It’s Official: Salt Lake Slaughter Summit Attendees Find Eating Horses a “Highly-Supported Option”
Several weeks ago, the American Wild Horse Campaign blasted advocates of slaughtering America’s wild horses and burros for organizing a secret “summit” in Salt Lake City on how to best manage America’s wild horse population. We called that taxpayer-funded event the “Salt Lake Slaughter Summit” and now that the presentations and summaries from the summit have been released, we now know that that title was entirely justified.
We also know why they didn’t want any legitimate advocates from the horse community in the room and took steps to completely shut us out from the hotel. Let’s be very clear here: this event was purposely stacked with people who view America’s wild horses as a profit center. If the wild horses can’t be sold for money, these folks want them killed.
For evidence, look no further than the “Facilitated Questions Summary”report prepared by the Slaughter Summit Steering Committee. Of the top six “highly-supported options” for how to address horse and burros issues, three involved eating horses, one involved killing horses (“euthanizing unadoptable horses,” which we covered in an opinion column for the Reno Gazette Journal), and two involved selling horses to be killed. Protecting wild horses didn’t make the cut. This was a stacked crowd: some 99% of the room’s respondents supported using wild horses for pet food.
The slaughter summit also shows the oft-derided swamp in action. It was stunning to us how much this event showed the cozy, symbiotic relationship between government and the ranching industry. It reeked of crony capitalism, which is the exact opposite of all the “swamp draining” that people have been promised.
Given that surveys routinely show 80% of Americans want our nation’s wild horses protected, the Utah summit clearly represented society’s fringe. In fact, most folks want Congress to do what it pretty much has been doing for 50 years: keeping established protections for our wild horses firmly in place.
It’s time to stop galloping toward the slaughterhouse. Instead, let’s discuss responsible solutions for managing our country’s wild horse population — like birth control. Sentencing our wild horses to death — or putting them on the dinner table — are just a pair of wrong-headed ideas.