Thirty years ago Congress gave federal protection to wild horses, calling them “living symbols of the pioneer spirit of the West.” But now Congress, in that standard Republican Stealth method – also known as the legislative drive-by shooting – has changed that law, with no hearings and no debate.
There are about 37,000 wild horses in the Western states; about half of them are in Nevada. With their protection being repealed, about 9,000 of them could be slaughtered within a year, according to the National Wild Horse Association. The most likely destination for the slaughtered horses would be Japan, France and Belgium, where horse meat is a delicacy.
The government (i.e. the wealthy ranchers who hold their “legislators” in a tight scrotal grip) says there are too many wild horses competing with livestock for scarce food and water. (?!?!?) These ranchers are already using public lands – hey, the public, that’s us, the taxpayers – to graze their sheep and cattle. Millions of acres are being “leased” to ranchers for next to nothing. We’re subsidizing them, whether we like it or not. Sounds like welfare to me, even though these ranchers pretend to be such archetypes of self-reliance and rugged individualism.
Until Congress repealed their protection, these wild horses would be rounded up and put in sanctuaries, or put up for adoption. But with the new law, the slaughterhouse will be their most likely fate.
This is the kind of environmental and wildlife assaults we can look forward to for the next four years. Let’s have a big round of applause for the millions of Bible thumpers and snake handlers who elected Bush by making gay marriage and “family values” more important than preserving the environment for future generations.