Wild Horses Just Meat to the Bureau of Land Management?



Apparently, the definition of “wild” is to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) as the definition of “is” was to former president Bill Clinton. When Clinton was asked about whether he had engaged in sexual activity with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, he stated, “There is no improper relationship.” Later when caught in his web of lies, Clinton verbally scrambled claiming, “It depends on what your definition of “is” is.” The BLM just recently rounded up and sent to slaughter a herd of wild horses that they claim are not wild because they were “descended from strays” and thus are not officially “wild.” As it turned out, Clinton did have a sexual relationship with Lewinsky and in the BLM’s case, the definition of “not wild” is sketchy at best resulting in the horses being slaughtered for meat.

The BLM rounded up a herd of 41 horses in Wyoming that had been running free for several decades and the horses were sold to the highest bidder, a Canadian slaughterhouse called Bouvry Exports for less than $2,000. The BLM claims that the horses were not in fact “wild” and thus not deserving of the protection of the Wild-Free Roaming Horses and Burro Act – especially because this herd of horses did not have a permit to graze on federal land. Their lack of a permit to graze was no doubt unknown by the wild horses who were simply grazing on the fodder of the landscape they had freely roamed for years. The agency claims the horses were not wild but were instead “abandoned” because they were descendants of “stray rodeo horses” from the 1970s owned by a deceased contractor of rodeo livestock.

HorsesApparently having descended from “handled” horses, the herd in Wyoming that had been running free and procreating for decades was not quite wild enough and were just meat to the Bureau of Land Management. It would have been interesting to see an agent from the BLM try to saddle each rodeo descendent up for a little giddy-up just to see how domesticated these horses were before selling them to slaughter. That would have been a rodeo worth seeing. In this case, the definition of wild was conveniently in the eye of the beholder – that of a government agency ridding itself of pestilence not in the actual nature of the animals they rounded up.

The sale and slaughter has caused public outcry by those who advocate for wild horses as majestic living symbols of the great American West as well as animals with limitless heart and spirit. These advocates understand that the BLM will round up wild horses but want the opportunity to save them in a public auction. The BLM claims that in this case they did advertise the auction via notices in the newspaper and flyers in the local post offices. However, all of the horses were sold off to the slaughterhouse bidder in just a few hours. Paula Todd King of a Colorado based wild horse advocacy group, The Cloud Foundation, spoke out against the sale claiming that with very little effort the horses could have been saved from being “sent to slaughter indiscriminately.”

There are those who regard wild horses as “invasive pests,” namely cattle ranchers who have had to deal with herds of horses grazing down their lands. Cattle ranchers near the recent Wyoming roundup had been complaining about such damage to the rangeland for their cattle and it is likely that their complaints served to pressure the Bureau of Land Management to conduct the roundup. However, not affording the 41 horses the protection of the Wild-Free Roaming Horses and Burro Act because they did not meet the BLM’s definition of “wild” stinks of interpretation of convenience, just as Clinton’s verbal wrangling over the word “is” did in the Lewinsky sex scandal. It appears that the BLM, when under pressure, has no qualms about treating wild horses as just meat, instead of providing them with the protections they deserve.

Opinion By Alana Marie Burke
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10 Responses to "Wild Horses Just Meat to the Bureau of Land Management?"

  1. Margaret   April 22, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    Hope whoever at BLM authorized this roundup gets fired.

  2. Barbara Griffith   April 22, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    The BLM is only one arm of the larger criminal syndicate that is our government. The politicians ignore their constituents to the point of insanity but they seem to forget that elections have consequences the more these politicians like Harry Reid ignores their constituents the closer they get to being kicked out the door. The ranchers that seem to hate the mustangs so much just might find themselves fighting for their very existence if the criminal syndicate decides it wants their property for oil drilling, fracking, mining interests or any one of a million reasons to take their land.

  3. old dorgunr   April 22, 2014 at 9:03 am

    There is a vast gap between being a “wild” native animal and a “wild” feral animal.

  4. cindymendoza47   April 22, 2014 at 7:07 am

    i have more respect for the desert rattlesnake and scorpion then i do for the b.l.m.i have never in my life seen such brown nosed bunch of folks. they had no buiss. taking those horses from where they were , ya know karma is a very bad thing after the horses are gone , just who do you think they coming for next just keep up with your shanigans cattle people just remember your not immuned look what happened in nevada .this is a land grab because we owe the chinese and they want our gold and minerals . so beware looks like it would be in your best interest to team up with the advocates for the horses . since when can they give us ” free speech zones” wernt that nice of them . looking out for our interests makes me feel so american. stand up people , be counted this is wrong….

  5. rainer21   April 22, 2014 at 5:06 am

    So is any horse that is unbranded on the range a wild horse?

  6. Sandra Bryan   April 22, 2014 at 3:09 am

    You left out the fact that 4 foals (2wks to 4 months old) were orphaned when their mothers were ripped away from them and sold to slaughter. They were only saved when a woman running the auction house insisted that she was buying them – no matter what. She couldn’t stand the thought of those poor babies being forced to go through the ordeal that was their destiny if they were also sold into slaughter. She then agreed to sell them to a veterinarian with the Cloud Foundation, who were the ones that were first informed of the secret roundup and sale. The Cloud Foundation tried everything possible to buy the horses (at way more than they had paid), but the auction house would not budge (9 times out of 10 kill buyers will sell since slaughter is all about money). For updates and photos of the beautiful foals check out the Cloud Foundation’s website. They are on the frontlines of rescuing the wild horses and burros and fighting for them in court. They are a great foundation….. donate and help them in the fight if you can…..

  7. Marilyn Wilson   April 20, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    BLM had it all arranged w the Livestock dept., the kb and Bourvy, the gal at Bourvy stated that “they” were rounded up for slaughter and “that’s what they’re going to get”.

  8. Marilyn Wilson   April 20, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    Down w BLM and welfare ranchers,!

  9. G braun   April 20, 2014 at 9:01 pm

    The BLM is a total joke. They act independent of the wishes of the people . Another government farce and waste! No one does anything but talk……

  10. morgansinkc   April 20, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    Bring our 41 horse back, BLM!


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