Love the horses but let them starve

…worldwide, 4.7 million horses are slaughtered each year (not all from United States) and exported to countries where horse meat is a gourmet food and brings more than twice as much money as beef.

Even here in the uSSA where we don’t eat much horse meat, the solution is very simple. Make these horses private property and repeal the ban on slaughter. Problem solved. — jtl, 419

by Merilee Dannemann, via Current-Argus

A Handbook for Ranch Managers Of all the demonstrations of Americans’ political hypocrisy, what we’ve done about the slaughter of horses is right up there.

We can thank our governor for a recent example, though she is hardly alone.

Like other public figures, the governor shed crocodile tears a few years ago during the controversy over the possible opening of a horse slaughterhouse in Roswell. That controversy helped spark a change in federal policy that effectively banned horse slaughter in the United States.

Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual This year, she pocket vetoed a simple bill that would have saved a few horses. A pocket veto means she simply ignored the bill until the deadline passed.

The bill, HB 390, said when the state livestock board has custody of a stray horse, licensed rescue organizations should get a chance to buy the horse at a modest fee before the horse is offered at auction. This would allow the rescue to get the horse at a low price rather than having to bid against other unknown buyers, possibly including “killer buyers” who would take the horse to Mexico and sell it for slaughter. The bill passed both houses handily.

Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian ViewSometimes, as explained by Debbie Coburn of Four Corners Equine Rescue, the killer buyer wins the bid; to save the horse, the rescue buys it from the killer buyer at a much higher price. The rescues all operate on a shoestring with limited resources, so this limits their ability to save more horses.

Combat Shooter's Handbook Reconnaissance Marine MCI 03.32f: Marine Corps Institute The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other MisfitsA legislative analysis said the impact of the bill might be reduced income to the livestock board, since auctions generate money to the board.

However, horses saved by rescues are a tiny drop in the bucket compared to the massive numbers of homeless underfed horses.

The Essence of Liberty: Volume I: Liberty and History: The Rise and Fall of the Noble Experiment with Constitutionally Limited Government (Liberty and ... Limited Government) (Volume 1)  The Essence of Liberty: Volume II: The Economics of Liberty (Volume 2) The Essence of Liberty: Volume III: A Universal Philosophy of Political Economy (Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic) (Volume 3)New Mexico has nine equine rescues, all private except a small one for inmates at the Springer Correctional Center. While their work is admirable, collectively they save only a few hundred horses each year.

Meanwhile, in Mexico, slaughter and the sale of horse meat is a thriving business. Several estimates agree that about 120,000 U.S. horses a year are slaughtered.

Travel writer Tara A. Spears writes from Mexico that worldwide, 4.7 million horses are slaughtered each year (not all from United States) and exported to countries where horse meat is a gourmet food and brings more than twice as much money as beef. With a bitter tone, she writes, “It’s a classic case of if you don’t want to get your hands dirty, hire the Mexicans to do it.”

Readers may remember that during the controversy over the Roswell slaughterhouse, Gov. Bill Richardson and movie star Robert Redford teamed up to support outlawing horse slaughter in the United States. I checked recently with the staffs of Richardson and Redford to find out what they have done since then to promote the welfare of wild and abandoned horses. I got polite replies but no answers. In other words, nothing.

Meanwhile, wild horses continue to sicken and die of hunger and thirst while overgrazing and damaging the land. A 2013 news report by KOAT estimated between 60,000 and 75,000 feral horses just on the Navajo nation. When a roundup up was done in 2013, many of the horses were visibly sick and underfed.

I have found no information to indicate that any of that has changed. Coburn agrees: It hasn’t.

If you’d like to do a little something for horses, you can donate to a rescue. And if you have a refund on next year’s state income taxes you can contribute a portion of it to the state’s Horse Shelter Rescue Fund. The money goes through the livestock board to the licensed horse shelters. You check a box on the PIT D form. It’s one of 13 options for donating a portion of your tax refund. Last year this fund provided about $30,000 to the rescues — helpful but paltry.

Contact Merilee Dannemann through


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Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference ManualPlanned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual. This is the ideal squeal to A Handbook for Ranch Managers.  Although the ecological principles remain the same, what was originally known as “The Savory Grazing Method” now answers to a multitude of different names: ranching for profit, holistic management, managed grazing, mob grazing, management intensive grazing, etc. Land & Livestock International, Inc. uses “Restoration Grazing” under its “Managing the Ranch as a Business” program.” No mater what you call it, this summary and synopsis will guide you step by step through the process and teach you how to use it as it was originally intended. No more excuses for failing to complete your grazing plans.

About Land & Livestock Interntional, Inc.

Land and Livestock International, Inc. is a leading agribusiness management firm providing a complete line of services to the range livestock industry. We believe that private property is the foundation of America. Private property and free markets go hand in hand—without property there is no freedom. We also believe that free markets, not government intervention, hold the key to natural resource conservation and environmental preservation. No government bureaucrat can (or will) understand and treat the land with as much respect as its owner. The bureaucrat simply does not have the same motives as does the owner of a capital interest in the property. Our specialty is the working livestock ranch simply because there are so many very good reasons for owning such a property. We provide educational, management and consulting services with a focus on ecologically and financially sustainable land management that will enhance natural processes (water and mineral cycles, energy flow and community dynamics) while enhancing profits and steadily building wealth.
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2 Responses to Love the horses but let them starve

  1. Rich Wilcke says:

    As you suggest, Gunny, this is is not an animal-rights problem; it is a private-property problem. If either or both the feral horses and the government lands were clearly in private hands, the whole alleged problem would disappear. The ethics of salvaging so-called “unwanted” horses would be no more problematic than the ethics of salvaging uneconomic dairy cows.

    Liked by 1 person

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