The unbridled range
Proposed slaughter ban could unleash unwanted horses on public, private land
West of Hagerman, hidden in a dusty valley flanked by bluffs and within earshot of the U.S. Air Force's thunderous bombing ranges, tribes of multi-colored horses - led by warring studs - survive in a delicate balance.
They depend on sparse patches of cheatgrass and metal water troughs - provided by the Bureau of Land Management for the horses to share with grazing cattle, elk and antelopes. Birth control limits the horses to about 150 head.
You never hear about these horses unless your cattle graze on the range. Most Idahoans only see the nearly quarter-million horses resting in Idaho's stables, lolling next to tall haystacks, earning prizes at rodeos.
But if Congress finalizes a total ban on horse slaughter for human consumption, domesticated and wild horses could merge and spread over patchworks of private and public lands with catastrophic results, Idaho equine regulators and BLM officials say. Read More
The issue of horse slaughter continues to be at the forefront of many conversations. While those of us in agriculture can continue to find more problems relating to the ban, the HSUS can only say “that’s absurd”. It is very important that horse owners have the ability to manage their animals as is necessary and that we don’t go down this slippery slope of banning the slaughter of livestock.