This story gets “curiouser and curiouser”, using a popular phrase quoted by Alice during her trip through wonderland.
In September it was reported that The American Museum of Agriculture in Lubbock, Texas purchased two healthy mules and had them killed and stuffed to a make a “more realistic” farm display in an art exhibit.
San Antonio man Patrick Greene filed a lawsuit against the Lubbock museum and also reported the incident to the Bureau of Land Management because of his impression that the mules had been rounded up then later sold for the purpose described above, which he contends is illegal.
WALT NETT reporting for the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal writes:
A San Antonio man’s complaint about the use of euthanized mules in a museum exhibit has been referred to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s law enforcement division for investigation, an agency official said Friday.
Sally Spencer, marketing director of the federal agency’s National Wild Horse and Burro program, confirmed she’d received an email from Patrick Greene, who sued Dan Taylor, the chairman of the American Museum of Agriculture’s board, earlier this month seeking to keep the two stuffed mules from being used in a historic exhibit.
Wait until you read this bit.
Spencer said she’d turned the paperwork over to the agency’s law enforcement section and said the first step involves checking to see if the mules had freezemarks on their necks. A freezemark, similar to a brand but applied with an iron chilled in liquid nitrogen, is applied to by BLM to captured animals eventually offered for adoption and sale.
According to the BLM website, the freezemark is unalterable because the animal’s hair grows back white to display the symbols.
If the animals aren’t marked, BLM would not have jurisdiction, Spencer said.
Spencer explained that the legal protections for wild horses and burros under federal law is extended to mules that are rounded up and made available for adoption.
Under the law, someone who adopts an animal signs an agreement the animal will not be sold “for slaughter or bucking stock, or for processing into commercial products,” according to the adoption program’s website.
The museum said previously it bought the animals — one was 28 years old, the other 32 — from a trader whose other option was to ship them to Mexico for processing at a meat plant.
I am so pleased to see that Spencer does know the rules related to the slaughtering of America’s wild equines and admitted it publicly. This will come in handy later.
In the meantime, Greene has dropped his original complaint against the museum over the mule display, only because he intends to re-file at the federal level.
Go Mr. Greene!
— “Federal agency asked to check museum mules’ history“; Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Lubbuck Online; Walt Nett; Nov. 2, 2012.
— Lubbock museum kills and stuffs two mules for art exhibit; Tuesday’s Horse; Sept. 19, 2012.