“The greatest deterrent
to freedom are men and women of zeal, well-meaning, but
without knowledge or understanding.”
~Justice Louis Brandeis~

"People are so quick to defend their own agendas, but they so often fail to realize we must protect the rights of all if we are to continue to have any rights of our own."

Ranch meaning, in general, any real world dwelling probably not involving full care board. Kind of a rural voice of real horse owners, trainers, traders, auction owners, rodeo contractors, etc.. all of us who have taken a verbal beating and called greedy ass hats. Back at the Ranch contributors, moderators, subjects, and so on, are pro-horse, pro-owner, and pro-slaughter.
Back at the Ranch was formed by a group of like minded horse / livestock owners. It is a place for us to try to educate, a place to vent our frustrations with the current equine industry, a place to share humor and snark, and in general try to open the eyes of the public who seem to be anti-agriculture.We do have a section for comments of course, and if you would like to email us you can do so directly or through the contact us form. We like to hear from our readers. I hope you enjoy reading our blog as much as I enjoy managing it.
Ranch Manager

Thursday, July 23, 2009

41 MUSTANGS......

I don’t know how many of you are old enough to remember the 70s or the 80s. I happen to be old enough to remember both. Velma Bronn Johnston or Wild Horse Annie campaigned for and Congress passed the Free Roaming Wild Horse and Burro Act. I was 12 and thought it was great. I was 12 and thought no horses should ever die. By the time the 80s rolled around I had developed a little different frame of mind.
I came into the business end of horses during the crash of the 80s. The wide spread liquidation of horses. I watched own sons and daughters of household names go to kill. It was a nearly a decade of farm dispersals, and loaded semis. Here is how it all looked statistically. Incidentally
1980 total number of horses slaughtered 274,500
1981 total number of horses slaughtered 219,300
1982 total number of horses slaughtered 149,600
1983 total number of horses slaughtered 398,500
1984 total number of horses slaughtered 105,300
1985 total number of horses slaughtered 128,300
1986 total number of horses slaughtered 202,100
1987 total number of horses slaughtered 275,700
1988 total number of horses slaughtered 331,000
1989 total number of horses slaughtered 348,400
1990 total number of horses slaughtered 345,700
1991 total number of horses slaughtered 276,900
1992 total number of horses slaughtered 246,400
1993 total number of horses slaughtered 167,310
The total number of horses slaughtered per year leveled off and declined after 1995 to around 100,000 or less.
I think this is probably what caused the lack of unwanted horses in the 90s Alex Brown was referring to in his article stating we could get along without slaughter. Well, yes we nearly did for a few years in the later 90s. We were down to killing only around 50 to 60 thousand head a year.
I was selling horses throughout the 90s and it was very, very good for quite a few years. Kind of thought it might be the reward for those who did manage to survive the 80s. The economy was going well, the liquidation of horses had caused a shortage of the good kind, people could now afford to anti up for something nice and nice was kind of scarce. Point is the good economy and the shortage of horses was responsible for the lack of unwanted horses AND the lower slaughter numbers. Not the lower slaughter number……….so on……..
Why didn’t this mass liquidation of horses trigger full court press for congress to change the laws back then? Why now?
Now even traditional meat animal agriculture is studying the effect of an animal’s comfort and humane treatment on carcass quality. Most livestock production associations have implemented their own quality control, packer incentive programs, and fund research programs. A fascinating person who has contributed greatly to these programs and has done studies on horse slaughter is Temple Grandin please refer to her web site and some very interesting reading. "http://www.templegrandin.com/templehome.html" She also kind of shoots down the “uncaring, unscientific, educationally challenged” animal ag stereotype being pushed around the anti-slaughter sites these days so they prefer not to mention her. If the plants were ever going to become more humane for traditional meat animals or horses it is more likely to happen now than during the bloodbath liquidation of the 80s and early 90s.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has published a final rule Dec. 7, 2001 that establishes minimum standards to ensure the humane movement of equines to slaughtering facilities by way of commercial transportation. These regulations address food, water and rest provided to animals. Owner and shippers of horses are required to take certain actions in loading and transporting the animals, and they must certify that the commercial transportation meets certain requirements. In addition, the regulations prohibit the commercial transportation to slaughtering facilities of horses considered to be unfit for travel, the use of electric prods and, within five years, the use of double-deck trailers. The number of double-deck trailers has been reduced in the last few years, being replaced with single-deck trailers.
This was taken from Web site: "http://www.animalagriculture.org/" inaugural issue of The Equine Heath Report which came out in January 2002.
Even those horrible double deck trailers were going to be phased out by the 2007. This ruling became law in Feb 2002. But even with this ruling in place an APHIS prosecuting violators there was a rush to Congress in 2005. Why now?
41 mustangs, 41 mustangs were sold to slaughter. But first Washington had to get its collective butt in a sling. Bear with me because this is going to get interesting. At least it did to me. I have thought all along the lawmakers in D.C. could care less about the actual horses or people involved with them. This issue has been a sell-out to curry favor among the urban/wall street/celebrity factors who so generously contribute to campaign funds. Here is the not so pretty little industry of no consequence we can do away to make us look good.
The really ironic part of all this…..
I didn’t set out to research this subject or the connection. I was looking for something else entirely but I found…….. a little of the Why now?
April 30, 2004, swimming in a sea of red ink (I think we still are) Lawmakers are skeptical of the Bureau of Land Management's proposal to increase the amount of money spent on wild horse and burro management. Western Republican lawmakers and BLM officials say the populations of wild horses and burros need to decrease. Environmental groups say the agency should reduce the numbers of domestic livestock that, like the wild horses and burros, graze on federal lands. Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont., chairman of the Senate panel that has jurisdiction over the BLM's budget, is concerned about the agency's proposal. "I think what we should do is put some language in this thing that allows the BLM to sell excess wild horses," Burns said. "I'd prefer to sell 'em to whomever. Maybe some of them will end up going to slaughter."
November 24, 2004, In a reversal of three decades of government policy that protected all wild horses, a provision approved by Congress last weekend would allow some of them to be sold to slaughterhouses. The provision, attached to an omnibus spending bill by Senator Conrad Burns, Republican of Montana and chairman of the appropriations subcommittee with responsibility for the Interior Department, requires the sale of wild horses that have been rounded up and are more than 10 years old or have been unsuccessfully offered for adoption three times.
(The Three Strikes rule)
March 21, 2005, The federal Bureau of Land Management says it is selling wild horses to American Indian tribes for the first time. The BLM has sold 141 horses to the Rosebud Sioux in South Dakota and 120 horses to the Three Affiliated Tribes in North Dakota. More sales are planned in the next several weeks, bringing the total to more than 500 horses.
April 26, 2005, The Interior Department has abruptly halted delivery of wild mustangs to buyers while it investigates the slaughter of 41 wild horses in the West this month. The latest horses killed had come from a broker who obtained them from a Native American tribe in South Dakota. The department is also investigating this month's sale of six wild horses to an Oklahoma man and their slaughter.
Well, that didn’t take long……..and neither did this……
April 27, 2005- A coalition of celebrities, race track leaders and others is pressing for action on legislation that would end or limit the slaughter of wild horses Lawmakers have tried for years to stop the killing of wild horses and burros at three U.S. slaughterhouses that send the meat for consumption overseas. The effort gained momentum last year after Congress replaced a 34-year-old ban on selling wild mustangs and burros with a plan that allows the sale of older, unwanted horses.
I just have to comment on this……If the lawmakers have been trying for years to stop the sale of wild horses to slaughterhouses just what was the 34 year old ban Congress repealed last year banning for “ALL THOSE YEARS”???
And on with the, if a little is good a lot is better idea……
One current proposal would stop the commercial sale of wild horses and burros. A second measure would ban the slaughter of horses in the United States. "When you've got a coalition ranging from (country singer) Willie Nelson to ("Desperate Housewives' star) Nicollette Sheridan, we've got something for everyone," said Nancy Perry, the Humane Society of the United States' vice president of government affairs.
Well, not everyone but who’s really listening to those who have any stake in livestock marketing or production these days anyway? She meant they have something for everyone who is anyone…….
April 27, 2005 - The recent slaughter of wild horses sold by the federal government should give momentum to new legislation that would halt the killing of animals that many consider to be an icon of the American West, Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., said. Nevada has the most wild horses of any state, roughly 19,000, according to the Bureau of Land Management. That's more than half of roughly 37,000 total in the West, according to the BLM's February 2004 estimate. Ensign next month plans to introduce a bill that would ban slaughter of horses for human consumption, Ensign said. A similar bill has been introduced in the House. "The love affair that I have with horses is the same as a lot of Americans have had since the beginning of this country," said Ensign, a veterinarian who as a boy rode horses in the Lake Tahoe meadow where the opening credits of the longtime television show "Bonanza" were filmed. The Humane Society of the United States has been flooded with calls, pleading with the group to save the wild horses, said Nancy Perry, vice president of governmental affairs. "This has been an un-American experience these last few weeks, few months," Perry said today. "Our deep concern has turned to outrage and frustration."
May 19, 2005, The federal Bureau of Land Management will announce Thursday it is resuming sales of wild horses with protections to prevent the animals from being sent to slaughter, the agency's director said Wednesday. The agency suspended the sales last month after discovering that 41 animals rounded up from Western rangeland had been sold to an Illinois slaughterhouse and processed for meat. In addition, Ford Motor Co. will pay to transport up to 2,000 horses to Indian reservations and locations run by non-profit organizations. The company will also oversee a "Save the Mustangs" fundraising drive to help groups that adopt the horses pay for their care. Wild horses are "a beautiful symbol of the Wild West" and an "icon" for Ford, said Jon Harmon, a spokesman for the company whose Mustang sports car has been a flagship brand since 1964.
Psst…..It was the Sioux who sold 35 of the 41 to slaughter remember?????
May 20, 2005, House lawmakers voted Thursday to end federal wild horse sales and brushed aside promises of new protections the government put in place this week to prevent animals from being resold for slaughter. A 22-minute debate pitted gruesome images of horses butchered to make a buck against horses left to starve on public lands or penned up in government corrals. "The very notion that the wild American horse will be slaughtered as a food source for foreign gourmets has struck a chord with the American people," said Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., who proposed the sales be ended. The vote was seen as a victory for animal welfare activists. But it might not last long. When the amendment reaches the Senate, Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont., plans "to throw it out." "I'm in the livestock business, and I've bought and sold horses all my life," Burns said Thursday. "Basically, the marketplace works."
Well, may not so much in this case……..
May 29, 2005, The Senate must have been horsing around last year while Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont., slipped a dubious provision lifting the 1971 ban on sales of wild horses into a spending bill. After it was discovered that the sales sent 41 horses to the slaughterhouse, the House voted this month to reinstate the ban, which can be supported on solid grounds. First, there are only 27,000 wild horses and 4,000 wild burros on government land in Western states. Allowing the sale of these animals could endanger the species.
Six months ago they were whining about the increase in the budget to keep the overrun they had in holding pens. Are they “endangered” or hoofed rats which are overrunning the range and costing the taxpayers to feed????? Guess that 10,000 head (lost?) between April 27, 2005 and May 29, 2005 made a BIG DIFFERENCE.
But that was solved in the same debate……. (and this really hurts because I love my Ford trucks)
A compromise could be reached if philanthropists follow the lead of Ford Motor Co., which has set up a donation fund to save these horses. Such action could ease the concerns ranchers have for securing their lands and taxpayers may have with the costly price tag of protecting wild horses.
Now that doesn’t exactly mean will and did but……you get the idea.
June 9, 2005 - The House agreed to ban federal funding for inspectors at horse slaughterhouses and border inspection sites on Wednesday, adding another potential layer of protection for the Nevada's wild horse population. Last month the House agreed to ban the Bureau of Land Management sales of wild horses after the government discovered dozens had been bought and then resold to slaughterhouses that sold the meat to foreign countries. Sales have resumed, unless the Senate agrees to the same ban, but the BLM has implemented stricter guidelines and consequences for those who buy horses and do not intend to care for them. But Wednesday's amendment, approved 269 to 158, offered by Rep. John Spratt, D-S.C., and Rep. John Sweeney, R-N.Y., aims to end horse slaughter for human consumption overall.
And tying it all up in a neat little bow……
June 25, 2005 - Horse protection advocates said Tuesday that they'll oppose a proposal aimed at boosting adoptions of wild horses unless Congress also bans the slaughter of any horses in the U.S. Leaders of the Humane Society of the United States and other groups said they favor part of the proposal introduced by Nevada's entire congressional delegation Monday to impose a one-year waiting period on the transfer of ownership for wild horses sold through a relatively new sale program at the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. But they said other provisions in the bill would undermine protections for the mustangs unless the bill is accompanied by the slaughter ban, which has passed the House and is awaiting action in the Senate.
And as the old saying goes the rest is history…….it and lots more of the Catch 22 that is the BLM Mustang Management is available at "http://www.wildhorsepreservation.com/"

R.H 1


  1. You should research your fake USDA records..There totally off

    Please educate yourself before looking like an Ass instead of an Ass Hat..

  2. http://equineprotectionnetwork.com/slaughter/19802002.htm
    Thanks for your comment anonymous. You gave R.H1 yet another good subject to post today. I'm fairly sure she isn't the one looking like an ass .....