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ASCI 001: Introductory Animal Sciences - Kerr/Kinghorn (Fall 2017)

Topic #8 Wild Horse Gathers

Topic background: Unbeknownst to many people living in the eastern part of the United States, there exist several populations of wild horses out west. Horses no one owns, are living on federally owned lands. In the 1970s the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) was charged by the government with managing the ever increasing horse population in specific lands called Horse Management Areas (HMA). Their initial attempt to control the population was to gather excess horses and either adopt them out or euthanize them.  But because of pressure from animal rights organizations the BLM no longer euthanizes the horses. Instead the excess horses are gathered and sent to holding facilities where tax payer dollars are paying for the feed and upkeep of the horses (FYI: Trump’s budget calls for major reductions for funding the maintenance of these horses). Strong feelings exist on either side of this issue. Do we continue to pay for the upkeep of these horses or do we humanely euthanize them?

NOTE: You are not debating how the horses are gathered but whether or not we should be euthanizing the gathered excess horses.

  • Pro: The U.S. government should continue to pay for the upkeep of wild horses on federal lands and shouldn’t euthanize them.
  • Con: The U.S. government should not continue to pay for the upkeep of wild horses on federal lands and should humanely euthanize them.