Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Ignorant activists saving "wild" horses

"Wild" horses are no such thing - - they're not a native species, and many are simply abandoned strays. So called "wild" horses are an invasive species that destroy native American flora and fauna. But, unlike the less romantic species they displace and eradicate, the Rolling Stones and The Byrds wrote really good songs about them, so there's an entire movement dedicated to "saving" "wild" horses.

With the financial backing of a California winery owner, activists on Saturday purchased almost all 174 horses up for sale at a state-sanctioned auction in Nevada to keep the horses from going to the slaughterhouse.

Stephanie Hoefener of the Lancaster, Calif.-based Livesavers Wild Horse Rescue group said activists purchased 172 horses for $31,415. The other two horses were acquired by private individuals for their personal use, she said.

"We're excited so many people came together to save the horses," Hoefener said. "This is amazing, and we all feel joyful."

The horses were rounded up by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management last month near the Nevada-Utah line and turned over to the Nevada Department of Agriculture for disposal.

Agriculture department officials acknowledge the estray horses could have wound up at slaughterhouses because they did not have the federal protections afforded to wild-roaming horses.

The horses are believed to be strays or descendants of horses abandoned by private owners over the years in Pilot Valley north of West Wendover.

Imagine the good that could be accomplished if this time and effort were focused on preserving and protecting truly wild native species.

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