Tuesday, July 1, 2008

They Shoot horses!!!

The U.S. Interior Department is about to sanction another slaughter of wild horses on our (public) land. What is their excuse for this cruelty to some very fine animals? Overgrazing?!!

There are only about 37,000 wild horses, while there are over a million cattle grazing on the same land. The cattlemen complain about the horses, even though they run their cattle on our land with leases that are dirt cheap. These are the same people who constantly complain about wolves on our land, claiming they kill a walking burger occasionally.

Lightning kills more cattle by far than wolves do, but you never hear them talk about that. Cattlemen help spread disease by running too many cattle out there, and various viruses kill more cattle than anything. Then there are cold and drought and rattlesnakes. Shouldn't the incidental wolf kill be just another of the costs of doing business?!!!

And shouldn't the small amount of grazing competition from a relatively few wild horses, on "our" land, be accepted as the effect of eradicating the horses' natural predators, which is also demanded by...ranchers!!!

And if they don't like the natural risks of predators and a bit of sharing the grass with wild horses, then they can raise their cattle elsewhere. If that means less cattle, well the overweight population of the United States could use a few less burgers. And instead of the cattle business being subsidized by cheap leases and our taxes, why not charge what the grazing is worth in the marketplace, complete with wild horses, wolves and all?!!!

Murdoch Hughes
Award-winning author

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