Proposal to euthanize wild horses - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-06-2008, 09:09 PM Thread Starter
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Proposal to euthanize wild horses

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm...yndication=rss


How awful... There's got to be something better. I'd think there are several animal populations that are in more need of "management". Plus, haven't wild horses been around for a long time in the US? I'm not well read on that particular matter.

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-13-2008, 05:15 PM
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I didn't think wild horses were so common!




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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-14-2008, 06:41 AM
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This is not a simple problem. The horses are overpopulating there ranges, leading to overgrazing and possible diseases. The two main reasons for this are that they have no predators to speak of, and they are quite successful breeders.

Because we are more sentimental about horses, ...than say prairie dogs or black footed ferrets, this issue tugs as the American heartstrings and gets congress involved. Congress reacts to political pressure, not scientific advice in most situations.

Up 'til now, the BLM is not been good at what it does. First off, they have no accurate information on how many horses are on public lands. They are relying on outdate, unreliable figures and counting horses visually, which can result in a margin of error between 7 percent and 60 percent.

Something else that wasn't mentioned in the article is that the horses slated for euthanasia are horses that have been removed from the herds but have not been adopted. The BLM has rules for folks who want to adopt, but in some cases, they are as much as five years behind in transferring legal title to wild horses adopted by members of the public, and has no method to track whether people have adopted more than the legal limit of four horses.

Another disturbing fact, is that they don't keep track of how many times a horse is shipped to public adoptions around the country, with some un-adoptable horses moving from adoption to adoption, sometimes losing 200 to 300 pounds because of travel stress. Yet, the BLM won't put these horses down because they fear a public backlash (like the one we are seeing now.)

And even though there is a public outcry to stop the euthanasia, wild-horse populations are nearly double what the forage on public rangeland can feed yet public demand to adopt the horses has waned, partly because of an outbreak of a disease called "strangles." Nor do people want to adopt older horses, so the older ones, the unattractive horses are put in "refuges" set up by the BLM to feed and care for them. Some of these older horses have been there a long time, and managers are wondering if we really doing a service to these wild, old, sometimes infirm horses. Maybe we should euthanize them instead. Even some wild-horse advocates are in favor of putting these older horses down instead of just keeping them around. The BLM just doesn't have the money to run an old folks home for un-adoptable horses.

There is lots more to it than this. Suffice it to say (IMO) that there are horses being held by the BLM that should be put down. I don't think we are always doing the best for an animal, or a population, by just keeping it alive. Sometimes they have to be managed, and sometimes that means hard decisions have to be made. Most people (especially politicians) are just uninformed on the facts, and the media want to play on this emotion in how they report. Real scientific data can be boring. I just don't have the room or the time to go into real depth on this, as there are so many people and organizations involved.

Bob



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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-14-2008, 08:36 AM
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Well said Bob...
Unfortunately most of the time human emotions out weigh what is best for an animal (or the environment). I see it quite a bit when people just can't let go even when it is best for the animal, and it usually ends with prolonged suffering on the animals part, which IMO is ethically wrong.


I don't think they should euthanize healthy horses, but diseased horses which pose a health risk to the rest of the herd should be removed. Some of the horses are also being threatened by starvation, I would rather see a horse euthanized than slowly starve to death (a painful process). As for the horses that are moved from adoption site to adoption site I pose this question: What kind of life is that for a horse?


I know some view this as being cold hearted, but when you take the emotions out of a situation and weigh all the facts from a strictly ethical point of view, most times there is a clear path that should be taken.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-14-2008, 11:56 AM
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Hmmm...makes me think more.
The wild horse population is something I do not know much about...like I said,I thought there were only a few wild horses! I always thought they were endangered!


Euthanizing sick or injured horses beyond repair is not cruel in my opinion.Leaving them in those conditions are cruel.Horses on the brink of starvation tho...if they can adopt them out to homes,then yay! If not,I guess it would be best to euthanise them...unless a sanctuary took them.I agree that starvation is a worse death then euthaniasia.


But are wild horses really all that adoptable???


I am not going to say anymore on the subject,as I don't know lots about it.




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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-15-2008, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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I didn't think there were that many wild horses either. Of course, I'm from Oregon and we don't have them around here.

I would think it would be difficult to tame a wild horse. Haven't most of them been wild for quite some time (like their parents and grandparents were wild, etc)?

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-15-2008, 06:21 PM
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When I was a kid I used to get information on the mustangs (wild horses) for sale at auction. I always wanted to adopt one (what boy doesn't want to own a horse?) but I never had room.
There are some very large herds (not just one large herd). If they are culling them out then I am guessing they still got a lot. With shrinking lands, and a shrinking farm/ranch population, less get adopted and sold at auction. There has to be hard choices made about what to do with the herds.
I had a friend who got a mustang stallion when I was 16. It was 2 years old. She trained it very slowly. She also had a professional trainer helping. It took about a year before the horse was ride-able. Mustangs can be trained with care. They can also be mean and kill themselves without proper care in captivity.
A historical note on where the mustang comes from: The Spanish moved into the U.S. in the 1500's, exploring. They would lose horses and trade horses to the natives. Those horses lost grew and thrived and became herds. Some natives and some cowboys and vaqueros would train mustangs if they needed.

I am not against culling if it is necessary. It's sad, but there sometimes isn't an easy way to deal with things. Mygala made some excellent points.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-15-2008, 08:31 PM
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I found this online.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mustang_(horse)
http://www.ehow.com/how_2067849_adopt-wild-mustang.html

I didn't know they still had the program running. I haven't looked into it for over a decade.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-15-2008, 09:24 PM
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Ok,so this is obviosly ethical decision to cull the herds b/c this day and age animals need to live around us and thats fine about the sick and injured and less-than-suitable live-in horses but theres all kinds of other unspeakable cullings and hunts which in a politicians head means "money" but are we really doing more good than bad? Yes,they say the Canadian seal hunt is sustainable but now the cod stocks are out-how to help the cod?kill more seals,and i heard about another Canadian cull on Coyotes or wolves....if i hear enough about all sides of a controversial hunt then i may agree,but mostly my emotions take effect.I try to be level-headed and un-biased but sometimes i really cant stand to look at people wearing seal skin coats!!!!


So about the horses,i must say that Mygala brought some valid points to the table,there'll always be controversy on matters such as these but at least the survivors get that extra chance given to them.
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