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    [RC] [Guest] Mustangs to Mexico - Ridecamp Guest

    J. C. Brashier quitab@xxxxxxxxxxx
    First, thanks to Heidi and Lisa for not chopping me off at the knees.
    Some statistics.  11 holding facilities, holding capacity - approx. 8,350
    head, currently holding approx. 6,150.  That is 6,150 mustangs waiting for
    adopters.  These horses eat every day and those of us that own horses can do
    the math and figure out about what that costs per/head per/day.  Some of
    these horses have been in these facilities for 3-5 years.  Many will someday
    go to a refuge somewhere because of being deemed unadoptable.  There are
    more and more cases of EIA and WNV showing up in the herds every day which
    will add to the unadoptable numbers.
    Currently, there are 46,000 - 50,000 mustangs living on BLM managed lands.
    These animals are managed by wranglers who earn between $20,000 and $23,000
    per year.  I could not find any concrete information for the number of
    wranglers working, but six years ago there were 6 working full time in the
    five state area that includes Oklahoma.  There are many people who give
    their time without being paid to help out.  For the year 2002 (up to the end
    of November) there had been 13,277 mustangs rounded up, 7,630 adopted out
    which leaves 5,647 waiting in holding facilities.  The holding facility in
    Pauls Valley OK currently has approx. 400 head waiting.  The cost of
    adopting runs, on average, from $125.00 to $400.00 per head.  Each mustang
    is held in a holding facility for 60-90 days before being released for
    adoption.  The cost of vaccinations, hoof trimming, worming, testing for EIA
    and WNV and feeding these horses comes to much more than $400.00 (Usually,
    close to $700.00 for 90 days).  I work for the government so I know that
    they sometimes use fuzzy math, but even with that, you are still about
    $300.00 in the hole per/head.  Using a $500 figure that is $2,823,500.00 a
    year for holding mustangs awaiting adoption.  Some years it will be more
    some years less.  The horses that are considered unadoptable, either because
    of age, temperment, injury, or just no one likes them could be used to pay
    that amount.  If these horses go to a refuge, the BLM still pays.
    While slaughter is not an alternative that appeals to our hearts, and many
    say that is unthinkable, but is it better to pay to keep them, adopt them
    out to just anyone who has the adoption fee and a pen to keep them.  I
    believe that in these cases, we should think with our heads and not our
    hearts.  Not just on the money issue, but for the well being of the
    mustangs.  For all that find good loving homes, several will find abuse and
    terror.  Even for my own horses, I would want a quick death instead.  If it
    were possible, I would have all of them at my house (and i have had as many
    as 10 there at one time), but we have to be realistic.
    I have thought all this out over several years and my stand is due to my
    love for the mustang breed and my love for the species.
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