Wild horse Christmas Day massacre (US)

Report from Nevada
December 20, 2008

The Fund for Horses received word that horses held in BLM holding pens in Nevada were being moved. First it was about 200 geldings. Then about 200 “pairs,” or mares with their foals.

The eyewitness lives locally, and passes by the area every day while traveling to and from work. This person was alarmed at the sudden movement of these horses, especially the mares with their young.

We tried to trace these horses, but were unable to establish anything concrete because many of these horses were not freeze branded.

This is yet another failure on the part of the BLM to do their job properly.

How can they possibly keep track of the number of horses they are gathering, and where they are, if they are not branding these horses, and therefore keeping records of them.

At the Nevada conference attended by wild horse advocates and BLM representatives, this was mentioned, and suggestions made on how to do this more effectively. It was greeted with. . . non interest, to put it kindly.

We are fearful these horses have been destroyed.

This report came to the Fund for Horses just days before Christmas. When we alerted the press, they would not expose it, saying we had no real “evidence” that anything happened to these horses, other than they were moved to another “feedlot.”

Subsequent investigations showed that about 200 horses were moved to a private holding facility. This is property that the BLM rents out when they run out of space for the horses they have gathered. Once the horses are transferred there, no one knows where they end up, or what happens to them.

It is our belief that the geldings were sent to Mexico for slaughter. The mares and foals? That we are unsure of, but they are no longer there.

Was there a Christmas Day Massacre?

It impossible to know for sure. What is certain, is that it could have happened, most likely did, but there is no way to prove it or stop it, particularly when these types of activities are carried out during a holiday period knowing, of course, it is difficult if not impossible to contact anyone who can help.

Since there was a gather around the same time period of about 1,400 horses in Nevada the argument could be made by the BLM that the holding pen in question was cleared so that they could put the just rounded up horses there.

This does not answer the question, what happened to the horses that were moved?

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