Thousands of horses could starve on reservation

Posted at: 04/02/2013 9:05 PM
Updated at: 04/02/2013 9:06 PM
By: Amber LaVail, KOB Eyewitness News 4


It is another voice in the debate over horse slaughter in New Mexico fueled by the possibility of horse slaughter at a plant in Chaves County.

The Mescalero Apache tribe is worried because Congress is being urged to reinstate the ban on horse slaughter.

Apache Tribal President Frederick Chino Sr. says, "We have what we call mustangs, wild horses, we cleaned them out once before."

It worries Chino because, "Over-populated horse herds out there are hard to control."

The tribe wants the federal government to allow horse slaughter at processing plants regulated by the USDA.

Chino says the horse count is out of control because, "Tribal members are just turning their horses loose because they can't afford to buy a bale of hay for eighteen dollars."

There are about four-thousand head of horses on the Mescalero Apache Reservation that are starving because there is not enough feed on the land for them.

John Walker manages livestock on nearly half a million acres of Mescalero land.  He thinks slaughter is the only way.

John Walker manages livestock on nearly half a million acres of Mescalero land.

Walker believes slaughter is the only way as, "It will save them from starving to death here on the reservation."

The Mescalero Apache thinks allowing horse slaughter will boost economic development and job creation by keeping dollars here instead of shipping work out to Canada and Mexico, because according to Chino, "Right now, you can't even give them away."