Going Green

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Reason Wild Horses are a Problem

The real problem is the horse slaughter ban passed by Congress. The BLM is being overrun by feral horses -- horses that people have released into the wild because they no longer wanted to care for them. Our country has a serious problem with these feral horses -- and that's just what they are -- the glamorous "wild mustang" of the Old West is a fiction today. Most of the horses running wild across our country were from poor stock to begin with. The better animals are kept and the worthless ones released into the wild because there is NO MARKET for them! To fix this problem we MUST allow domestic horse slaughter plants to operate.

Nevada: Costs Threaten Wild Horses


Anonymous said...

This would really be hilarious if you weren’t serious. Congress has passed no such ban. The legislation is still pending. The kill houses were shut down by individual state laws in Texas and Illinois. Your comments on the wild horses are just plain absurd. Please do some research and then publish the correct information – not more pro slaughter fiction. If you think slaughter is the answer, please explain why the horses aren’t going to slaughter now. Anyone wishing to send their horse to slaughter can still do so which just makes your comments all the more ridiculous.


Chris McClure aka Panhandle Poet said...

Where do they send them Vicki?

Tanya said...

The slaughter houses are still open in Canada and Mexico, so the horses are still being killed inhumanely still to this day. The writer of this has not done the required research to be educated on this subject. I would like to know just where the "feral" horses are and just remember these horses helped us settle these lands and they deserve respect for what has been done in the past. If you can point me to photo's of feral horses that are being released I would be more willing to believe you but until then I say let the mustangs live, stop inhumanely killing America's horses and lets get the AHSPA passed in 2009. I have a website for you (although I doubt you will read the information provided) http://www.commonhorsesense.net

Chris McClure aka Panhandle Poet said...

Tanya: They can be found in most of the National forests now -- most of them starving. I just recently spent a week in Georgia. State officials there told me there were numerous horses that had been released into much of the forest land in the Southeast.

Why don't you quote me the regulations on exporting horses for slaughter? You can export show animals with no problem. It's amazing how many "show" animals are now crossing the border. There IS NO domestic market for unwanted horses.

Where do you think wild horses came from in the first place? They were escapees. Do you know the definition of feral?

Wikipedia: A feral organism is one that has escaped from domestication and returned, partly or wholly, to its wild state. The introduction of feral animals or plants, like any introduced species, can disrupt ecosystems and may, in some cases, contribute to extinction of indigenous species.

I was recently at a BLM facility near Kearney, Nebraska, in which "wild" horses are held pending adoption. They are beyond full. No one wants them. They must continually thin the populations running on BLM land due to the damage they cause the environment. No one wants them.

Or, if you want them, I'm sure they would be happy to help you out.

What do you do with a horse when he has passed his useful life? Keep feeding him until he dies of old age? They aren't pets. They are (or should be) working animals.

I understand your sentiment for them. I love horses and have worked with them and been around them all of my life. There is nothing worse than watching a horse slowly die or become so crippled with arthritis they can hardly move. For many "horse lovers" it is difficult to know what to do with animals that they can no longer afford to keep because feed prices have gone sky high, their grocery bills are higher, their vehicles burn high-priced gasoline, and they have to make a choice. It would be great if they could sell their old horse that is no longer useful, but there is no market for them since the slaughter plants are closed. Believe it or not, many have been turned loose to "run" free on federal and state lands -- until they die of malnutrition.

Have you ever seen "wild" horses? They are a mangey mix of everything from Thoroughbreds to Clydesdales to Shetlands. They are in-bred mutts. They ARE NOT the glamorous wild mustang of history. They are mostly escapees from ranch stock -- feral horses.

Anonymous said...

Chris, you don’t send them anywhere. When it’s time to end your horse’s life, you have him euthanized. Don’t say you love horses and then condone butchering them alive. Please give us the location of the abandoned horses in Georgia or the officials you spoke to. We have an investigative team that will investigate and send rescues if the claims are valid. Every horse has an owner and it is the owner’s responsibility to care for their horse. If they are abandoning their horses, they are committing crimes and should be reported to the authorities.

Do I understand you correctly that as long as you can use a horse, you can afford to feed and care for him? Since you are using him, he is obviously doing something of value for you, perhaps that earns a living for you or enables you to earn a living. Are you saying that you can’t take $300 of what he earned and give him a humane death in return for the years of service? That’s some kind of love.

As for the BLM, why are they rounding up horses? The horses were doing just fine on their own. There weren’t any problems until they started all the round-ups. Oh, I forgot. The cattle ranchers want them off the land because the 30,000 wild horses are doing more damage than the 6 MILLION cattle that are on the land. Do you and the BLM really think the public is that stupid? How about taking a few million of the cattle off the land? Our tax dollars are going to the BLM to protect the horses, not extinct them.

Anonymous said...

Chris McClure (aka panhandle poet):

Your ignorance about our wild horses is so obvious it barely merits a response.

If you want to be taken seriously, Wikipedia is the LAST source you should quote. Wikipedia is merely the opinions of the internet public with no substantiation.

You need to do some credible research regarding feral horses vs. WILD horses.

Mustangs have long been considered the most intelligent and loyal horses by those persons who have had the honor of adopting them.

Lastly, please consider whom is the invasive species; 6,000,000 recently introduced cattle to our PUBLIC lands, or the mustangs whom have traversed our PUBLIC lands for millennium doing these lands no harm.

Obviously, you have not seen the videos of these amazing creatures, who have been exploited through two world wars.... who willingly gave their lives for us! One of the reasons you can claim the US as a free country is due to the mortality of war horses who gave their life for YOU!

Your lack of any trivial appreciation for the sacrifice of their lives is evident in your disgusting diatribe.

blueprints said...

Have you seen the Mustang Challenges that have been held around the US? (A competition in which 30 trainers are given 90 days to train a wild horse.) Many of the trainers are buying their mustangs back because they are such wonderful horses. The rest are being bought for very good amounts by the public. Just because the mustang is under marketed by our US gov't doesn't mean that they are not wonderful horses. Don't forget the number of prisons that also work with mustangs and also teach the inmates a trade and respect for animals. When is a win-win a bad thing?

Chris McClure aka Panhandle Poet said...

Vicki, Mari and Blueprints: I'm curious, have any of you actually seen the "wild" horses -- either in the wild or in captivity? Do you own any horses?

Mari: I have seen movies glamorizing wild horses most of my life -- everything from Hollywood hits to documentaries.

Anonymous said...

Chris, what does having seen the horses in person or owning a horse have to do with anything? Any American can research and find the facts. There is the Cloud Foundation, Wild Horse Global Project and a host of researchers like Valerie James-Patton that have more information and facts than I could gather from seeing them in person.

What does either have to do with the fact that there are millions of cattle on the land that belongs to the horses? They were there long before the BLM and cattle and it is a fact that the horses were not having problems until the BLM and cattle ranchers came along. Facts are facts and seeing the horses in person doesn’t change the facts.

Barbara said...

I have 2 wild horses I rescued from starving that an "adopter had. Wild horses are not feral . They are a re-introduced species by the Spanish and originated in America . This has been proven by DNA and carbon tests.
Welfare ranchers get $500 million( a half billion ) in subsidies and have caused over-grazing of our public lands with 6 million cattle abd sheep. Roundups cost millions too. Leave the wild horses alone and return the ones in holding facilites to their lawful places onb OUR public lands. These horses belong to all Americans and have served us and are a symbol of our freedom.

SP111 said...

Not only have I seen wild horses I own 3. They are wonderful and Chris you are either ill informed or so biased that your opinion has no value.

Lin said...

The unwanted horse, aka over breeding and now we have cattle grazing on wild horse property. WHY
You are not fooling any one with your ridiculous reasons for this, all about money. . The whole horse situation in this country is despicable. BLM get the cattle off their land and find people that know and care about the wild horses to do your job, you can't. Horse owners that think horse slaughter is a easy way out or I can get a few bucks for that cull, start becoming responsible for your horses and that means providing him/her with a dignified death, not sending them to get butchered alive and becoming hamburger for Europe. Call a vet and have the horse put down. Horse Slaughter is an American disgrace.... Free roaming and domesticated.

Anti-Fur Society said...

If you want to know what they are doing to our horses, check this link:


This pro-slaughter comment is more than absurd, it is an attempt to justify the unjustiable by someone who cannot be considered a decent human being.

Dave D said...

Number of Livestock on BLM-managed Lands

Authorized grazing on public lands has declined in recent years.
The Bureau does not make an annual national “count” of the livestock that graze on BLM-managed lands because the actual number of livestock grazing on public lands on any single day varies throughout the year and livestock are often moved from one grazing allotment to another. So an aggregate head count would provide very little information on overall livestock use. Instead, the BLM compiles information on the number of AUMs used each year, which takes into account both the number of livestock and the amount of time they spend on public lands. (For the definition of an AUM, see previous section.) Over time there has been a gradual decrease in the amount of grazing use authorized by the BLM, and that trend continues today. Authorized (as distinguished from actual) grazing use on public lands has declined from about 22 million AUMs in 1941 to 12.5 million AUMs authorized in 2008. In most years, the actual use of forage is less than the potential amount available for use because forage amounts and demands depend on several factors, such as drought, wildfire, and market conditions, as noted earlier regarding annual public land grazing levels. In 2008, the number of AUMs actually used on BLM-managed land was 8.6 million.

Dave D said...

Decline Vicki "DECLINE" in BLM land use

Dave D said...

You people need to see the FACTS.
we promote facts of the situation based on reality not emotion or certian peoples ideology.

Dave D said...

All the facts that debunk your silly and non-factual comments are readily available on the BLM site. Oh yeah, I am sure you will have a conspiracy theory about that too. The fact is a large portion of the BLM's land is mountain ranges that are only good for summer pasturing. So with that in mind the horses would have to be rounded up and moved to winter ground. Your not dealing with idiots here. We have practical experiance with all of these issue's which I am sure you do not. If you did, you would not be so rediculous in your "Factual" comments.
Having actual experiance I have seen grazing land that was once used for cattle or sheep be turned over to wild horses. All the deer,elk and most other wildlife moved out of the area that had flourished when cattle or sheep grazed that land. You sit in your house and lay judgement on the rest of the people of this great country and try to force your will on decent people that make they're living with livestock. When in all actuality we are the ones that care most for our animals. vicki, you are definatly in Wayne Pacelles pocket or trying to get there!

Dave D said...

Chris, I have dealt with most of this group on another site and they don't seem to care about reality or facts, all you can do with them is try to prove to others who are reading these blogs that they are full of shit. It is useless to argue as the last site turned into quoting religeon so much that the conversation got "Way Out There". I tried to get reasonable answers and solutions but it was not going to happen.

neverfreeinamerica said...

Dave D. and Chris:
This is a highly contentious subject to write about, and, at minimum, I have to admire your chutzpah, but you must admit to fashioning inflammatory statements, designed to fluff the feathers of wild horse advocates.
Here is the link to most recent information in the American Museum of Natural History’s (AMNH) article on the horse as native… http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1134/is_4_117/ai_n25403187

The AMNH is holding a major exhibition on The Horse that runs from May 2008 to January 2009: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1134/is_4_117/ai_n25403194?tag=artBody;col1. For that exhibition, a major article was written titled “Hoofprints: since their domestication, horses have transformed people's lives—leaving a subtle trail of clues along the way”… http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1134/is_4_117/ai_n25403186?tag=artBody;col1. Grist for your answer mill.
Firstly, the 32,000+ wild horses in long-term holding did not ask to be there; secondly, many (if not most) were rounded up based on unscientific range monitoring data and inaccurate population censusing techniques; thirdly, many Wyoming wild horses were gathered under a “consent decree” between Governor Dave Freudenthal and the Bureau of Land Management, which means that, at least, some animals were and are being removed for legal and political reasons, not linked to a “thriving natural ecological balance”; fourthly, while the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act allows for the euthanasia of healthy horses, at the discretion of the Secretary of the Interior, the term “euthanasia” means “good death” [Greek euthanasi , a good death : eu-, eu- + thanatos, death.] (Please refer to the Code of Federal Regulations below my e-mail signature for that CFR section in law.) The connotation of a good death is an act to end pain and suffering. Healthy, robust wild horses do not fall within that category, and the BLM may have some legal issues to deal with on the basis of that very definition.
Lastly, you may not be familiar with immunocontraceptive control, by way of porcine zona pellucida (PZP). It is a safe and effective vaccine, available to the BLM for 20 years now, for controlling wild horse and burro populations, where needed. However, for reasons unknown, the BLM has chosen not to implement a strong fertility control program, and now they are considering “euthanizing” many horses that should have never been conceived and born. This is gross mismanagement at its worst
Incompetency should not be rewarded… and those involved ought to be taken to the woodshed.
I am afraid it is obvious, at least to me, that you are behind in your knowledge of current mtDNA analysis and paleontological evidence, clearly showing that horses are a reintroduced native wildlife species in North America.
Also, since you rely on "facts" so much, how about considering that the BLM constantly rounds up perfectly healthy horses ? Read "Shy Boy" from Monty Roberts. You'd learn a great deal to expand your mind that has tunnelvision by the dollar sign in cattle industry.

Anonymous said...

It’s nice to see you are still spewing your dribble, Dave. The facts are that the land belongs to the wild horses and they were on the land before the BLM existed or the cattle ranchers decided to take it over. My tax dollars are supposed to be used to protect them. You can say whatever you want but it doesn’t change the facts. I didn’t say the cattle have increased or decreased. I said there are MILLIONS of cattle on the land that don’t belong there. You are definitely the master of twisting words. Fortunately, everyone sees right through you.


Anonymous said...

Dave, BTW, if you did any research you would know that HSUS hasn't posted a blasted thing about the wild horses. I don't know why you continue to intimate that I'm in their pocket. If I was working for HSUS or any organization, I'd say so. I'm on the board of one rescue and that's the only organization affiliation I have so please stop with the comments.

neverfreeinamerica said...


I congratulate you on your fantastic website. Dave D. and Chris would benefit greatly reading up on it. Also, if HSUS would be more inclined to help the wild horses they wouldn't languish and suffer the way they do. HSUS has it's own agenda just like PETA does.
People like Dave D. and Chris do make themselves look foolish without noticing. Also fingerpointing at best seems to be their only argument. BLM mismanaged for years, studies have shown plenty of data and facts thereof. I can only hope the mustangs will gain back the status it once had, the freedom that has been taken from them, due to deceptive practices to the public and ill-minded money-driven individuals with no consideration of the truth nor the real facts.
Keep up your good work - your voice will be heard by those who care, and there are plenty of us !

Mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andy said...


I totally agree with you. Being a native Nevadan, I have seen firsthand the range they desroy, and the feedlots and other livestock facilities packed tight with them. I think alot of the people posting comments here has the "Spirit" mentality, where the wild horses are these majestic animals. You hit it on the head when you stated that the horses out there are "feral" from a long line of undesirable working stock. As there may be a few animals that with intense work and patience can be broke, there are many that can not. As with any other wildlife, steps have to be taken to control populations to conserve our rangeland resources. Here in Colorado, they cull the elk herd in Rocky Mountain National Park and donate the meat to the homeless shelters in Denver. Maybe we could do the same with these horses, which would help fight hunger and save the public lands many of us love to use. Again Chris, thanks for bringing this issue up, and I hope some of those commenting get the opprotunity to go to Nevada and see the situation firsthand.

Anonymous said...

Andy, I'd like to suggest that the 6 million cattle be removed and their meat be donated to the hungry. We don't eat our horses in America but we do eat beef.

Why do feel that the horses that were on this land long before the cattle and BLM should be removed but it's okay for 6 million cattle? Surely you don't think that 16,000-19,000 horses are doing more damage than the millions of cattle?

Andy said...


I agree we eat beef, I had a very nice steak last night from my family's ranch. BTW- The "Cattle Free by '93" campain fell flat 15 years ago, and no one has tried it since.

In Nevada, over 80% of the land is owned by the Federal government, hence the term "public lands". The grazing rights to these lands are leased out to ranchers. The amount of animals and length they are are allowed to graze on each allotment is determined by Range Conservationists, people who have a degree in the subject of rangeland. They have the final say on when the cattle are moved off and on. You have to remember that the condition of the range directly impacts the profit of the rancher, so he wants to keep it as pristine as possible.

Horses on the other hand are not controlled, they are allowed to multiply and graze until they have wiped out beneficial plant species and noxious weeds are allowed to invade, then the horses starve and die without a food supply. These horses are not the original mustangs, but the "culls" that were up to being working cow horses, or turned loose by people who can afford to keep their pleasure horse.

You also have to consider that a cattle's digestive system is better suited to digesting low-protein, high fiber diets better than horses, so in turn they get more from less plants.

And yes, they are doing more damage, I can attest to this from personal experience. My career deals with conserving natural resources, and I have spent my whole life outdoors, either in a field or out on the range either hunting wildlife or searching for cows. The thing about cows is that they tend to scatter, where as the horses travel in packs, meaning a larger group of hooves to trample plants and compact the ground so water can't be absorbed and beneficial plants can't break though to grow, which opens up areas to be invaded by noxious weeds suited to flourish in disturbed ground.

I think you need to look at your numbers again. Read the article chris posted since he blogged on this one. For a lark, vist Palamino Valley and see how many horses are stuffed in those pens, then take a trip down Highway 50 past Fallon to Dixie Valley, get off the paved road and see how many six foot tall piles of horse manure you see and count the ribs on the poor horses you see.

Mike said...

A couple of nights ago, there was a History Channel program on horses and they devoted an entire segment to wild mustangs.

They showed the prison in Colorado where the inmates break the horses and mentioned that adoptions have fallen off by a large margin and the facility was having to increase the number of holding areas.

They also showed a restaurant in Canada that served horse meat; showed a guy cutting off a slice from a big slab of horsemeat and eating it, even giving a bite to his wife/girlfriend.

Made me hungry, actually.

Anonymous said...

Andy, there are several article on my website on this page http://www.vickitobin.com/id22.html that dispute your comments. In particular, please read the article half way down the page by Duane Burright. There is plenty of resource material in his article to back his comments.

You know as well as I do that this has nothing to do with the welfare of the horses. The BLM is in the pockets of the ranchers and they will not stop until the horse are gone. They want the land for the cattle and that is the bottom line. With the new administration, we expect to see changes and have the land returned to the horses. The BLM is worthless as is exists today. They complain they can't feed the horses and then plan to round up more. Everyone knows what they're doing and it will stop. Mrs. Pickens has saved the horses that are currently in holding pens and we are hopeful with the new administration that they will stay empty.

SP111 said...

It seems to me that the only real solution to the conflict is to just remove all the cattle so that there will be no special interest in this land.
I was satisfied to have the horses share the land with the cattle but the cattleman aren't good at sharing apparently so they should go. All the cattle must go and at this point I'm willing to ask my Congressmen to do just that. No more cattle on public lands! That's it, time to pressure the pushy guy.

Chris McClure aka Panhandle Poet said...

SP111: Where do you live? Wherever that is, it is time to return it to whatever animals occupied it before you did -- or any men for that matter. Same for you Vicki. In fact, why don't we return the continent to the way it was before men crossed the Bering Strait to settle here. But, I don't think there would be any horses here if we did. Eohippus died out a long, looong time ago.

Anonymous said...

Chris, the privately owned cattle do not belong on public land. They belong on their owner's property. No other privately owned animals are allowed on the land so why should cattle be any different? That land belongs to the horses and our tax dollars are going to the BLM to protect them.

Exactly what right to the cattle ranchers have to over populate and decimate the land with privately owned animals? Get the cattle off the land; they don't belong there.

Chris McClure aka Panhandle Poet said...

Vicki: Those cattlemen pay a lease to graze their cattle there. As a taxpayer, I like to see that. The feral horses do not pay a lease to graze there. Perhaps if the "Save the Horses" groups would like to lease the BLM land for the horses to graze I would feel differently. By-the-way, if you were to lease that land, you would find that there are very strict guidelines on the number of animal units that may be grazed. Unlike "wild" horses, the cattlemen must adhere to those guidelines which are set by Conservationists in the employee of our federal government.

Anonymous said...

Lease? You call $1.36 a lease? Privately owned animals should be on private land. Period. The federal land is for wild life and wild horses. There weren't any problems until the cattle ranchers added millions of cattle and the BLM took over. You will never convince anyone that the cattle belong on the land. The 1971 law was enacted to protect the horses. Obviously, the morons at the BLM can't read or don't understand the law. Oh, I forgot, they're paid by the cattle ranchers to not understand the law.

Now that the BLM has been exposed, let's see what happens with the new administration. Of course, they way the cattle are decimating the land, this discussion will be moot in a few years.

Anonymous said...

The slaughter of horses are still allowed but it is wrong in someways. you shouldn't just kill a horse just because you don't like them. Wild horses are suppose to be wild, they are not horses turned out in the wild by people.They are born into the wild for centries. Horses were here way before american people. Mustangs "wild horses you may recall them" ran this ground for decades. , they seen a lot of great american history and exspiranced it, and you want to take that way.... and why would you? Mustangs know humans are a threat to them just like the idians did, thats why they have took for the mountains. they are trying to protect their breed and heard, like a mother would protect her young and you say they are a pest. well i think you NEED to think again because YOU ARE THE PEST! Your coming into their land and you are distorying them. Wild horses are the most beautiful animal of the wild. there is also places for them such as ranches. Ranches like mine would love to have mustangs on it before seeing them disappear but it cost money to get them and another place is the WILD where they belong. so if you don';t like having wild horses here in america all i got to say is well tough, to bad, just deal with it because their not going anywhere!

Mike said...

I have a subscription to this thread and am notified when a new post is added. The last three, as you can see, look to be Japanese spam.

Rene said "Horses were here way before american people". Sorry, but there were no horses here before Europeans settled this continent.

The BLM had a wild mustang/burro sale just last week in Lubbock and they didn't sell them all. The holding areas are full to the brim. If you have a ranch, surely you could afford a couple hundred bucks or less to buy a wild horse.

T. Boone Picken's wife is trying to help. A
Dramatic Rescue for Doomed Wild Horses of the West

According to that article, it costs 20 million/year just to feed and pen the horses. Personally, I'd rather see that money go to decrease my taxes.

(just wish her old man -Pickens- wasn't trying to rape us all with his BS wind generators and his grab for Panhandle water)

I'm glad there are wild horses on public lands, but I'd rather see a bunch of drilling rigs on them instead.

Chris McClure aka Panhandle Poet said...

Sorry, Mike. I hopefully have it fixed now.

Mike said...

No need to apologize to me, Chris. I just wanted to stay on top of this one.

It's obvious those who condemn you are speaking from emotion rather than logic. As with any wild animal, sometimes the species has to be culled to maintain a healthy population.

These people talk a good game, but like Rene, who has land and COULD do her share, they don't do anything but gripe about it.

I despise the PETA bunch and those others who put animals ahead of humans.

Anonymous said...

OK if wild horses are a problem then why do we need to slughter them. Why cant we catch them and and put them in shealters. Then the shealters could nurse them back to health and sell them. So start thinking about things from someone eles's prespective and try to find a more humane way of doing things.