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No-one, no thing, and no animal on Earth is safe from the federal government. Now, in addition to stealing and debasing our money, starting wars, and polluting rivers, the government will begin slaughtering wild horses. Maybe forty-five thousand of them.

The U.S. government is coming under fire from animal rights activists amid concerns that almost 45,000 wild horses could be euthanized in an attempt to control their numbers.

Last week the Bureau of Land Management’s National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board recommended that the Bureau euthanize or sell “without limitation” excess “unadoptable” horses and burros in the BLM’s off-range corrals and pastures.

An “unadoptable” horse or burro is typically at least 5 years old, making them less attractive for purchase or adoption. The bureau has more than 44,000 horses and more than 1,000 burros in off-range pastures and corrals.

The recommendation prompted an angry response from The Humane Society of the United States. “The decision of the BLM advisory board to recommend the destruction of the 45,000 wild horses currently in holding facilities is a complete abdication of responsibility for their care,” said Humane Society Senior Vice President of Programs & Innovations Holly Hazard, in a statement.

Under the terms of the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, the BLM manages, protects and controls wild horses and burros. The law authorizes the agency to move wild horses and burros off ranges to sustain the health of public lands. In addition to the off-range animals, the bureau estimates that more than 67,000 wild horses and burros are roaming on BLM-managed rangelands in 10 Western states.

Who knew we had a Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act? The burros part actually makes sense as it was enacted by a bunch of jackasses. One would think, based on the title, that the horses would be in the wild. You know, free roaming and such, and not in holding corrals. I have no time to read the Act nor any of the BLM’s regs on the matter. (Can you imagine how much ink has been wasted on this?)

I have read the Constitution a time or two. Many of my readers, here, are fond of the Old Parchment. Some fancy it still applies to the criminals in D.C. It does not. It has utterly failed as demonstrated by this very story (among 100,000 others). The BLM isn’t in it even once. Nor are horses. Nor burros. The afore-mentioned jackasses are included but in different context.

These horses aren’t just out West. There’s a sweet little colony of them living off the AT in Virginia. There are others elsewhere. I’ve met some of them. I liked them. I wonder how many will be headed to the glue factory because an agency that shouldn’t even exist can’t do the job mandated by one of its own signature legislative programs.


Government victims. Mount Rogers, VA.

I am a hunter, an outdoorsman, and an animal liker (“lover” is a bit strong, don’t you think). Thus I have a vague notion about herd management, ecology, and sustainability. I also understand government.

Government has no business managing lands let alone living things. The former they excel at ruining, the latter they enjoy killing. Correction: it simply has no business existing. Ours was brought to life by this Constitution thing. Said Constitution was supposed to limit the state. It failed and is now roundly disregarded by that Frankenstein’s Monster on the shores of the Potomac. As such, we have agencies and laws for everything.

Of course, once an agency exists and has a law to follow, they’re suppose to follow it. They don’t. They don’t let the horses roam free and they don’t manage the land. They sit back, pass regulations, burn money and wait until they have an overpopulation. Does anyone know anyone else who wants to (or even has the ability to) adopt 45,000 horses? I’m sure the bullet orders have already been placed.

Things would work out much better if we let the animals manage the land and put the politicians and bureaucrats in corrals.