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View Poll Results: should taxpayers spend $22 Million per yr to feed un-adopted captured feral horses
yes 3 4.69%
no 21 32.81%
turn them into alpo 40 62.50%
Voters: 64. You may not vote on this poll

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proposal to euthanize horses spurs debate...

 
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Old 07-07-2008, 07:26 AM
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proposal to euthanize horses spurs debate...




i thought it might be interesting to kick this around....



By MARTIN GRIFFITH, Associated Press Writer2 hours, 33 minutes ago


Animal rights activists and ranchers are clashing over a federal proposal to euthanize wild horses as a way to deal with their surplus numbers.
Horse advocates will mount a campaign against the proposal announced late last month by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, said Chris Heyde, deputy director of government and legal affairs for the Animal Welfare Institute based in Washington, D.C.
Federal officials said they're faced with tough choices because wild horses have overpopulated public lands in the West and they no longer can afford to care for the number of animals that have been rounded up.
But Heyde maintained the agency is seeking a "magic bullet" for budget problems caused after it began rounding up the mustangs at an unprecedented rate in recent years.
He said the roundups left too many horses for the public to adopt, requiring the agency to contract for more private long-term holding facilities.
The proposal "is killing pure and simple to balance the books for an agency whose reckless management has caused immeasurable harm to a national treasure at considerable cost to the American taxpayer," Heyde said.
Ron Cerri, of the Rebel Creek Ranch in Orovada and president-elect of the Nevada Cattlemen's Association, said ranchers would prefer horses be adopted but euthanasia may be necessary to keep their numbers down.
"Unfortunately, it's something they'll have to consider," Cerri said. "I don't know of another solution."
Cerri criticized the federal agency's proposal to stop roundups of wild horses to save money. Ranchers view mustangs as competition for forage on the range.
"That would be really unfortunate," he said. "We're starting to get close to what's called `appropriate management levels' of wild horses on the range. If we stop the roundups, that number will blow up again."
There are an estimated 33,000 wild horses in 10 Western states. About half of those are in Nevada.
The agency has set a target appropriate management level of horses at 27,000. About another 30,000 horses are in holding facilities, where most are made available for adoption.
Last year about $22 million of the entire horse program's $39 million budget was spent on holding horses in agency pens. Next year the costs are projected to grow to $26 million with an overall budget that is being trimmed to $37 million.
Lacy Dalton, president and co-founder of the Let 'Em Run Foundation horse advocacy group, urged the agency to consider alternative solutions.
They include efforts to step up birth control and legislation to provide tax breaks to large landowners willing to let horses roam on their property, she said.
"The American people have spoken ó they want to preserve these wild horses," said Dalton.
"They are symbolic of the wildness and freedom and independent spirit of the West. We need to find ways to save them without being a burden on taxpayers," she added.

Agency officials said they stepped up the roundups in recent years because of ongoing drought that has left dwindling forage and water for the mustangs. Horse advocates insist the action was taken to placate ranchers.
The Bureau of Land Management's announcement marked the first time the agency publicly has discussed the possibility of putting surplus animals to death. Congress unanimously passed the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act to protect the animals.
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Old 07-07-2008, 08:06 AM
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my personal feelings are...

...that horses and burros on fed land should be treated the same as other feral animals .....open season/no limit. that is how feral hogs are treated everywhere that i have hunted them. horses are not native to this country and are terribly destructive to native habitat, but they have this romantic history attached to them. this debate will get noisy withe the screaming of the anti's....AJ
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Old 07-07-2008, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by dogdinger View Post
...that horses and burros on fed land should be treated the same as other feral animals .....open season/no limit. that is how feral hogs are treated everywhere that i have hunted them. horses are not native to this country and are terribly destructive to native habitat, but they have this romantic history attached to them. this debate will get noisy withe the screaming of the anti's....AJ

Many overseas markets love horse meat as table fare. Why should we waste a source of income? Instead of just putting them down - why not ship them over seas to cover the costs of keeping the rest of them? I understand its a brutal idea - but one or two cows have to pay the price for the herd. Same goes for horses.
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Old 07-07-2008, 09:18 AM
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My Thinking

I have a mustang that came off the desert of south west Idaho and use him for a pack horse. He is pretty good but they can be a lot of trouble at the start and definitely not for everyone. The wild horse population numbers have to be kept in check or they will destroy the range upon which they live. A starving horse is not a pretty sight and if not properly managed by whatever means necessary things can only get worse. I would much rather shoot a horse behind the ear than let him starve or die from disease.
The antiís need to stay out of this and let the BLM do what is necessary! (It seems kinda like the wolf deal doesnít it).
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There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. Sir Winston Churchill.

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Old 07-07-2008, 09:57 AM
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Horses are not a native species in North America and should not be protected. They compete with native wild life for the resources available. They should be removed from the wild and then we will be getting back to the way nature intended.
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Last edited by jwp475; 07-07-2008 at 10:09 AM.
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Old 07-07-2008, 11:28 AM
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I'll be the first to volunteer to thin the ranks. I've got my rifle already packed!
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Old 07-07-2008, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwp475 View Post
Horses are not a native species in North America and should not be protected. They compete with native wild life for the resources available. They should be removed from the wild and then we will be getting back to the way nature intended.
I agree totally. Unfortunately the 71' law prevents it. Too many horse loving voters back east and in California to do anything about it. It would be political suicide for a politician to try to reform the law. We either pay to have them removed and feed, with tax dollars, or we let them destroy the range. This is bad for both ranchers and hunters.

They would make nice long range practice targets though.
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