The idea of euthanizing horses is controversial and likely would require congressional approval, and horse enthusiasts say they are appalled.
By Brandon Loomis | The Republic
Federal officials count at least 67,000 horses and burros on public lands
Bureau of Land Management holds 45,000 in captivity
Advocates worried that many horses would be sold for slaughter
A federal advisory committee recommends selling or killing thousands of wild horses to protect Western rangelands from overgrazing.
The National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board recommended that those wild horses and burros rounded up for range management and later deemed unadoptable be sold “without limitation” or “destroyed in the most humane manner possible.”
“Wild equine are a symbol of the American Frontier and likely descendants of the horses and donkeys that helped forge this great nation. As such, these amazing creatures capture the hearts of many.
“Their management has always been controversial to the extent that they compete for limited resources with livestock that working people depend on to make a living and to feed our own population. The enormity of this problem today is the result of poor policies and half measures taken over decades, and it will only continue to inflame tensions between wild horse lovers and ranchers while costing the federal government taxpayer money until a compromise can be reached.
“As in any situation, a true compromise will likely leave both sides of the equation somewhat dissatisfied. A hybrid solution of culling or selling off older animals in captive herds while containing the growth of wild population and implementing a new and aggressive adoption program to help healthy captive animals find private homes is likely the only way to reduce the cost to the taxpayer and secure a future for free ranging wild mustangs and burros.
“I am cautiously optimistic that our government, seemingly asleep behind the wheel on so many fronts, will wake up and tackle this issue pragmatically.|
~ Adam Trenk