Shelly asks feds for help with feral horses

19 Sep

President, Ben Shelly, at the Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board meeting Sept 11, 2013.

President, Ben Shelly, at the Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board meeting Sept 11, 2013.

Navajo Times By Alastair Lee Bitsoi

SHIPROCK, Sept. 19, 2013

President Ben Shelly has apparently changed his heart and mind about the way at least 1,000 feral horses on the reservation have been rounded up recently by the Navajo Department of Agriculture and Navajo Department of Resource Enforcement.

Now, the president advocates for more humane treatment of the estimated 75,000 feral horses that are running freely on the 27,000-square-mile reservation, according to a press release from the Navajo Nation Washington Office.

The news was welcomed by the grassroots people known collectively as the Nohooka Dine, or Holy Earth Surface People, and Shiprock Chapter President Duane “Chili” Yazzie, who have decried the roundup methods as overly harsh and not in line with Diné philosophy.

Last week on a lobbying trip to Washington D.C., Shelly informed the Bureau of Land Management‘s National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory of the growing feral horse problem on the Navajo Nation.

“The potential damage and cost of addressing this problem, coupled with the suffering these animals experience has brought the Navajo Nation to ask you to find a solution to feral horses,” Shelly said.

He added that the Navajo Nation is spending more than $200,000 per year to address the damage these horses cause.

The tribal agriculture department has stated a single feral horse consumes 18 pounds of forage per day, or 6,570 pounds per year. Removing 159 horses from the Navajo Nation would save 290,175 gallons of water per year and 1.1 million pounds of forage, according to the Navajo Department of Agriculture.

What’s more, Shelly also said these horses have contributed to death and property destruction due to highway accidents, as well as competition for natural resources used by domestic livestock and people. The horses themselves are suffering starvation, dehydration and predation.

Citing the Navajo Department of Agriculture, Shelly has previously stated that the land of the reservation is suitable for about 30,000 horses, not the 75,000 currently eating up the forage of the range.

“These horses are not the iconic wild horses that many think symbolize the West,” Shelly added. “These feral horses are once-domesticated animals that have been set free by owners who can no longer afford their upkeep.”

Jared King, spokesman for the Navajo Nation Washington Office, said Shelly met with the advisory board on how the board makes recommendations to the BLM as it carries out its responsibilities under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.

– See more at: http://www.navajotimes.com/news/2013/0913/091913feral.php#sthash.6jkFjFv7.dpuf

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13 Responses to “Shelly asks feds for help with feral horses”

  1. Sue Carter September 19, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

    Shelley asked for revival of the 1934 Livestock Reduction Act. At that time the Federal Govt. destroyed 80% of the Navajo Livestock. They were left with not enough wool to even weave with and were forced to turn to commercial yarn. Shelley continues the round-ups and the horses are shipped to Mexico to be slaughtered for Japanese and Belgium diners. The Dine’ Elders oppose this.

    Like

    • Craig Downer September 20, 2013 at 3:30 pm #

      Shelley’s description is so deceptive. It is the livestock that are overgrazing and causing the deterioration here and basically people, not the wild horses!

      Like

      • WestDeltaGirl September 20, 2013 at 10:49 pm #

        There’s a lot more to why this has happened Craig.- I’m not saying that Ben Shelly is correct in his decision but apparently he has been hoodwinked and he believes the horses are the problem.

        I think these two articles will explain a lot:

        http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2013/08/dine-leland-grass-wild-horse-slaughter.html

        http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/02/26/1189605/-False-Drums-Beat-On-Horses-and-Tribes-in-New-Mexico#comments

        Like

      • Kate Bathurst September 25, 2013 at 6:56 am #

        Agree, also if we stop slaughter of Equines in America the kill buyers will not drop off of the rejected horses by Mexico or Canada to let these poor animals fend for themselves and contribute to the horse population on native land. This is common sense if you trace these horses you will see they come from all over America. Let me assure this uninformed pro-slaughter NN leader no one from the east coast is driving to the reservations to drop off there sick and starving horse. They take them to auctions where they are sold to these unethical and cruel kill buyers and brokers and enter the horrific cruelty of the slaughter pipeline.

        Like

  2. Ronnie Greene September 19, 2013 at 3:42 pm #

    I don’t trust Ben Shelly at all. All he says sounds just like horse eater & horse hater, WY State Rep., Sue Walliis, aka “Slaughterhouse Sue.” All out for blood $$$.

    Like

    • WestDeltaGirl September 20, 2013 at 10:53 pm #

      Ronnie Greene, please read the response I made to Craig Downer’s comment and read the links I posted…I don’t trust Ben Shelly either only because he’s not the brightest candle on the cake.

      Like

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