Thanks to all who responded to our email requesting your action for yesterday's Nevada Board of Agriculture meeting. At issue is the state's abysmal policy of trapping wild horses in the Virginia Range near Reno and dumping the captured mustangs at a slaughter auction.
The number of Nevadans who responded to our call was amazing! The Board of Agriculture has never experienced such a large turnout as they did for yesterday's meeting. Approximately 50 wild horse supporters attended the live meeting in Reno, and the crowd at the Las Vegas video conference site was similar in size.
If they could, the Virginia Range horses would surely say thank you to all who were able to attend! Thanks also to all who couldn't attend, but placed a call to the Board to let them know that the state's policy toward wild horses is unacceptable.
The people who spoke at the meeting made an articulate case for humane treatment of the historic Virginia Range mustangs. Several of the local wild horse advocacy groups united, once again, to present their offer to assist the Department of Agriculture in their management responsibilities at no cost to the State or to the taxpayer.
Although the subject of wild horses had been removed from the agenda, the Director's report brought several questions on the subject from board members. They wanted to know why the Nevada Department of Transportation hasn't fenced highways surrounding the Virginia Range, what is the status of cooperative agreements with non-profit organizations, and how the Department of Agriculture distinguishes between a "feral" horse and an "estray" horse. In addition, board members asked what could be done to satisfy everyone's concerns.
A discussion on these questions would have been in violation of open meetings laws since wild horses were not on the agenda. As a result, Chairman Stix stopped the conversation and suggested the discussion be tabled until a future meeting when the item could be agendized.
You can learn more about the meeting by viewing the News4 and KOLO-TV news stories.
There are 40 captured Virginia Range horses currently in the possession of the state. They are in danger of being sent to the slaughter auction unless the State of Nevada's heartless policy toward wild horses changes.
This fight continues. We will keep you posted on this and other issues facing wild horses and burros in your state and throughout the West. Meanwhile, thanks to everyone who took this opportunity to speak up for the Virginia Range wild horses!
- The AWHPC Team