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Slaughtering Horses Because Turtles and Shrubs Are More Important

from the New York Times

On Mustang Range, a Battle on Thinning the Herd

Marilyn Newton for The New York Times

A federal bureau has a captive herd of 30,000 mustangs and is proposing a euthanasia program.

GERLACH, Nev. — Five mustangs pounded across the high desert recently, their dark manes and tails giving shape to the wind. Pursued by a helicopter, they ran into a corral — and into the center of the emotional debate over whether euthanasia should be used to thin a captive herd that already numbers 30,000.

The champions of wild mustangs have long portrayed them as the victims of ranchers who preferred cattle on the range, middlemen who wanted to make a buck selling them for horsemeat and misfits who shot them for sport. But the wild horse today is no longer automatically considered deserving of extensive protections.

Some environmentalists and scientists have come to see the mustangs, which run wild from Montana to California, as top-of-the-food-chain bullies, invaders whose hooves and teeth disturb the habitats of endangered tortoises and desert birds.

Even the language has shifted. In a 2006 article in Audubon magazine, wild horses lost their poetry and were reduced to “feral equids.”

[ click to read more about these inhuman horse killers at NYTimes.com ]

Posted on July 20, 2008 by JDS

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