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42


Where Have All The Horses Gone? by "Calamity" Cate Crismani


Did you know that in the last forty years 50% of the world's wild species has been decimated? Wiped off the planet. Never to be seen again except in books or on the internet. In one word, extinct. It is a fact. Another fact, the decimation is still going on now taking its toll on the wild horses and burros roaming freely on the ranges in ten states in the U.S.A. by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) under the Department of Interior (DOI). These are the very same government departments that are suppose to manage the public lands for diversity and multiple use. The public lands. The very departments tasked with protecting and preserving the wild horses and burros and their freedom to exist on public lands un-harassed, according to The Wild Horse Annie Act of 1959 (TWHA Act) and the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 (WFRH&B Act). The latter was signed into law by Richard M. Nixon, our president at that time.


Both the Wild Horse Annie Act and the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act were put in place to stop aggressive and inhumane roundups of these wild animals while granting them the legal right to live freely, un-harassed, on public lands. So what went wrong? The BLM produced its own video to justify these brutal roundups. According to the video, in the ‘50s, they employed small planes. TWHA Act of 1959 effectively banned the use of small planes to conduct the roundups. A few short years later, and currently, helicopters are being used, replacing small planes, to continue the roundups. These helicopters are owned by private individuals, contracted by the BLM at exorbitant rates, paid for by the taxpayers, you and me. Statistics reveal there are more wild horses and burros in short-term holding pens than exist freely in the wild. These captured horses are being sustained by the almighty tax dollar as well which amounts to millions every year.


To add insult to injury, the WFRH&B 1971 Act was amended in the eleventh hour by Senator Burns who slipped an omnibus clause into it without public input, knowledge or approval. This clause stated that captured wild horses and burros could be sold "without restriction". Those two words changed the intention and purpose of the WFRH&B Act and opened the door for "kill buyers" to purchase the once free roaming wild horses and burros for slaughter and human consumption overseas. Yup, people in parts of Europe and Asia eat horse meat. Although there are no horse slaughter houses in the U.S.A., yet, the kill buyers figured out a way around that one.


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