Killing them softly.

Unloading horses at the border

Fifteen years ago, on one of my notorious rants, I claimed that the goal of the BLM was to send all the wild horses to slaughter. Any number of people considered me as having gone off the deep end back then. During the years between then and now, the combined forces of the pro-horse groups managed to shut down the American slaughterhouses, only to see Mexico and Canada increase the number of American horses slaughtered (up 38% since last year).

While the propaganda machine continues to spout lies about starving horses and make false accusations of thousands of horses wandering the backstreets and parks, the forces of evil are plotting to do exactly what I had forecasted.

Consider: The failure of the Federal Government to deny inspectors to equine slaughterhouses, the gathering storm of  anti-horse forces trying (and so far failing) to open a slaughterhouse in the States and the wildly insane gathering of wild horses off the protected Federal lands to the point where 45,000 now reside in holding pens.

Consider that the BLM is now complaining about the cost of maintaining horses in the holding pens and the discussion now going on is that in order to reduce the cost, they want to change the status of the horses so the BLM can sell them to whomever wants them. Translated: off to slaughter they go.

The long term plan to eradicate wild horses enters its final chapter. The Wild Horse Advisory Board, those wonderful folks who are allegedly members of the general public that advises the BLM, are pro-slaughter advocates. Ex-BLM employees are now players in the organizations promoting slaughter. Everything is set. Expect the word to come dribbling out of DC – all wild horses in the holding pens, all 45,000 of them, will be “euthanized.”

And the BLM continues to decimate the last remaining herds beyond the point of viability. Gelded males, mares filled with PZP, yearlings being rounded up “because the land cannot handle the pressure horses place on it,” yet hours after the last BLM trailer leaves the welfare ranchers unload truckloads of cattle on the same land and remove the fences around the water holes.

Are you angry yet? Do you need to be reminded that these are YOUR horses? Congress controls the Department of the Interior, the BLM is part of that Department. Congress can put a stop to it.

S.1176 and HR 2966, known as the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, closes the border and makes it against the law to kill horses for human consumption. Eighty percent of the public is against the slaughter of horses. If you read this article, chances are you are a part of the majority.

The killing of American horses has increased by 38% in 2011 to 133,241. That’s 2,562 per week, 366 per day, 46 per hour – trucked to Canada and Mexico and slaughtered in the most inhumane way possible. All of them fat, mostly healthy (they don’t buy skinny horses!) and all of them wondering what the hell happened to the loving, caring humans, the 80%, who were suppose to stand by them.

Yes, you guessed it, I’m pissed. I’m sick of do-gooder organizations spouting meaningless words, of suits in Congress sitting on the bills “because it’s an election year.” At Habitat for Horses, we work damn hard to save the lives of horses. Investigations, courts, medical bills, slings to help them stand up, thousands of dollars in hay and feed, and they kill the same number in a couple of weeks that we save in a year.

It’s gotta’ stop, guys, but it won’t until a very angry voice is heard from the 80%. Are you ready to scream?

22 May 2012 — Jerry Finch, President and Head Stall Cleaner of Habitat for Horses, a non-profit equine sanctuary.