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These Feral Horses Need to be Heard
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These Feral Horses Need to be Heard

One of the attractions of Placitas in New Mexico is the free ranging horses that wander around in the neighborhoods of this beautiful mountain village. Horses are our oldest animal friends and they belong to the most beloved wildlife species. Well, there is a little difference between a horse that is born and raised in a ranch and a horse from wilderness. Nevertheless, tourists and wildlife enthusiasts are eager to catch a glimpse of these feral horses. These horses are the signature feature of the northern part of Albuquerque; however, some of the residents are irritated by them as they keep feeding on the vegetation of their “delicate” desert landscape. Apparently, they have become unwanted by these people, but where would they go? Probably in their silence they are appealing for their livelihood and these feral horses need to be heard.

There have been attempts to reduce their population by administering female contraceptive but state officials have prevented that. Instead, they have rounded up 125 horses to remove them from federal land that has created a tension between the state authorities and horses’ advocates. Gary Miles of Placitas Animal Rescue has even hinted the possibility of a “Cliven Bundy situation” -- an incident of armed confrontation with the federal government that took place in April over public land use. County officials recognize the passion concerning the horses but they point out to safety issues as well; occurrence of someone getting killed or maimed for life by hitting a horse at night is not impossibility. As there is no livestock business managed by any of the counties, the federal government is not going to pay for keeping these horses alive; the last thing they would do is to sell them to Canadian or Mexican slaughterhouses.

Horses advocates believe that these feral horses are the descendants of the herds that were left astray from the time of Spanish conquest and hence, they are wild animals. On the contrary, federal and local officials maintain that they are horses from Native American pueblos that were recently abandoned. In response to complaints earlier this year by some residents, more than fifty horses were removed by New Mexico Livestock officials. Placitas Animal Rescue and other advocates bought them at different auctions for as low as $10.00 a horse; however, it costs around $3000.00 a month to feed these horses just with hay. The federal officials are not paying attention to the claim that the feral horses are wild animals; these horses to them are “unauthorized excessive livestock” -- that’s how the federal state courts have ruled on the matter.

Some of the advocates are not willing to accept the court's’ ruling and they want to continue their fight. The US Bureau of Land Management has already notified the local residents that it is going to remove more or less 48 horses by December 31, 2014. In the meantime, horses advocates have contacted over 40 animal rescue groups about adopting the about to be rounded up feral horses of Placitas.

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  1. Archippus
    Vote #10! Abe, I hope that there will be free range horses for generations to come to behold!
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  2. Archippus
    Congratulations for making Top Posts Abe!
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  3. Sunni Faulkner
    I'm a animal activist at heart. I've been reading all about the plight of our wild horses. When I was 11 I witnessed the BLM at work. It was suppose to be a round up Instead the BLM hearded these beautiful animals all together and then ran them over a cliff to their death. The government agencies needs to leave our wild horses alone. They are exactly where they are suppose to be. The cattle ranchers need to use the property they purchased for their cattle. Not OUR PUBLIC LANDS.
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  4. Sunni Faulkner
    I'm a animal activist at heart. I've been reading all about the plight of our wild horses. When I was 11 I witnessed the BLM at work. It was suppose to be a round up Instead the BLM hearded these beautiful animals all together and then ran them over a cliff to their death. The government agencies needs to leave our wild horses alone. They are exactly where they are suppose to be. The cattle ranchers need to use the property they purchased for their cattle. Not OUR PUBLIC LANDS.
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  5. jst4horses
    If you read The WIld Horse Conspiracy, you will find that some horses are feral, many are not, and they were here long before the Spanish..........the author is a retired mustanger for BLM and the research is compelling. Further, even the civil war horses who were just abandoned and went wild for one hundred and fifty years deserve their lands and their lives. NO one asks people to move to the wild lands.............in the past forty years, a Panel on BIll Maher pointed out that FIFTY TWO PERCENT of all wild life has been murdered by humans. That is shocking and we need to think of our great great grandchildren..........do we REALLY just want to pass along a heritage of cement and freeways? No animals, no nothing real or wild, or historical. As far as horses getting run over, it is the responsibility of people who put in roads to make sure animals are safe, and to put in SLOW DOWN areas where animals are living..............Native Americans managed TEN THOUSAND years of living WITH Nature in balance..........it has taken europeans less than five hundred years to destroy the environment, kill off the Native people, and the native animals and now continue to think it is OK to just keep moving out and destroying more and more and more. I worked HARD with many thousands of people in the sixties to pass the 1971 free roaming horse and burro Act, it is supposed to protect the animals, not developers, people who want to live in the city, but not pay the taxes or prices, and move to the animal areas and then want to get rid of the animals. I remember one woman in particular living on a ranch in grizzley country........she was talking to the news anchor and kept saying "these asinine bears" I always remember she had come from Glendale...........there are NO grizzlies in Glendale, and I am sure the bears did not invite her to move on up and destroy more of their wilderness.
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