Burns & Bush Slaughter of the American West

wild-horses-running-freeThe horses were battered and bloody. Most had wide swaths of flesh torn from their sides, which were oozing blood…inflicted when the horses were roped, pulled off their feet, then dragged up a ramp into the cattle trailer. Many were spotted red from shotgun blasts fired by wranglers…

Still in the trailer was the foal, trampled to death….

As outlined in a 2006 Vanity Fair article entitled “Galloping Scared“: “In 1971, Congress passed a law that banned the inhumane treatment of wild horses, and put safeguards into place so they couldn’t be sold for slaughter. That law was the result of a two-decades-long crusade by Velma Johnston, better known as “Wild Horse Annie.”

However, in December 2004 that law was gutted.

Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT) put the final touches on his rider No. 142, which removed all protections for wild horses (and burros) that were over the age of 10 or had been offered unsuccessfully for adoption three times. Such animals could now be soldwithout limitation, including through auction to the highest bidder, at local sale yards or other convenient livestock selling facilities.”

president-bush-wearing-cowboy-hatDespite protests, President George W. Bush, who likes to borrow the imagery and ethos of the American cowboy (and whom Burns once praised as having “earned his spurs”), signed the rider into law.”

This, in effect, gutted the 35-year-old law protecting these cherished symbols of the American West.


In the interest of monetary profit, President Bush helped free up more public and private land for use by corporate oil and mining industries.

Fastforward. February 2012. The Atlantic, in a report entitled “The Lasso Tightens Around America’s Wild Horses,” details the continuing plight of America’s wild horses today.


World News Wednesday


8 thoughts on “Burns & Bush Slaughter of the American West

  1. I met Wild Horse Annie many years ago when she spoke at a PETA rally. She was passionate in her attempts to save these magnificent creatures. I agree completely with Mr.D’Agostino in his assessment of our roles as stewards – not destroyers.

    • O. M. G. You met her?? Wow! I would love to have met Wild Horse Annie. What an amazing memory that must be. And, yes, I think Mr. D’Agostino provided the perfect description for our role as stewards. I wish more people felt this way…

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