(Photo: every week in the spring I do volunteer work with children and domesticated horses)
Wild horses are a symbol of the “Wild West”, often seen as emblematic of the American spirit. Yet, they have been controversial for decades. Ranchers have longed bemoaned the wild horses’ presence, and complain that protections for the animals have created problems of overpopulation. The new budget proposal seems particularly cruel to the horses, however, as it would allow horses to be sold overseas for slaughter. This would reverse protections both Democrat and Republican Presidents have championed for over forty years.
President Donald Trump’s budget proposal calls for saving $10 million next year by selling wild horses captured throughout the West without the current requirement that buyers guarantee the animals won’t be resold for slaughter.
Wild horse advocates say the change would gut nearly a half-century of protection for wild horses — an icon of the American West — and could send thousands of free-roaming mustangs to foreign slaughterhouses for processing as food.