It may seem strange to some that all of a sudden Arizona and New Mexico seem to be getting the most headlines and press regarding massive debates ranging from the Mexican wolf to the resuscitation of an industry that most see as criminal.
To begin, the news was just given to residents of NM and Arizona that the EPA is going to give a great deal of money to a plan that will stop the livestock versus wolf problem. They will be doing everything from expanding the wolf’s range to helping protect ranchers and businesses that need to make sure their lives will not be financially effected in the negative sense by losing cattle to the wolves.
The Mexican wolf is unlike the horrific problems the Northwestern part of the U.S. is dealing with. There, they are allowing states to make their own laws regarding extending hunting seasons and more to bring down the wolf numbers. The Mexican wolf, however, is not abundant. This is the smallest, rarest, and most genetically distinct subspecies of gray wolf found, and they were once a common sight throughout areas of the Southwest. Unfortunately, the Mexican wolf populations were basically erased by the 1970s, and listed as endangered in 1976. A captive breeding program was established to save the species, and The Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Plan has been helping ever since. Everything from federal to state to tribal partners continue to give time and energy to the Program, which is one of the reasons why the federal government is making these plan to let endangered Mexican gray wolves roam farther north, toward Flagstaff and across Arizona.
The reintroduction program limits the animals to a recovery area that is the Arizona-New Mexico state line. With the effort being put in, the wolves could survive as well as livestock – which means a win/win for everyone involved.
The other huge headline comes in the form of horse slaughter. Discussing it for months now, Roswell, New Mexico (where a plant wishes to open), has put up a huge billboard with a picture of horses and a saying: “Please Don’t Slaughter Us,” in their town. This is how much the local citizens do NOT want a horse slaughter plant anywhere near them.
But what began as citizens as spread like wildfire. Animal welfare groups are suing to stop the U.S. from returning to domestic horse slaughter by posting a nearly $500,000 bond to keep a temporary ban in effect. Attorneys for the Humane Society of the United States and others did win a temporary restraining order to stop plans by Valley Meat Company and Responsible Transportation of Sigourney, Iowa to open their plants this month.
Perhaps some companies have gotten the point that the citizens are not going to back down on this one. This situation is not like wolves roaming and harming livestock; this situation harms viable horses for no reason other than profit when they sell the meat overseas. Just last week, Responsible Transportation said it was dropping plans to slaughter horses and would transform its plant to cattle. Roswell’s plant has not done the same.
The Valley Meat Company’s owner has stated that his decision to convert his fairly small slaughterhouse in Roswell to horse meat was only made after his market for cattle disappeared. But what he’s finding out on a daily basis is that the Southwest has no interest in resurrecting this particular industry. In this country horses are not seen as livestock, they are seen as stunning creatures that are companions and friends, such as a loyal dog.
Everyone is waiting for the next headline regarding these two issues. But if the citizens win, the Mexican wolf will become one with the environment again. And our country’s horses will not suffer a fate that was erased long ago because it should have been.
Source: SportmansLifestyle / Baret News Wire