New pen in California may allow sale of wild horses for slaughter

“While slaughtering wild horses does not present a pleasant picture, the reality of this dire situation is not pleasant,” Justice Department lawyers representing the agency wrote in its most recent filing last month. “The Forest Service is taking a step to reduce what is universally recognized as a natural catastrophe.”
A Handbook for Ranch Managers Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual Feed the hungry with Mustang stew. — jtl, 419
By SCOTT SONNER Associated Press in the Idaho State Journal

RENO, Nev. — The U.S. Forest Service has built a new corral for wild horses in Northern California, which could allow it to bypass federal restrictions and sell the animals for slaughter.

Combat Shooter's Handbook Reconnaissance Marine MCI 03.32f: Marine Corps Institute  The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other MisfitsThe agency acknowledged in court filings in a potentially precedent-setting legal battle that it built the pen for mustangs gathered in the fall on national forest land along the California-Nevada border because of restrictions on such sales at other federal holding facilities.

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) The agency denies claims by horse advocates it has made up its mind to sell the more than 250 horses for slaughter. But it also says it may have no choice because of the high cost of housing the animals and continued ecological impacts it claims overpopulated herds are having on federal rangeland.

Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian View“While slaughtering wild horses does not present a pleasant picture, the reality of this dire situation is not pleasant,” Justice Department lawyers representing the agency wrote in its most recent filing last month. “The Forest Service is taking a step to reduce what is universally recognized as a natural catastrophe.”

Horse advocates have been suing the government for two decades over mustang roundups that private ranchers say are necessary to curb growing herds that reduce the forage on federal lands they lease for cattle and sheep grazing across the U.S. West. The region holds roughly 90,000 wild horses.

In Idaho the Bureau of Land Management manages six wild horse herd management areas on approximately 418,000 acres, according to its website. Among those is the 168,000-acre Challis Herd Management Area, which is home to nearly 300 horses. The combined appropriate management level for all herd management areas in the state is 617 animals, the website said.

A sharp reduction in demand in recent years for a federal program that offers the horses for adoption to the public has left little room in existing corrals. Horse advocates argue the mustangs are federally protected and that taxpayers subsidize the livestock grazing on U.S. land.

A hearing is scheduled Jan. 31 in federal court in San Francisco on a motion filed by the Animal Legal Defense Fund and American Wild Horse Campaign seeking an injunction to block the sale of the horses captured in the Modoc National Forest in October and November for possible slaughter. The new pen is in the forest, about 170 miles (273 kilometers) northwest of Reno.

Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen announced late last year she would postpone any sales for slaughter until at least Feb. 18.

The protection groups say it would be the first time in nearly a half-century the government has sold mustangs “without limitation,” or for any purpose, including slaughter.

Horse slaughterhouses are prohibited in the U.S. but legal in many other countries, including Canada, Mexico and parts of Europe where horse meat is considered a delicacy.

The Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burros Act that President Nixon signed into law in 1971 prohibits the inhumane destruction of wild horses. Congress approved an appropriations amendment in 2004 that allows the Forest Service, under its parent Agriculture Department, to sell horses without limitations if they’re over age 10 and have been offered for adoption three times unsuccessfully.

But in most years since then, Congress has specifically prohibited the Bureau of Land Management, under the Interior Department, from using any appropriations for such purposes. President Donald Trump proposed allowing such sales in his 2017 budget, but Congress refused to go along.

The Forest Service normally holds the horses it gathers at pens belonging to the BLM, which manages 385,000 square miles of public lands in the West.

With few exceptions, lawsuits have targeted the bureau because it captures the vast majority of the horses. BLM lands hold an estimated 83,000 wild horses, while national forests managed by the Forest Service hold about 8,000.

The Forest Service gathered 932 horses in the Modoc National Forest late last year and shipped about 260 to the new corral, while placing about 650 at a BLM facility in nearby Susanville, California.

Justice Department lawyers acknowledged in the December filings “BLM is not permitted to humanely destroy healthy, unadopted horses or conduct any sale that could ultimately result in their destruction, which includes any Forest Service horse in BLM custody.”

“What has changed is that the Modoc now has its own short-term holding facility … which is not subject to congressional restrictions,” they wrote about the corral, which currently can hold up to 300 horses but has room for expansion to accommodate as many as 1,500. They said local ranchers “generally support these sales” because of the horses’ economic impact on leased grazing land.

The attorneys also said the opponents’ assertion the horses will be slaughtered “is only speculative, not concrete and imminent.”

Horse advocates say the government can’t have it both ways.

“It cannot both argue it is harmed by plaintiffs’ delay in bringing this action because of all the time and resources it has expended to allow the sale of horses without limitation, yet also insist to the court that it has not yet made any such decision,” their lawyers wrote Jan. 8. “In short, the record and defendants’ own statements make clear that the decision to sell horses without limitation is final and judicially reviewable.”

 

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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 I: Liberty and History chronicles the rise and fall of the noble experiment with constitutionally limited government. It features the ideas and opinions of some of the world’s foremost contemporary constitutional scholars. This is history that you were not taught at the mandatory government propaganda camps otherwise known as “public schools.” You will gain a clear understanding of how America’s decline and decay is really nothing new and how it began almost immediately with the constitution. Available in both paperback and Kindle versions.

You might be interested in the other two volumes of this three volume set: The Essence of Liberty Volume II: The Economics of Liberty and The Essence of Liberty Volume III: Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic. 

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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3 Responses to New pen in California may allow sale of wild horses for slaughter

  1. Reblogged this on Flyover-Press.com and commented:

    Feed the hungry with Mustang stew. — jtl, 419

    Like

  2. You think of the wild horses as kind of a remnant of the old west and that makes us hesitant to destroy them, but on the other hand, those ranchers that lease federal land for grazing purposes need the graze for their cattle if ranching is to survive it seems to me and I am all for ranching being able to survive in spite of the deep states plans for its demise.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Actually, a part of the problem is like a lot of other things–suffering from the abuse and misuse of the language. Most folks put all of these horses under the same category, simply “wild horses.” But there is a lot of difference between feral horses (turned out because the owner couldn’t afford them, etc) and mustangs (which are remnants of the little ponies that the Spaniards brought with them.

      Either way, they are grossly over stocked on some of the so-called public lands–to the point of destroying the resource.

      Like

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