Your article reiterates the same tired old arguments and misconceptions which the BLM, ranchers and slaugherhouse killer-buyers have been spreading for decades. The fact is that this "feral" horse evolved in North America and was only exterminated less than 11,000 years ago by the First Nations peoples, that is, humans. This is an undisputed fact, not a theory, and yes, they were the exact same species, completely adapted to their specific ecological niche, which they have now reclaimed. Therefore they deserve the same rights as any other wild, native species. Horses do not eat the same things as deer or elk and, being quite mobile, do not trash the land unless they are forcibly enclosed. Their hooves are no harder than any other large four-footed, unless you think they are born with iron shoes attached to their feet? Certainly they cannot do a fraction of the damage incurred by the vast hordes of profitable, Non-Native European cattle and sheep who somehow have come to take precedence over every other species in the native landscape, including large predators, which if allowed to do their job would balance the ecosystem nicely in just a few years, mostly by killing off the cattle. Like the bison of Yellowstone National Park, the problem is not that mustangs overbreed, it is that they are not allowed to migrate. Like the bison, they are a wild, native species being managed as livestock by agencies who are bought, sold and fully controlled by the livestock industry.
With regards to "recycling" these mustangs, I do hope you realize that the entire slaughter industry, from transport to slaughter, is designed for cattle, right? And these practices, horrific as they are for cattle, are even more nightmarish for horses. If, as you claim, you know anything about horses, then you know that horses are nothing like cattle, being flighty, relatively intelligent, and considerably more prone to serious injury than cattle. Horses are easily terrified and frequently sustain horrific injuries during transport in trailers designed for more placid animals. Stun guns used for cattle during slaughter frequently do not work on horses, who are then subjected to literal vivisection, as well documented by many undercover videos easily available on the internet.
Mustangs are simply pawns in an intricate game of misdirection perpetrated by several powerful lobbies who have vested interests in maintaining the option of slaughtering "excess equines," including the livestock and equine breeding, racing, and showing industries as well as the slaughter industry itself, which "recycles" that horsemeat not here in the US, where there is a long-standing, strong cultural taboo against the use of horsemeat, even for dog food, but rather overseas where there is a thriving market.
If you were really, as you say, an environmentalist interested in "solving" the "excess" equine population, thereby saving the West from overgrazing and desertification, you might do better to support measures fully protecting and restoring large predators, limiting the free range of non- native, privately-owned, disease-ridden large ungulates on our public lands, and regulating the larger equine industry so that it no longer produces 1000,000 "unwanted" horses per year which must be gotten rid of somehow.....
Or we could stop paying ranchers for wolf predation, which was the worst mistake ever made by Defenders of Wildlife. Wolf predation on a non-native species should be considered an Act of God, just like blizzards, lightning strikes, and other uncontrollable, natural causes of death.
Horses are native to North America. They evolved here along with the camel , and migrated to the Central Asian steppes and from there to the rest of the world. They died out here only after the last Ice Age ,almost certainly at the hands of humans, who hunted them and several other species into extinction about 10,000 years ago. This is not just some theory, it is a well known fact.
Saying horses are not native because they were absent from their native habitat is similar to the idiots who claim that wolves reintroduced from Canada are not natives. "Mustangs" fit perfectly into their own ecological niche, and like the American Bison, should be allowed to spread out of their tightly controlled boundaries and treated like other NATIVE wild species. But Mustangs and Bison compete with our sacred NON-NATIVE cattle, who infected bison and elk and deer with brucellosis in the first place. So follow the money, boys......
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