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LETTER: The BLM and wild horses

Joanna Grossman’s Sunday commentary about wild horses in the West raises many questions. Of course we know that the Bureau of Land Management has butchered (no pun intended) its efforts to control horse and burro populations. However, populations of these animals do need to be controlled in many areas. In the community of Cold Creek, I have witnessed starving horses so thin and lethargic that they were eating the bark of Joshua trees.

Fertility control methods for horses are expensive and arduous but probably a good course of action if the BLM wouldn’t waste so much money on round-ups and paying people to adopt animals that are later sold to slaughterhouses in Mexico and Canada.

However, to claim, as Ms. Grossman does, that horses meet a grisly death is weak and cheap. Online I see that 800,000 cows are slaughtered each day in the United States, and no one seems to say those deaths are grisly. Horses would be put down in the same way.

Five hundred years ago, the Spaniards brought horses and burros to the United States, so they are not native animals in the current use of the word. The BLM must do a better job, but wild horse populations do need to be controlled. What I saw at Cold Creek was extremely sad and inhumane.

To protect our fragile deserts in the Southwest, removing free-ranging cows from federal lands would be an even bigger benefit. But we all know that will never happen.

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