These horses are part of our heritage," BLM chief Robert Abbey told a room of breeders, trainers and law makes. "Make no mistake, they deserve to be treated the best way that we can treat them.
The Summit of the Horse held on Tuesday, January 3-6, 2011, was sponsored by United Horsemen, a group of ranchers and horse owners that want to revive the nation's horse slaughter industry so that horse meat can be processed within the U. S. for sale to countries where horse meat is sold as food.
Sue Wallace, a Wyoming legislator and vice president of United Horsemen, said horse processing is the humane and ethical solution to controlling the horse population. She contends that the government's policy of rounding up excess horses and relocating them to horse holding pens amounts to public welfare for horses.
BLM chief Robert Abbey countered the arguments put forth by the United Horsemen with the information that the bureau is in the process of treating roughly 1,000 mares with infertility vaccines that will reduce the wild horse population and is, also, stepping up promotion of the horse adoption program.
He also pointed out that slaughtering wild horses for food isn't a viable option for thinning herds. In addition, private citizens are stepping forward to buy ranch space, where they can set up eco-friendly sanctuaries for many of these horses.