The Federal Bureau of Land Management, responsible for managing the population of wild horses in the west, is under fire by animal rights advocates and those who advocate returning to horse as a source of nutrition.
The act of killing horses for human consumption was ended by congress in 2007, but a recent summit in Las Vegas has pro-slaughter advocates calling the BLM's current round up of wild horses a waste of public money, while animal rights advocates call it an inhumane solution.
The criticism on both sides of the debate had the U.S. Bureau of Land Management chief, Robert Abbey, defending the practice of wild horse round ups as rare and necessary at the first ever Summit of the Horse.
He defended against animal rights activists who call the roundups cruel and accuse the BLM of trying to exterminate wild horses, saying:
"There are a lot of people who believe we have ulterior motives in the actions we are taking. We are not interested in eliminating wild horses from these lands."
According to Abbey, feral horses compete with other wildlife for forage and water and can quickly overwhelm an area because they have long life spans and are unlikely to be threatened by predators or disease.
The Bureau of Land Management estimates wild horses could double their population in four years if left unchecked.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the fence, U.S. ranchers and horse owners argue the nation's horse slaughter industry should be revived and the animals should be slaughtered and sold as food.
Pro-slaughter advocates call the $66.1 million spent in 2010 to care for horses rounded up and confined in corrals a waste of public money.
Former U.S. Rep. Charlie Stenholm, a democrat from Texas, argued:
"The Chinese are chomping at the bit to buy our horses. The Russians are chomping at the bit to buy our horses. Why can't we sell it to them?"
Since congress banned the act of killing horses for consumption in 2007, some horses have been trucked to Canada and Mexico for slaughter, which slaughter advocates argue, is an expensive business cost that has rendered the horse industry unprofitable.
Why do people have the desire to slaughter EVERY animal on the planet?
We're getting sick just thinking about eating Black Beauty and are content with all of the meat choices available to us already.
What do U think about the issue?
[Image via AP Images.]
Tags: activist, activists, animal rights, animals, bureau of land management, food, las vegas, population, roundups, texas, wild horses