Saturday, May 07, 2005

Not Over Yet

From Viggo-Works.com:

We received this disturbing piece from the Rapid City Journal. This is not the time to back down on this issue.

From the Rapid City Journal
May 4, 2005
Wild horse sanctuary to get Rosebud mustangs rescued from slaughter
By Steve Miller, Journal Staff Writer

HOT SPRINGS -- The Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary south of Hot Springs is set to receive more than 50 mustangs recently saved from slaughter.

The horses had been obtained by a broker from the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and sent to a slaughterhouse in Illinois. About 35 of the horses were slaughtered before the Interior Department abruptly intervened. The department also halted delivery of mustangs to buyers while it investigates whether slaughter of the animals violates a federal contract requiring them to be treated humanely.

The surviving horses obtained from Rosebud could arrive as early as next week at the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary, spokeswoman Karla LaRive said.

LaRive said she believes the horses are being held in Nebraska and that 16 of them had been quarantined, possibly because of exposure to an equine virus at the Illinois slaughtering plant.

A new law passed by Congress last year allows old and hard-to-adopt wild horses to be sold for slaughter.

The law removed restrictions dating to the early 1970s preventing wild horses from being sold commercially.

Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont., a sponsor of the legislation, said he hoped that the provision would reduce the number of wild horses in holding facilities and cut the cost to care for them.

Rosebud Sioux Tribe officials said last week that they did not knowingly do anything wrong. The tribe bought the wild horses from the BLM for a youth program. They had asked for horses 3 to 5 years old, but the horses that arrived were too old and too big, according to tribal officials, who worried that children could not ride them safely.

The tribe traded 87 old horses to the broker for younger ones, according to an Associated Press story.

When the remaining mustangs arrive at the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary, they likely will be put in corrals and receive supplemental feed including sweet oats, alfalfa and hay, LaRive said Tuesday.

After the animals are acclimated and well enough, they will be released onto the 11,000-acre sanctuary.

Other details are still being worked out, she said.

The sanctuary, on the Cheyenne River south of Hot springs, is home to more than 400 wild horses.

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