Friday, January 30, 2015

Kill Buyers: Avarice and Inhumanity

Photo Courtesy Candy Dorsey
Taken in Dolan Springs, Arizona


Like most Americans, I love horses and burros. They've helped humans since time immemorial. We used them to settle the wild west. We used them to carry our goods from place to place. We used them to fight the second World War. Amazingly, they were even used in Afghanistan after September 11, 2001. Burros and mules were used to settle parts of Alaska and help the miners who were prospecting for gold. Currently, they're used today in an entirely new field, as therapy animals for people trying to regain their physical and mental lives. Horses are an integral part of our lives and an American icon. The majority of us look at them as beautiful, magnificent animals. Why then, is there a controversy about wild horses on the range? Where do they think the pool from which we draw more horses comes? Not every horse in existence has been born and raised as a tame horse. Some wild ones have been tamed and brought in for new bloodlines.



GREED PAYS 



The controversy stems from the part of the human soul no one wants to admit or talk about. Pure and simple, it's greed. Greed in ranchers who want all the range for increasing the size of their cattle herds and their money. Greed in the "kill buyers," who found a lucrative market in selling horses to be butchered. Greed in the politicians, who keep their offices by ignoring the cruel round ups and the killing of these animals. It's true that no one knows at the present time how many politicians are in the pockets of the cattle industry. But ask yourself this: If they aren't, then why does every vote on saving the wild horses and keeping them free result in favor of the cattlemen?



KILL BUYERS



Researching information for this article, I was shocked to find, online, a list of over 50 known United States  "kill buyers."  I'm certain there are many more who aren't on the list. There was also a much shorter list of Canadian kill buyers. What does the term "kill buyer," mean? Just what it says. These are people who purchase horses at auction for the purpose of shipping them to slaughter. They make their profit from a slaughter house where they are paid per pound for the horse meat. Any horse will do, wild, domestic, old, young, it doesn't matter as long as they can pocket the cash. They load these horses, packed like sardines, into a semi-trailer and ship them to Mexico or Canada for slaughter. This is because there are no legal slaughterhouses here in the United States. The last one that  opened in New Mexico has been in litigation because the American people don't want horses slaughtered. However, it is still a possibility in the future. The courts are notorious for being "cattle" people.



OVER 50,000 HORSES IMPRISONED


At the present time, there are over 50,000 wild horses the Federal government has seen fit to imprison in pens. They can no longer run joyously free with their family. They can't even know what happens to the rest of their family, because they're separated from them. Stallions are penned with stallions, mares with mares, and foals and colts are taken from their mother. If you could be close by when all this happens and hear the piteous cries of the babies, and the frantic sounds of the mares trying to reassure them, it would break your heart. And if you have any knowledge at all about horses and the way their minds work, you'd know that stallions being penned together is nothing but a brutal battle among them.



WHO BEARS THE COST?


Who do you think? You do...with your taxes of course! It costs us money to imprison these wild horses, that we don't want imprisoned! The United States is the largest cattle producer in the world, but even with that, they want more and consider the meager herds of horses a threat to the welfare of their livestock.


TODAY: JANUARY 31, 2015 

On this day, the final 180 horses are removed from the Humboldt Range, a rugged section of Nevada that has numerous watering holes. But it's not only in Nevada where these roundups are happening. Every state that has even one wild horse on its range is subject to a helicopter roundup. If you'd like to read more about this particular place try this link for the Humboldt Range