. 😦

    As far as the new Interior, we’ll have to see. I’m not automatically going to assume anything. There have been so many disappointments.


  6. The SAFE Act to stop the slaughter of all horses needed to have been passed but never did. Now it needs to be reintroduced in Congress with new numbers.

    Call DOI Sec. Haaland to protest the roundups at 202-208-3100

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Got to read this article after receiving it from AWHC. Its typical Dave Philipps – altho there was more of the Wild Horse side of it this time. I saw Carol Walker’s and Rachel Reeves blogs months ago which both told it like it is. I have much hesitation in believing the BLM’s “numbers” of Wild Horses and their version of 20% increase a year! My question has been why in the world would anyone believe they know how many horses are out there? They dont do a physical count of any HMAs that I’ve ever read about, do NOT have a clue as to WHICH horses are which – how would they know how many there are, other than stating as fact (!) that there is a 20% increase. And oh yeah, if they dont round them up & remove them – “all” those hundreds of thousands Wild Horses are going to over-graze & destroy all the forage out there. Really? Because we are all aware that the thousands of wild horses cannot compare to the millions of LIVESTOCK that remains on that land AFTER the Wild Horses (and during the roundups) are gone.
    Yes, Barbara, calling the DOI Sec. is a good thing – inundating the phone regarding this is better, right?

    Liked by 1 person

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