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Thirty Years Later...Wild Horses Again Slated for Slaughter--Hope Ryden, Author of AMERICA’S LAST WILD HORSES; Member, AWI Scientific Committee
The 92nd Congress had never experienced such a deluge of letters—it was as if the spirit of America’s wild horses had suddenly infected the entire nation. Newspaper editorials, radio talk shows and television coverage were all focused on this topic in 1971. Our country was so fired up over the plight of wild horses that it was inevitable Congress would act; finally the animals I’d tracked for years through canyons and deserts would receive a hearing.
I had worked with Representative Walter Baring, Velma Johnson (“Wild Horse Annie”) and Joan Blue of the American Horse Protection Association to fine-tune the proposed legislation. One of our concerns was the future management of wild horses. “There must never be any opportunity for profit to be made off these animals,” Annie said. “That must be written into the legislation.”
Both chambers took testimony in committee rooms packed with press and supporters for two days. Hearings were interrupted to seat a class of sixth graders from Long Island who raised money to attend by selling wild horse stickers.
At the hearings, Annie produced photographs of a mustang roundup to underscore the importance of our mission. The images, featuring terrified horses being chased by aircraft from the safety of their remote mountain and canyon habitats onto flat land, were hard to look at. The beautiful animals were hog-tied and loaded onto trucks, and foals were left behind to die; baby horses brought too small a price to warrant space in the rigs. Transport conditions were appalling, an awful prelude to inhumane deaths... [READ ENTIRE ARTICLE]