Wild horses are spending a progressively large portion of their existence on the run. Recently, the Bureau of Land Management rounded up over 1,000 wild horses from Oregon. Pacific Standard reports indicated that at least five of these horses passed away on November 19 and within 48 hours, an additional 16 horses had perished.
One of the most heartbreaking scenes took place when helicopters were dispatched to chase down the foals. Try as they might, the little foals were completely unable to avoid the oncoming choppers. Horses used to be considered American icons, but now their population is slowly being reduced to rubble by the government.
During the 19th century, roughly 2 million wild horses were allowed to roam free throughout America. By the time wild horses were finally able to obtain government protection in 1971, there were only 17,000 of them to roam the nation’s plains.
Some of the horses had been used in combat during the first World War, while countless others were hunted down and stripped of their flesh. Dog food companies and chicken feed corporations also participated in the thinning of the herd and others hunted wild horses for the thrill of the pursuit.
Nowadays, wild horses are being cleared away at a frightening rate, because of ranchers who believe that these horses need to taken away from land that is used for subsidized grazing. If the numbers in these areas are determined to be at unsafe levels, the roundups begin and the horses are put to death.
As with most problems of this nature, money is the root cause. Cattle grazing is paid for with the licensing fees of hunters, while horses take up valuable space, with no one bothering to pay their way. Every time one of these horses is removed, space is cleared for the aforementioned cattle.
While slaughter is technically illegal in the United States, wild horses are typically sent to Mexico and Canada and killed there instead. In other instances, the horses are sent to auctions. The horses are kept in squalid conditions and buyers are typically purchasing the animals so that they can kill them.
Those who buy to kill are not ashamed of their actions, since they are technically legal. These horses deserve better, so be sure to share this story with your friends and family.
To find out more about protecting and helping our wild horses, visit American Wild Horse Preservation, International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros, and The Humane Society of the United States.
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