This blog post is in response to this article/post on another blog located here: http://rtfitchauthor.com/2015/01/29/study-livestock-grazing-on-public-lands-cost-taxpayers-1-billion-over-past-decade/
When we add up the costs of:
- The shortfall on the collection of grazing fees from the private businesses that don’t always pay;
- Doing what is called “sanitizing” every year before cattle and sheep are turned out to graze whereby any animals that are predators to the cattle and sheep and/or that compete with cattle and sheep for water and forage are killed using various methods including shooting, poisoning, burning dens of babies, and a few other equally nasty and cruel methods (and we do know responsible hunters, so those are not the people we’re talking about here) and if wild horses and burros were not legally protected (for the time being that is) they would do the same to them too;
- Repairing the damaged range that is damaged by cattle mostly and not wild horses (we live out surrounded by public land with cattle and wild horses on it, and own horses and had a pet steer, so we can concisely state which species is more destructive to their environment, whether contained or out on the open range, and it is not the horses);
- The cost of warehousing 55,000+ wild horses, and paying for the broken-down and “operating for failure” adoption program so it can be said by the government “no one wants to adopt these horses because we have tried”.
And all of this at tax payers expense that adds up to 3/4 to OVER 1 BILLION dollars ANNUALLY.
Here are a few articles that address tax payers monies spent on livestock grazing on public land, with no return to us by-the-way because only 2-3% of the beef raised in the US come from Open Range cattle ranching operations, and also the history of livestock grazing on public land:
Enforce What Needs to Be Enforced FIRST:
Instead of being so scattered and all over the map, one solution, that perhaps will not look like it pertains to the wild horse eradication issue but it REALLY does, to slow down the eradication of our countries wild horses and burros seeing as the end goal for them by our government is disposal through commercial slaughter as “pure meat”, is to get the nationwide law in place regarding banning commercial horse slaughter here in the US (in place for right now regarding commercially slaughtering horses here), and also ban the shipping of horses over our borders for slaughter.
However, there is a problem for us getting that done because even with states like California that have banned the commercial horse slaughter trade as of November 3, 1998, (here is the link to a handy Timeline of horse slaughter facts on a commercial horse website: http://www.horsechannel.com/horse-resources/horse-slaughter-timeline.aspx) it is “business as usual” with kill buyers in CA operating freely at every sale as posted publically by several donation-funded horse rescues before, during, and after every sale they attend throughout California every month in Mira Loma, Turlock, Petaluma, Ontario, Lancaster, and a few more obscure sales that occur where horses do not always go through so horse rescues don’t always attend them.
Several of the donation-funded “retail-welfare horse rescues” collect donations by the thousands of dollars every month which they post they use to “outbid the kill buyers”, and also do what many of the animal-control-officers-turned-“rescues” call “compassion pulls” of horses they collect thousands of dollars in “pity donations” to rescue the “old crippled horse” to keep them away from the kill buyer, (but that “crippled horse” would NOT be allowed in the sale in the first place so they’re lying about the horse being crippled but their naïve followers don’t know this and never bother to research any of this stuff), they take back to their public facility whose physical address they refuse to post anywhere, and they kill the horse without showing any vet reports concerned people requested they show publically where their vet they said evaluated the horse writes the horse must be killed.
They then also refuse to show euthanasia reports/billings and body disposal billings either.
That’s the reason it is called “the rescue racket”; because fraudsters are making money off of animals, and in the case of California horse rescues, some of them make money from the threat of horses going to slaughter if bought by the evil “opportunist” kill buyers even though these “retail rescues” are nothing more than “opportunists” themselves, and if the LAW were being enforced, there would be no kill buyers or their middlemen operating at the sales either.
Rescues like these hurt the whole donation-funded rescue community, and there are a number of reasons nothing is said by people in the public, by other donation-funded and self-funded rescues, by whistleblowers, etc.
The issue is finally being looked at by a few investigative reporters who really do want to find out how this whole “retail rescue racket” works, and how it hurts animals, allows laws to be broken by people on all sides of the issue, and while allowing “suppliers” of horses into the slaughter pipeline to keep supplying with no controls.
Looking “Down the Road” at The Big Picture:
So looking at the “big picture” future plans and goals by our opposition and not just what’s in front of our faces currently, what we really need to do to HELP protect wild horses and burros from capture in the first place, and if captured, protect them from the end goal of slaughter, is in California, we NEED someone, anyone, who will do the real work of starting a movement of like-minded people who truly are 100% anti-horse slaughter, who also don’t make money from horse slaughter like the “opportunists” who are the sale yards, the kill buyers, the feedlots, the slaughter-bound horses transporters, the slaughterhouses, AND these “retail-welfare horse rescues” who use the threat of horses going to slaughter to get in free donation money they live off of.
Money corrupts, but at least with the first afore-mentioned “opportunists”, we know what their goal and intent is; to MAKE money.
With donation-funded horse rescues however, there are many more gray areas that until Accountability and Full Disclosure Checklists/Questionnaires are widely circulating that will ask pertinent and important questions we won’t truly know what their model of rescue is, are they really 100% anti-commercial horse slaughter, how do they feel about ALL horses, including wild horses that many horse people and horse rescues feel are without value because they don’t understand them, don’t think they are worth anything, they feel they are too in-bred to be trainable, etc.
Get enforcement of that law, shut down the sales like the VERY popular one in Mira Loma, CA that at least 3 donation-funded horse rescues attend where they are always posting publically how they “outbid the kill buyers” (so basically they are witnessing crimes being committed by those operating freely in the illegal horse slaughter industry at every sale, but they don’t do anything to stop it because that’s how donation-funded retail rescues make their money), but what they don’t say is how they outbid private buyers, and also other horse “rescues” they are competing with (we have screenshots of the “outing” of one another) for the really nice horses who are good for “adoptions for a fee” (SELLING), and although this auctions representative has written publically that they do NOT have kill buyers operating out of their sales, since the horse rescues post publically that they “outbid the kill buyers at each and every sale, SOMEONE is lying, so investigations by the Attorney General’s office in CA, and also the CA Dept of Agriculture NEED to be opened to figure out what scams are being run, whose involved, whose lying, audit the financials of the sale yards, the horse rescues, any known horse traders registered with the state of California as “Dealers”, which are often kill buyers too, etc.
Historically, most of the horse rescues that attend the California sales do not seem willing to strive for enforcement of the 1998 law. This is most likely because it creates more work and spending of money, their own and donated money, that they don’t want to spend, and it does NOT pay well at all.
Horse rescues in the business of making money from FREE donation money from kind-hearted, but gullible and naïve people don’t want to, and will not work toward enforcement of the law because they depend on free donation money they ask for and receive to do “crisis rescuing” at the sales where horses should NOT need rescuing from kill buyers because kill buyers and the horse slaughter trade is NOT supposed to be operating in CA since 1998.
A whole different subject is the crummy phenomenon of people who are “addicted to crisis rescuing”, which many in the bored public “regular person”-sector craves, and they are literally fixated, obsessed, and addicted to this type of rescuing rather than donating to rescues that do “no fanfare” rescuing, and provide sanctuary and hospice care for animals no one else wants because they have physical and/or behavioral/psychological issues that render them un-useable but the animals are not wanting to be killed and dead. The horse traders posing as “rescues” saw this opportunity of creating a crisis, with all of the accompanying excitement, drama, and with a “deadline”, and have turned it into a thriving business (it also happens in variations in other species-specific areas of “rescue”) in order to not have to go out and get real jobs, and rescue using their own hard earned money, with “some” help from the public instead of living off of donation money as many who call themselves “rescues” do now.
Accountability and Full Disclosure and Laws NOT Being ENFORCED:
As long as donation-funded “retail-welfare rescues” are operating with no accountability and full disclosure, THEY make ALL rescues suspects in “turning a blind eye” to laws being broken, they make all rescues suspect in fleecing the public out of donation money and material goods, and if an anti-horse slaughter law is not being enforced in one of the most liberal and animal loving states in the country (CA) that is not dominated by the livestock industry, what chance is there for getting anti-horse slaughter laws passed in more conservative states that ARE dominated by the livestock and farming industries that look at horses as just another food-chain animal when their use-and-purpose for them is done, and WHAT chance is there for a NATIONWIDE ban on commercial horse slaughter dealings that would block that avenue of disposal of 60,000+ of our countries wild horses, and also our burros, once our government convinces the “misinformed, naïve general public”, who are not generally very “horsie” or involved in horse issues (I know, I know, 8% of the American public are against horse slaughter, but that’s based on them taking a short poll of1 minute or less, so their involvement is not high, and their minds can be changed depending on the presentation of the questions) that that is the only solution for our precious wild horses?!?
What say we get the hard-fought-for-and-time-and-money-consuming law, that some people in ’96 and ’97 thought was worth them working their asses off to get it on the ballot in the first place, ENFORCED and show we mean business about ANY of our American horses going to slaughter ANYWHERE.
And once we can get existing laws ENFORCED, get more anti-horse slaughter laws in place, and keep shutting down the horse slaughter industry state-by-state until it becomes the law of the land, exactly what in the hell is our government going to do with all of those wild horses and burros they are capturing if their goal of simply shipping them to slaughter is NOT available?
Maybe, just maybe, they’d have to sit down with experts in various fields of study and really talk about and implement primary management of our wild horses and burros on their legal, rightful, and native range.
At the rate we’re going however with anti-horse slaughter laws not being enforced all but 1 time in over 16 years in a state that is much more liberal and animal loving than ANY of the open range states, and also most of the mid-western states that are also dominated by the livestock industry which are VERY powerful lobbies in Washington D.C. where most of the important decisions are made, our wild horses and burros appear doomed to being captured, and then ultimately shipped to horrendous and cruel commercial slaughter, but it wouldn’t have to be that way if people weren’t so short-sighted, and also if they made damn well sure that laws like the one in California were ENFORCED before focusing on other things, and then thousands upon thousands of horses “slip through the cracks” every year because no one bothered to make sure the LAWS are being ENFORCED before scurrying onto something else.
We’ll keep posting public pleas for help on getting this enforcement (and we’re “working people” who don’t have the luxury of other people paying our bills for us, so “extra time”, that quite frankly people in California should be handling, is something we don’t ever have a lot of) but if investigative reports are completed, there are going to be A LOT of questions from the public, and also from government agencies of exactly WHY actual horse rescues in CA didn’t do a damn thing regarding blowing the whistle on illegal activities at sales and elsewhere in California regarding the illegal horse slaughter industry, so it continues to roll right along.
No one should be one bit surprised when they are audited, investigated and exposed for the shady, and also illegal activities they are engaging in, and they should be ashamed of themselves for participating in the illegal horse slaughter industry in CA as “enablers” and “opportunists” at the very least, and common criminals at the worst, and their “do nothing unless there’s something in it for me” attitude has cost many thousands of horses their lives at horrific, cruel, and illegal commercial slaughter, when it didn’t have to be that way at all if rescues and rescuers rescued from the heart, and not only if their wallets and egos are enriched instead.