Saturday, April 23, 2005

This is nice:

Wild horses rounded up on federal land in the West and sold to a private owner have been slaughtered for the first time since a new law went into effect, a government official said Thursday.

"This is something we regret and are very disappointed this has happened," said Celia Boddington, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in Washington.

"We make every possible effort when the horses are sold to make sure the animals are placed in good homes for long-term care...."

--Yahoo/L.A. Times

"We make every possible effort" -- so how could this happen? Maybe there's a hint here:

Nancy Perry, the Humane Society's vice president for government affairs ... said a man who identified himself as a minister in Oklahoma told the BLM he intended to use the horses in a program for troubled youth and bought them April 15. The man has not been identified.

Actually, that appears not to be true. A news alert from the Society for Animal Protective Legislation gives a name to the buyer, and explains why someone would do this:

A recent amendment to the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act has already resulted in the tragic end to the lives of six of America's wild horses in Illinois after they were purchased from the Bureau of Land Management for $50 each by Dustin Herbert a former "rodeo clown" from Oklahoma.

...Over 65,000 American horses were slaughtered last year in the United States to satisfy the demand for horsemeat in France, Italy, Belgium and Japan.

So what happened here? An ex-rodeo clown said, "Yessir, I'm a man of God, and I'm going to put these fine animals to good use helping to raise up good Christian youth" -- and the government just took him at his word and let him sell the horses for meat? Seems like as good an explanation as any.

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