11 January 2005

From Today's New York Times

To the Editor:

In "Live Free and Die" (Op-Ed, Jan. 4), Judy Blunt portrays the issue of what to do about overpopulation and starvation of wild horses to benefit those who stand to profit from their slaughter.

Senator Conrad Burns, Republican of Montana, added language into last year's spending bill allowing certain horses to be auctioned to the highest bidder, which may be a slaughterhouse. This lifted more than 30 years of protection for our wild herds.

Immunocontraception has been successful in controlling the populations of these animals. They should be moved to sanctuaries or protected areas where their numbers can be humanely controlled. Slaughter should never be an option.

The majority of Americans oppose the slaughter of horses and their export abroad for human consumption. It goes against our culture and has been illegal in California since 1998.

Wild horses and burros were being protected because the American people demanded it. Perhaps Representative John E. Sweeney of New York, who heads the Congressional Horse Caucus, will lead the way to repeal Senator Burns's disastrous legislation.

Susan Wagner
President, Equine Advocates
Chatham, N.Y., Jan. 4, 2005

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