“BLM’s got those wild horses as fat as butterballs–all paid for with taxpayer dollars,” explained an anonymous source. “That way they always have buyers wanting them by the truckload.”
“If you think they aren’t selling wild horses to buyers taking them to slaughter then you’re really naive,” continued the source. “BLM just hasn’t got caught recently.”
Why are holding facilities fattening up native wild horses with alfalfa to the point of obesity and cresty necks? Aren’t they worried the mustangs might get sick and founder? Or are they just fattening them up to sell them off?
“Do you know what ever happened to the racket they were running out of Utah?” the source snickered. “Remember when they had a truckload of mustangs as fat as butterballs heading to slaughter? They were going to get busted because someone squealed. BLM busted them to keep the truth from getting out.”
The source was referring to this:
Protect Mustangs is a nonprofit organization who protects and preserves native and wild horses.
Winter roundups often result in the upper respiratory equine illness called strangles (equine distemper) because the helicopters chase the terrified horses in freezing cold temperatures and the horses catch a chill in the traps. You can see the steam coming from the horses in the trap site photo here.
Strangles is highly contagious–spread from horse to horse contact and spread from horse to human to horse contact.
Strangles is inevitable during winter roundups–putting all the wild horses at risk who are forced to live in close quarters for months in short term holding.
Strangles got its name from having difficulty breathing as if being strangled. Horses can die from strangles.
There is a vaccine for strangles but it is less than 50% effective and dangerous to give to horses already exposed to strangles. The illness shows up some time after exposure. It spreads quickly in holding facilities during winter. So the vaccine is not the answer. The answer is to refrain from sweating wild horses in the chill of winter which translates to no helicopter roundups in the winter.
Wild horses get strangles from living in confinement after being chilled not from living freely on the range. In freedom they are very healthy.