Apr. 25, 2005 – Animal rights groups are pointing to the slaughter of six wild mustangs as evidence that a new federal law must be repealed in order to prevent the killing of more horses for their meat.
Congress passed legislation in December that allows older horses and those that are not adopted to be sold at auction. Last month, measures were introduced in the Senate and House to restore the previous language that for 34 years banned the commercial sale and slaughter of wild horses.
The slaughtered horses were only the first of nearly 1,000 mustangs that the US Bureau of Land Management has rounded up, sold and delivered to buyers since the law was passed. BLM estimates that up to 45,000 mustangs and wild burros roam the Western range, which they claim is about 10,000 more such animals than the environment can support.
The six mustangs were reportedly sold to an Oklahoma man who claimed to be a minister and wanted the animals for a youth camp. Instead, the horses were sent to a commercial packing plant in Illinois, where they were slaughtered so their meat could be sold to foreign markets.
A BLM spokesperson said that while the bureau tries to screen out slaughterhouses, there is little it can do once the horses become the private property of the buyers.