Lots more info on wild horses


Since the 19th Century, the number of U.S. Wild Horses has decreased by 98%. At the current rate, they may all be gone in as little as a decade. The 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horse And Burros Act designated special public land sites as habitat for Wild Horses and burros. But since then, more than 270,000 Wild Horses and Burros have been removed from these sites by our government. Land that was voted to be sanctuary for wild horses and burros is now primarily used for government-subsidized cattle grazing – livestock now outnumbers wild horses and burros on public land by 50:1


Every year, the federal government uses helicopters to stampede thousands of “federally protected” wild horses into pens to remove them from public lands so that private commercial interests – industrial ranching and mining companies, can turn a greater profit. While this cruel practice has gone on for over 40 years, few are aware because it occurs in remote regions, out of public view. 80% of Americans oppose round-ups. Today, there are more than twice as many wild horses stockpiled in government holding facilities as there are remaining wild. Maintaining these horses costs taxpayers more than $80 million per year. Click here to see a round up.

A MORE HUMANE, LOWER-COST ALTERNATIVE There is a better alternative backed by the Humane Society of the United States: we can end the stockpiling of wild horses by using a humane fertility vaccine program to control wild populations. This would cost taxpayers just 6% of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM’s) budget as opposed the whopping 70% of the budget we currently pay just for maintaining wild horses in government facilities.


Despite Americans’ overwhelming opposition to horse slaughter, last year more than 160,000 American horses were transported and sold to Canada and Mexico for slaughter according to the Humane Society. Many of these were “federally protected” wild horses sold by the BLM to “kill buyers.” Ironically, tax dollars we pay the BLM to “protect” our wild horses are paying for round-ups and frequently, the slaughter of wild horses. Although horse slaughter was made illegal in the US in 2006, in 2011, big money interests persuaded politicians to lift the ban quickly and quietly to avoid public debate.  Newly built horse slaughter plants in Oklahoma and New Mexico are each prepared to begin butchering an average of 1,000 horses a day once federal funding for meat inspection is in place. According to the Humane Society, “Horse slaughter is inherently inhumane. The methods used to kill horses rarely result in quick, painless deaths, as horses often endure repeated stuns or blows and sometimes remain conscious during their slaughter and dismemberment.” Horses are often transported to the slaughterhouse “without food, water or rest, in dangerously overcrowded trailers” in which they are often seriously injured or killed before they reach their destinations.


Horse meat is unsafe for human consumption because horses aren’t raised for food. De-wormers, fly treatments, and painkillers full of highly toxic chemicals banned for human consumption are given daily to horses on the track, in the show ring, and on the ranch.


Right now, a measure is working its way through the House of Representatives: The Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act. If voted into law, the bill would outlaw the killing of American horses for human consumption and prohibit transporting American horses across the U.S. border for slaughter in Mexico and Canada. Time is running out.


For a detailed timeline and history of the horse, click here.



How Many Congressmen Does It Take To Screw A Horse? – Vickery Eckhoff,  FORBES

U.S.D.A. May Approve Horse Slaughtering – Stephanie Strom, The NY Times

How the Department of the Interior Sold Out America’s Wild Horses – Andrew Cohen, THE ATLANTIC

Are We Leading Our Wild Horses To Slaughter? – Andrew Cohen, THE ATLANTIC

Racing Industry Silent About Slaughtered Thoroughbreds  – Vickery Eckhoff,  FORBES

Contraceptives For Wild Horses Are Just What The Government Ordered – Vickery Eckhoff,  FORBES

The Man Who Could Save America’s Wild Horses – Andrew Cohen, THE ATLANTIC

Rounding Up America’s Wild Horses (photo gallery) – FORBES

Texas Mayor Paula Bacon Kicks Some Tail – Vickery Eckhoff,  FORBES

Life in a Slaughter Town: Kaufman Texas (photo gallery) – FORBES

Wild Horses Are Running Out of Room On and Off The Range – Dan Frosch, The NY Times

Who’s Who in Capitol Hill’s Horse Meat Power Posse (photo gallery) – FORBES

Horse Slaughterhouse Investigation Sounds Food Safety and Cruelty Alarms – Vickery Eckhoff,  FORBES

How Safe Is That Horse Meat? – Vickery Eckhoff,  FORBES

WSJ Serves Up Tainted Journalism On Horse Slaughter Plate – Vickery Eckhoff,  FORBES

Saving Princess Madeline—A Racehorse’s Tale – Vickery Eckhoff,  FORBES

Educational websites:

 American Wild Horse Federation

Wild Horse Education

Saving America’s Mustangs


About Jennifer MaHarry

Jennifer MaHarry is a photographer and graphic designer based in the Hudson Valley. Her photography of wild horses in the American West, owls and other wild animals have been featured in fine art galleries, museums, Sundance Catalog, magazines and newspapers nationwide.


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