Program to Save Horses Dooms Them
By Martha Mendoza, Associated Press writer
RENO, Nev. — A multimillion-dollar federal program created to save the lives of wild horses is instead channeling them by the thousands to slaughterhouses where they are chopped into cuts of meat. Among those profiting from the slaughter are employees of the Bureau of Land Management, the federal agency that administers the program.
These are the conclusions of an Associated Press investigation of the U.S. Wild Horse and Burro Program, which has rounded up 165,000 animals and spent $250 million since it was created by Congress 25 years ago. The program was intended to protect and manage wild horses on public lands, where they compete for resources with grazing cattle. The idea: Gather up excess horses and offer them to the public for adoption.
However, nothing in the law prevents the new owners from selling the horses to slaughterhouses once they take title to them. It is common for horses to go to slaughter when they grow old or fall lame, but nearly all former BLM horses sent to slaughterhouses are young and healthy, according to slaughterhouse operators. <<READ MORE>>