It is a mass euthanasia that could take place in the USA. A group of experts has recommended to the government to slaughter 45,000 wild horses currently managed by the Bureau of Land Management ‘s National Wild Horses “(BLM).
While the latter lived on public land, they would have been moved by the BLM, as the years went, to housing infrastructure to make room for livestock. With few natural predators, wild horse herds can double in size in four years. The organization, which manages, protects and controls wild horses and donkeys, has been given permission to move the horses to ensure the good of public pastures.
The problem of the systematic slaughter of wild horse populations by the meat industry is largely unknown to the general public, and for good reason: few people talk about it. Recently, a Bureau of Land Management research firm, abbreviated as BLM , recently advocated a radical decision to remove the last mustangs in North America.
The BLM is a body that reports directly to the US Department of the Interior, and its task is primarily to manage public lands. This large-scale massacre would aim, according to them, to make room for super-cattle farms, very high yield, spreading for miles.
While the barons of agribusiness are rubbing their hands, advocates of the animal cause are appalled by this “study”, and are trying by all means to find an alternative to prevent the vote.
What exactly is the problem of the mustangs, so that some want to see them disappear without further trial? It’s very simple: these animals live for the most part on flat land in the public domain … but like many things in this world, you have to profit from it, profit, and what does not fit in the boxes is considered as a “harmful” thing, which should be eliminated!
The wild animals that live in these plains are “paid” by the hunters who kill them, through their hunting licenses that they must renew each year. The place occupied by livestock is “paid for” by the meat industry : $ 1.35 (about € 1 20) per head of cattle, to be able to graze on land belonging to the public domain.
But who pays for wild horses? No one. They just take the place, do not go into any box, and worse: do not bring money back to anyone
And that is what annoys the big ranchers: the wild horses occupy, like the cows and the sheep, a “Unit of Animal Space” per month (AUM), without bringing anything to them … On the other hand, each deleted horse releases a new unit of space for a sheep, an ox, or another head of cattle.
A wild horse whose origins go back to the Conquest of the West
Mustangs are wild horses that live in the northwestern United States. They are the descendants of domestic horses imported by the first Spanish settlers and then escaped before gradually returning to the wild (a process known as marronage), to the point of forming a new population. The word “mustang” comes from the Spanish “mustango”, which means a stray horse, lost, without owner. Their diverse origins make their dresses can have a wide variety of colors because they are by nature “mixed”.
Most of the time, the horses returned to the wild when their riders died during a fight, or simply when they escaped by jumping the fence. The horse being a sociable animal, horses without owners having returned to freedom were found to constitute true herds. Soon, they reproduced freely, forming a new “race” of wild horses over the centuries!
In the same way that the Mustang horses have adapted to the climate of the great plains of North America, there are also wild donkeys, also old beasts of burden freed from human domestication. Americans call these wild donkeys the “burros” of the Spanish word which simply means “donkey”.
Cowboys, Indians, animal meal and slaughterhouses
We all know, at least by name, those proud indomitable horses that are the mustangs. They are part of a rich collective imaginary depicting cowboys, Indians, steam trains and herds of bison running in the vast meadows.
What is less known, on the other hand, is that the relationship between the man and the wild horse are far from having always corresponded to this image of Great Western American Epinal, imprinted with romance, friendship and mutual respect between the man and the animal. It’s not fair Luky Luke and his trusty horse Jolly Jumper.
No, the history of mustangs in the United States is a bloody story , tainted by several massacres, and continues until today in an endless controversy over the legitimacy or otherwise of the presence of these free horses in the land public.
Of the 2 million wild horses that still inhabited the Great Plains in the 19th century, more than 1 million animals were captured and requisitioned to fight during the First World War and were mostly converted into cannon fodder. It was then that began a series of rather insignificant abuses. During the 20th century, many horses were slaughtered by large companies to produce animal feed : this was how large quantities of industrial feed, animal meal, pig pie, food were made. for chickens but also for dogs for domestic dogs. And that’s without counting on the many horses poisoned or killed on sight by the owners of large livestock farms, to make room for their animals …
Wild donkeys also suffered the same abuse, although their populations were still fewer.
Thus in the 70s, there were only 270,000 mustangs left in the 2 million of the previous century, which could be similar, in human terms, to a real genocide.
Legislation, protection, controversy and arrangements
In 1971 passed a federal law supposed to protect the mustang and prohibit its hunting … Unfortunately, it seems that the BLM is trying to come back on this law.
The mustang horse is indeed a controversial subject in the United States: if they represent a cultural heritage of the time of the conquest of the West for those who defend them, the mustangs pose an ecological problem for their critics.
It is true that as a non-native animal, accidentally introduced by man, the wild horse has very few predators and tends to reproduce … For their detractors, they degrade grazing and compete with livestock and wildlife for food.
However, the environmental impact of intensive livestock farming is far greater than that of wild horses. Rather ironic, when we know that those who want to get rid of mustangs are just for the most part of agribusinesses looking to expand their potential territory to raise their livestock! We do not want to call them hypocrites, but all the same, this concern on their part may seem relatively doubtful …
To overcome the problem of horse breeding and population increase in the absence of predators, a large capture program has been put in place. Horses are then offered for adoption. However, as there are many more captured horses than adopters, some are relaunching the debate on the euthanasia of these animals …
Captured animals are massaged in gigantic sheds where temperatures can reach unbearable levels. Regularly, large auctions are made. In fact, as there are many horses and few volunteers to acquire them, there are obviously overflows : meat manufacturers take advantage, and many mustang horses end up at the slaughterhouse to provide horse butchers who can buy meat cheaply.
The BLM says that it does not send horses to the slaughterhouse … But in fact, a lot of the animals are on the horse meat market.
A recent survey revealed that horses were mass-bought at very low prices by Colorado-based traders, who then sold them to Mexican slaughterhouses.
Now, fewer than 50,000 mustangs still exist in the wild, after the many populations forcibly displaced private land since the law of 1971. It is the latter survivors who are now threatened with death.
“With critically low populations of wild horses, the planned slaughter is going to be a real genocide,” said IDA, an activist animal rights organization.
“The BLM continues to persecute wild horses through continuous helicopter raids. They try to repel them by confining them in certain areas so that the public lands can be used by the big meat companies. “
Now, according to group spokespersons, there is only one wild horse for 30 head of cattle. And the huge ranches that provide the meat factories have of course an even stronger impact on the environment!
There are many alternatives to the systematic slaughter of horses to control populations: for 20 years, environmental preservation groups have proposed to act directly on the control of animal fertility, by sterilizing some of the individuals, in order to limit their reproduction. But these alternative solutions have been ignored deliberately for more than 20 years, for a very simple reason: it is complicated, it costs more, and of course, it is not profitable!
For animal advocates, some of the mares should be treated with a product that would make them sterile, like a vaccine. But since these products are expensive, the BLM (who still tried them before judging that they were “impractical”) preferred to manually make incisions in the vaginal walls of the mares, to cut or twist the tubes and ovaries with a special tool with a metal chain at the end.
These rather barbaric techniques were halted following a large-scale scandal when it was revealed … Some mares suffered from prolonged bleeding or infections following the operation, could end with a slow and painful death.
Last week, the BLM officially gave up the practice of this kind of operation … to recommend, instead, a large-scale massacre of horses.
According to the animal rights groups in the United States, this alternative could be put into practice anytime, and that is why it is crucial to act as quickly as possible.
The exact timing of the killing has not been decided yet, nor is the manner in which the animals will be killed. That’s why there is still time to raise our voices and draw the attention of the general public to this problem.
Please sign the petition and talk about it. There is still time to save the last survivors of the wild horses of the United States.