US Government Orders Killing of 45,000 Wild Horses

Government-approved massacre of endangered horses will make room for beef farms.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is recommending that 45,000 wild horses and burros be killed in order to clear land for large beef farms. After rudimentary attempts at controlling the animals—currently being held in government-owned facilities—through painful sterilization procedures, the BLM has authorized the largest horse and burro slaughter in history. Animal-rights organization In Defense of Animals claims that only 50,000 of the animals remain in the wild, saying that, “the planned slaughter amounts to a genocide.” Holly Hazard, the senior vice president of programs and innovations at the Humane Society of the United States, reveals that government agencies have routinely rounded up horses for 20 years to clear land for animal agriculture, exposing them to extreme temperatures, and neglecting them at government-run facilities. “The agency would not be in this situation but for their long-term mismanagement,” Hazard says. Furthermore, the BLM has been reported to auction these horses to ranchers who send the animals to be slaughtered in Mexico for meat. Plans for the cull have yet to be finalized and animal-rights organizations are urging citizens to take action by signing a petition to stop the slaughter, calling Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell at 202-208-3100, and emailing the BLM director at

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