Kentucky lawyer leases land to protect horses, plans sanctuary in coal country

JACKSON, Ky. (Source Article) —  Curtis Bostic is an attorney, a politician and — for a few weeks in 2016 — an accused horse thief.

On a cold December day in the rugged hilltops of Breathitt County, Bostic was trying to rescue some horses he said had been abandoned and were malnourished. But he was arrested by a sheriff’s deputy, who said the horses belonged to two men who follow the local custom of setting them free in the winter to wander the wilderness of the county’s abandoned coal fields.

The charges were later dismissed after the sheriff’s department said it didn’t have probable cause to make the arrest. But during the night Bostic spent in jail, he came up with an idea: A few weeks later, he leased the land where he had been arrested. He sent a letter to the two men who had pressed charges against him. Now, they were the trespassers, and Bostic ordered them to come get their horses before he put them up for adoption.

“I can’t change the full county. But I can say you are not going to come to my property and drop your horse off in the cold winter,” Bostic said.

Bostic wants to turn 4,000 acres of former coal mines into a horse sanctuary. It’s the latest idea on how to tackle the growing horse population in the mountains of Kentucky, a state known more for pampered thoroughbreds on pristine farms than bony horses roaming free.

Bostic’s descriptions of thousands of horses suffering at the hands of cruel owners have offended the locals who say he doesn’t understand their culture.

Clifton Hudson, 30, owns five horses that he sets free to wander land he doesn’t own near his home in Breathitt County. He said he provides 600 pounds of salt each month for the horses. He stopped hauling hay bales to the land because the horses were not eating them, a sign he says means they have plenty of grass to graze. The locals often bring their children to the mountains on the weekends to pet and feed the horses.

“It’s just really it’s more of a pastime than anything else with the people of the county,” Hudson said. “So far the only person really had an issue with it has been Mr. Bostic.”

Wild horses have been a familiar sight in the Kentucky mountains for decades. But following the Great Recession and the thousands of jobs lost because of the disappearing coal industry, more horses have been set loose. Read the full story »

Source: WCPO Cincinnati. Report originally filed by the Associated Press. Written by Adam Beam . Featured image by Jervis Pics.

Natl Congress of American Indians lobbying for horse slaughter

The horse? Sacred? Then why are the National Congress of American Indians lobbying for horse slaughter? For the same reason everyone else does. To make money off supplying horse meat to people who want to eat it.

Pro-horse slaughter Native American Indians are using the same old rhetoric and lies trying to justify this heinous industry. So like everybody else looking to make money off of horse slaughter — they will say anything — even disgrace their heritage to accommodate this evil. So please do not use the words sacred, horse and slaughter.

See extracts from a report written by the Associated Press, and posted in the business section of the www.ChronicleHerald.ca:

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Navajo Nation is jumping into the fray over a return to domestic horse slaughter, drafting a letter to federal officials in support of a New Mexico company’s plan to begin exporting horse meat next week.

The tribe’s support for Valley Meat Co. comes one week after Robert Redford and former Gov. Bill Richardson joined the opposite side, saying, among other reasons, that they were “standing with Native American leaders” to protect cultural values.

But Erny Zah, spokesman for Navajo President Ben Shelly, said Wednesday that the nation’s largest Indian reservation can no longer support the estimated 75,000 feral horses that are drinking wells dry and causing ecological damage to the drought-stricken range.

“It’s a sensitive subject to begin with because horses are considered sacred animals, so you just can’t go out and euthanize them,” Zah said.

“That would go too far against cultural conditions. At the same time we have a bunch of horses that no one is caring for, so it’s a delicate balance.”

Because of the horse overpopulation, the tribe already is rounding up and selling wild horses, Zah said. Some of those, he said, end up being shipped to Mexico.

National Congress of American Indians logo.

Supporters of a return to domestic horse slaughter argue it is a more humane solution than shipping unhealthy and starving animals to facilities south of the border for slaughter under unregulated and often cruel circumstances.

The National Congress of American Indians, representing tribes across the country, is also lobbying in support of Valley Meat Co., saying overgrazing by feral horses is causing serious environmental and ecological damage.

Continue reading >>

Royal Marines help round up feral horses (UK)

Feral Horses Moray
Feral Horses Moray

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The Royal Marines were involved in helping to round up almost 100 semi-feral horses on a remote farm at Dallas in Morayshire in a major operation co-ordinated by the charity World Horse Welfare.

It was the charity’s biggest and most unusual project and also involved vets from the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies and the armed forces charity, Horseback UK.

The operation was organised after an elderly farmer contacted World Horse Welfare as he was concerned about his Highland-type horses and ponies and realised help was needed to rescue them.

The animals were in danger of becoming serious welfare cases.

The herd, made up of stallions, mares and foals had been increasing in size for many years due to uncontrolled breeding.

The 1,000 acres of grassland, forest and scrub land could not sustain them adequately. Continue reading >>

The horses are expected to be sold at auction to recoup part of the expenses.

World Horse Welfare do not work to eliminate horse slaughter in the UK, preferring instead to work on improving welfare standards in transport to slaughter.

See BBC News Scotland video report >>

New evidence delays Sundre area feral horse shooting trial

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DARYL SLADE, reporting for the Calgary Herald, writes:

Sundre Feral Horse Shooting Carla Victor / CalgaryHerald
Sundre Feral Horse Shooting Carla Victor / CalgaryHerald

CALGARY — The trial of three men accused of wrongfully shooting a feral horse near Sundre has been adjourned for three weeks to allow the Crown to assess whether new evidence will adversely affect its case.

It had already been delayed for a day from its scheduled Monday start, and defence lawyers say further investigation may have forced prosecutor Gord Haight to seriously assess his position.

“The Crown did some further video yesterday, which we need to have them disclose to us,” Willie deWit, lawyer for Jason Nixon, said outside court following the adjournment to April 27.

“We’ve also given some very important evidence to the Crown to consider. They need to look at it and assess where they want to go with the case after looking at this. Obviously, we can’t discuss what that evidence is, but it’s pretty significant in our estimation.”

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