LAS VEGAS, (Horseback) – The nations most outspoken pro-horse slaughter group announced the “Summit of the Horse, Stand Up, Speak Out, Be heard, Take Back the Reins of YOUR Industry” for Las Vegas the first week in January. The event is sponsored by United Horsemen, a 501(c)3 non profit organization.
The event claims to have invited highly placed officials of the federal Bureau of Land Management including Dr. Boyd Spratling, a member of the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board, Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior, Sylvia Baca, Under Secretary of the Interior, and Don Glenn, director of the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program.
“I am unaware of any invited Departmental or BLM speaker having accepted an invitation to this event,” said the agency’s chief Washington spokesman. “The BLM, which does not sell any wild horses or burros to slaughterhouses or to “killer buyers,” has made it clear that in crafting a new management strategy for wild horses and burros it will not consider sales “without limitation” or the euthanasia of healthy, unadopted animals.”
“Federal employees are prohibited from participation in these types of events because of conflict of interest,” a highly placed government worker who declined to be identified said.The BLM is currently capturing thousands of wild horses in the American West and holding them in giant pens with no public access similar to the armed services Area 51 in Nevada. It has allowed no outside observers to do a independent census of the number of horses in captivity.
United Horseman founder and president Dave Duquette said in a release sent to Horseback Magazine, “The Summit comes from the perspective of experienced horse people who have the best interest of the horse at heart and seek unification of our country’s horsemen and horsewomen in promoting horse welfare and health of the horse industry,” he said. “We’re speaking with a united voice for horses and horse people.”
Duquette’s organization claims the abolition of legal horse slaughter in the United States has destroyed the low end of the horse market.
Duquette is a professional working cow horse trainer from Hermiston, Oregon.
Breakout sessions are billed as The Politics of Land and Horses, The U.S. Horse Industry – Protecting Our Horseback Cultures and Livelihoods, Efforts to Provide Humane and Economically Viable Options, and Canadian and United States Connections in the Equine Economy.
Also invited are newly elected Governor of Nevada, Brian Sandoval, David Martosko, Temple Grandin, rodeo stock contractor Ike Sankey, John Falen of the Public Lands Council, and Bill and Jann Parker of the Billings horse auction.
Promotional material for the event says that “Keynote and Invited Speakers” will be “Addressing the issues that threaten to destroy the viability of the equine industry with knowledge, experience, and compassion.”
Whether those issues threaten to destroy the viability of the equine industry with knowledge, experience, and compassion remains to be seen.