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The Obama Administration's Stealth Horse Slaughter Program

The Obama Administration has said repeatedly that it opposes horse slaughter. But actions speak louder than words. What's happening now in Nevada suggests that the Administration -- through its federal agencies -- is actually complicit in sending horses to a slaughter auction.

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This notice of a livestock auction -- which is frequented by kill buyers who purchase horses and transport them to slaughterhouses in Canada or Mexico -- tipped us off that the Feds were up to something. 700 horses don't just appear out of nowhere, so we did some digging.

And we discovered this back room deal between the U.S. Forest Service and an Indian tribe to spend our tax dollars to capture wild horses and deliver them to the slaughter auction despite the stated opposition of the Administration to horse slaughter.

Under this arrangement, there is no way to distinguish between unbranded horses owned by the tribe from unbranded horses who are wild and protected under federal law.

The Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) have a legal responsibility under the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act to ensure that protected wild horses on federal lands do not end up being slaughtered. In this case, the feds have admitted that horses were herded off public lands (green and light brown above) and due to the close proximity of the capture area to a BLM Herd Management Area, we believe that many of the captured horses are federally protected wild horses.

The unluckiest of America's wild horses end up in places like this: a livestock yard in rural Nevada, where potential buyers coolly assess each animal's physique, looking for a deal...In the crowd are so-called kill buyers scouting product to ship to a foreign slaughterhouse.
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack told reporters Wednesday Congress should come up with a better solution for handling unwanted horses than slaughtering the animals for meat for human consumption.
RENO, Nev. (AP) — A federal judge agreed to hear last-minute arguments Friday from wild horse advocates seeking to block the sale of hundreds of wild mustangs, likely for slaughterhouses if a weekend auction goes forward, claiming the animals are federally protected mustangs that were rounded up illegally by a Nevada tribe.
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