“Amid pressure from animal advocacy groups and under the specter of the 2014 tribal election, President Ben Shelly has suspended feral horse roundups and reversed his decision on selling horses to slaughter.
Early in the summer, Shelly publicly supported the idea of a reservation-wide feral horse roundup from a land management perspective. He even signed a $1.4 million supplemental appropriation for the Navajo Department of Agriculture to conduct round-ups in chapters supporting the effort, and $202,761 to the Department of Resource Enforcement to inspect and process the horses for selling.
The suspension of the reservation-wide feral horse roundups comes after Shelly met with former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson last week in Farmington to discuss the tribe’s feral horse issue. The discussion between both parties resulted in a memorandum of understanding, according to a Tuesday press release from Erny Zah, spokesman for Shelly.
In the new release, Shelly said the MOU with Richardson would result in finding long-term solutions to manage the feral horses on the reservation — estimated to be about 75,000, according to the Navajo Department of Agriculture.
The Department of Agriculture, along with the Department of Resource Enforcement have rounded up approximately 1,600 feral horses, with most being sold to buyers who in turn sell them to a meat-packing plant in Mexico.
“We will suspend horse round ups and forfeit support for horse slaughtering and horse slaughtering facilities,” Shelly said.”
READ MORE HERE-> Shelly suspends feral horse roundups – Navajo Times.