By any objective standard, throughout the past several administrations, the wild horse program in America has been an abject failure. Now a horse slaughterhouse is opening up in New Mexico, first one that has been open in a long time, thanks to a permit received from the Obama administration today.
There was an excellent article regarding wild horses in the Los Angeles Times last month, John Glionna's Auction sends wild horses to sanctuary — or slaughter that summarizes some of the problems pretty well. Rescuers have to battle the slaughterhouses and the auctioneers themselves in a deceitful double dealing game to keep these poor horses alive.
Critics say the bureau bends to the interests of ranchers, who for generations have grazed their livestock on public lands leased for below-market cost.The actions of departed Obama Interior Department head Ken Salazar would be comical if they weren't so sad in regards to our nation's wild horse population. You can read a bit about it here. Over 35.000 horses rounded up and presumably sent to the mexican slaughterhouse during his tenure.
"The agency removes horses, but you don't see them taking cattle off the range," said Bob Edwards, a former BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program official.
Salazar, a Colorado rancher, knew a guy named Tom Davis, a Colorado livestock hauler who was willing to buy hundreds of horses at a time, sight unseen, for ten bucks a head. The BLM sold Davis at least 1,700 wild horses and burros 70 percent of the animals purchased through its sale program.
Davis signed a contract promising that animals bought from the program will not be slaughtered and insisted he finds them good homes. Nobody ever saw hide nor hair of them again. Salazar promised to look into the matter and get back to us. He never did.
Hell, some of the finest meat you will ever eat is a fat yearling colt. What is wrong with taking all those BLM horses they got all fat and shiny and setting up a kill plant?" Tom Davis
Some BLM corral managers said in interviews they felt uneasy shipping so many horses to a single buyer, and one they knew so little about, but said such decisions weren’t up to them.Ranchers in this country are quick to point their fingers at wolves, at wild horses, at commies lurking in the weeds. What is more communistic than letting American cattlemen graze their herds on public lands for pennies on the dollar at the expense of American's wild horse herds?
"That all happens in Washington," one said, echoing the comments of many. "We are just peons. We do what we are told."
Davis said BLM employees occasionally asked where his horses ended up, but said he tells them it’s “none of your damn business.”
"They never question me too hard. It makes 'em look good if they're movin' these horses, see?" he said. "Every horse I take from them saves them a lot of money. I’m doing them a favor. I’m doing the American people a favor."