The U.S. government continues to waste taxpayer dollars terrorizing wildlife on public lands. Federal land “managers” have concluded another roundup of wild horses in Northern Nevada with the removal of about 800 animals–some 200 more than planned–citing their poor health and risk of starvation, but the latest such cleansing drew additional criticism. How many of these animals will be sent to slaughter and toward the plates of consumers who think they are eating beef?
Nearly 800 horses were removed from the Diamond Complex north of Eureka during the recent stampede, according to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) officials said. The agency claims that it was forced to exceed the original target of about 600 horses because of reduced forage due to last year’s drought as well as stress from recent snowstorms, officials said.
Doug Furtado, manager of the BLM’s Battle Mountain District, said last month’s string of storms forced horses off the mountain and into lower areas that lacked forage.
“Unfortunately, based on the overall poor body condition and lack of forage, and understanding that more than six weeks of winter remains, we decided to remove horses that were struggling or suffering,” he said. “We did the right thing for the well-being of the horses.”
But Anne Novak of California-based Protect Mustangs was skeptical. “They always have some excuse to take wild horses off the range – to make it easier to industrialize our open space,” she said. “They have already taken way too many off the range. If we don’t have enough wild horses on the range we risk losing herds.”
BLM officials said the roundup was necessary to prevent further deterioration of the range and to protect an “overpopulation” of horses that face limited food and water.
Horses removed from the range are supposedly transported to BLM facilities in Nevada and Utah, where they are prepared for adoption or transferred to long-term pastures in the Midwest. Some horses, however, are unaccounted for and are feared to have been sent to slaughter in Mexico or Canada. Horses slaughtered in those countries are destined for the plates of consumers, who don’t always know what they are eating, as documented recently by the horse-meat scandal sweeping Europe.