HOUSTON, (Horseback) – Texas Parks and Wildlife, the state agency charged with the welfare of animals in their natural habitat didn’t have enough respect for 11 domestic horses to give them a quick and painless death. Instead, on the orders of park superintendent Barrett Darst of Big Bend Ranch State Park, the horses, mares and foals, were sent to a painful slaughter, Mexico style.
HOUSTON, (Horseback) – The director of the largest state park system in the continental United States has embroiled himself in a controversy that has already stirred the passions of animal advocates nationwide. Furthermore, he has possibly been enmeshed in an outright lie.
For years, Julie Caramante was a leader the fight to shutter Dallas Crown, Kaufman’s infamous horse slaughterhouse. Dallas Crown closed in 2007, as did the Beltex slaughterhouse in Fort Worth, but Caramante, a lifelong equine welfare advocate, has continued to keep a close eye on the horse slaughter industry.
With dreams of wild burros roaming safely in West Texas, residents traveled halfway across the state to protest at the Capitol.
The Wild Burro Protection League organized the “March for Mercy,” in which residents marched on Saturday alongside several burros down San Jacinto Street, around the governor’s mansion and to the Capitol in protest of burros being shot inBig Bend Ranch State Park. According to The Associated Press, 130 burros have been killed by park rangers since 2007. Marjorie Farabee, The Wild Burro Protection League founder, said the march was necessary because a petition delivered to the Capitol on Jan. 18 with 108,000 signatures was ignored.
The day before Easter, Texas Wild Burro Advocates and domesticated donkeys converged upon Austin, Texas to march in protest against Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s (TPWD) policy of killing Texas’ last remaining wild equine herd, in Big Bend State Park, to make room for the re-introduction of Desert Bighorn Sheep for hunting permit dollars. Under police escort the band of humans and donkeys paraded in front of the state capitol and circled the Governor’s Mansion while chanting, “Rick Perry Stop Killing our Wild Burros.”
Words matter in life. And the case of the the wild donkeys of West Texas is no exception.
If you call them “Wild Burros” you could be inclined to see them as scrappy survivors, emblems of the Old West. If you call them “Feral Donkeys,” well, then they sound like pests that need to be exterminated.
In Texas, what we have here is a failure to communicate.
At a Statehouse dominated by elephants, the donkey got some love in a short parade in downtown Austin on Wednesday.
The occasion was a protest of the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department’s shoot-to-kill policy concerning feral burros in Big Bend Ranch State Park. Marjorie Farabee , founder of the Wild Burro Protection League and director at the Wild Horse Freedom Federation, had a helper drop some 103,000 petitions against shooting the burros at Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst’s office.
“Because Gov. Perry’s office refused authorization of delivery,” Farabee said. “Be sure you write that.”