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Save Our Wild Horses

Story ID:9010
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:- various USA
Year:2013
Person:Karen Sussman
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Even though I never see these beautiful majestic wild horses
of the West because I live in Ohio, I believe I am correct
in saying they belong to all of us.

In 1971 that beautiful, compassionate, and intrepid woman
affectionately known as "Wild Horse Annie" brought their plight
before the American school children and people of America in
general. Her tireless efforts and work in their behalf bore
fruit, and Congress in that year passed the 1971 WILD HORSE AND
BURRO ACT which gave them protection and public lands to roam
and live on.

THE 2004 CONRAD BURNS AMENDMENT

Sadly, as with all good and beautiful happenings, there are
people who decided that these iconic horses should be captured
and sold for slaughter.

In 2004 -former Senator of Montana, Conrad Burns, had the
dubious distinction of eroding the 1971 Wild Horse and Burro Act.
He slipped in an amendment in an appropriations bill which took
away the protection of horses that are over ten years old.

So until 2007, it was openhouse for those people who felt that
selling these wild horses for slaughter was a profitable business
and US slaughterhouses sprang up

A COMPASSIONATE AMENDMENT IN 2007.

Finally, with the uproar of many people objecting to the killing
and slaughtering of our horses in the US for the tables of Europe
and Japan, another amendment was added to an appropriation bill.
This one defunded USDA inspections of slaughterhouses. This
sounded the death knell of the horse slaughterhouses in the US.

So many of us were so happy to see the US slaughterhouses shutdown
and closed, but our happiness would be short-lived. Now thanx to
the BLM round-ups which led to so many of these captured horses
being sold at auction and snapped up by "meat" men, thousands of
them were sent to the cruel slaughter houses of Mexico and Canada.

Recently, there has been put in place a new BLM policy change
which will not allow more than four horses to be purchased by an
individual or group within six months without the approval of
the Assistant Director of the BLM.

In the meantime, thousands of wild horses under BLM's care continue
to be unaccounted for. However, ISPMB covered the sale of 1700
wild horses in Colorado to a livestock hauler, Tom Davis, His
family had ties to KEN SALAZAR'S family. Salazar had been SECRETARY
OF THE INTERIOR under Obama. Imagine that Davis has said that he
placed the horses in homes. One problem -the horses cannot be
found.

OUR HORSES ARE STILL SUFFERING. WE NEED THE SAFE ACT

I am grateful to Karen Sussman, president of the International
Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros (ISPMB). This
is the very same group which Thelma Johnston (Wild Horse Annie)
headed until her passing on June 27, 1977. I feel certain she
would have been proud of Sussman's leadership and concern for the
wild horses and burros of the west as she had been.

I have gotten reports from different horse rescues asking me to
sign their petitions so that my legislators would sign the Safe
Act - "Safeguard American Food Exports Act." This act, if passed,
will end the inhumane slaugher of American horses in Canada and
Mexico by prohibiting transport for purposes of slaughter and
human consumption.

All the petitions I received I signed, BUT no one told me something
that the Sussman newsletter did. Only 13 of 100 Senators have signed
onto the bill and 105 of 435 Representatives. We need many more
of them to come on board if there will be a chance of passage.

This is shocking in my estimation. These compassionate and caring
legislators:
Senators Mary Landrieu D-LA and Lindsey Graham R-SC introduced
S-541 (Safe Act)
Representatives Parick Meehan R-PA and Jan Schakowskyu D-IL
introduced HR -1094 (Safe Act)
They need support!


DISSAPOINTMENT

I immedicately wondered if my Ohio representative and senators
were on the list of legislators who backed either S-541 or HR-1094.
I had signed all the petitions sent me in this regard asking them
to support these bills.

Sussman said we should check on it to see if our Congress people
had signed onto the bill. She said we could call their office
(605-964-6866) or go to www.thomas.loc.gov and insert the bill
number where asked.

Another shock awaited me - my Ohio Representative Marcy Kaptur was
not on the list. Had Dennis Kucinich still been my representative,
I would not have even had to check it.

Neither of my two Ohio Senators - Sherrod Brown or Rob Portman were
on the list either.

The easiest way for me to contact them is by e-mail. I looked
up E-mail contact information on the internet for all three of
them and asked them AGAIN to support the SAFE Amendment Act. I
hope they have the courtesy to reply and more, I hope they are
compassionate and will sign onto the bill.

I also hope that all of you who say you care about horses, will
do the same. I believe passage of this amendment will only stop
our horses from being sent for slaughter to Mexico and Canada.
But it is an important start. Then we will have to worry about the
people who are on the verge of starting up slaughterhouses in
the US again. Is there an amendment which authorizes USDA inspections?
If so, that's another problem we will have to address as well.