Turning Free-Roaming Horses Into Border Guards
It’s bad enough that the US Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management can’t keep its sticky fingers off free-living horses of the West.
It’s absurd enough the Bureau claims a five-figure population of free-roaming horses and burros is too big — while ranchers, covetous of any blade of grass or drop of water these horses find, graze more than five million cows, buffalo, sheep and goats on public lands.1
It’s shameful enough that the Bureau takes the horses and burros — animals the agency is responsible for protecting — away from the land to which they were born, and severs these animals’ own relationships. That it privatizes these horses and burros — more than 216,000 of them over the years — selling them at auctions and sale yards, or “adopting” them off — taking $125 per head, under current law, as the minimum adoption fee.
It’s disgraceful enough that the government even threatens to kill them.2
It’s nauseating enough that the government enables people to break free-living mustangs and turn them into lifestyle accessories through schemes such as the “Extreme Mustang Makeover” — a circus-like spectacle complete with hoops of fire, which is trumpeted by Mustang car maker Ford as though it were some kind of noble environmental activity.
And now, in one of the bitterest twists of all, these so-called American icons will not only be made to march at the forthcoming inaugural parade, but also used to guard the US borders. Instead of moving uncontrolled, these horses will be trained and enlisted to stop humans from moving uncontrolled.