Event organizer Sue Wallis, a vocal proponent of sending America's wild horses to slaughter, has announced that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Chief Bob Abbey is a confirmed speaker at her organization's upcoming Summit of the Horse.
The event’s Master of Ceremonies, Trent Loos, has proposed solving the mustang issue by making America’s wild horse a big game animal and the published list of speakers is a virtual who’s who of horse slaughter proponents, including lobbyists, slaughter auctioneers, horse breeders, fake welfare front organizations and even a few convicts.
Abbey has come under criticism in the past year for a greatly accelerated program of removing wild horses and burros from public land. As the number of horses the BLM is holding increases and budgets tighten, a crisis is inevitable. In 2009 it was discovered that the BLM was considering sending mustangs to slaughter, igniting a firestorm of controversy. Abbey’s participation in this event will certainly add fuel to that fire.
Master of Ceremonies Loos is an agricultural talk show host who first gained fame for his management of a 50,000 pig factory farm on the land of the Rosebud Sioux. The Rosebud contended that the farm and its vast lagoons of pig manure had been foisted on them by politicians and successfully sued to evict Loos and his porcine pals in 2002.
Shortly after starting an organization called “Truth Keepers” to challenge “animal rights groups”, Loos was charged with and subsequently convicted of cattle fraud (selling cattle he didn’t own). Robert F. Kennedy Jr., in his book Crimes Against Nature, accused Trent Loos of stalking him while he was on a book tour, going so far as to follow him into a men’s room. When asked about the stalking charge during his radio program, Loos readily admitted it, saying he had to keep Kennedy honest.
When a slaughter ban was being considered in Illinois, Loos promised to bring a truck load of “unwanted horses” to the capitol steps. In the event, he showed up with a large supply of toy stick horses which he passed out to visiting school children. The bill passed despite this demonstration, eventually closing the last slaughter plant in the US.
Also included in the confirmed roster is ex-congressman and horse slaughter lobbyist Charlie Stenholm of the firm Olsson, Frank and Weeda. Before losing his seat and becoming a lobbyist, Stenholm was minority leader of Bob Goodlatte’s house agriculture committee. The two men jointly managed to bottle up HR 857, an early attempt to end horse slaughter, in their committee despite the bill’s overwhelming support.
Another scheduled participant is Dave Cattoor, by far the most controversial of the helicopter gather contractors employed by the BLM. Cattoor was convicted of illegally gathering wild horses in 1992. In the years since, Cattoor has won contracts for millions of dollars to run the BLM gathers. In just one gather on the Calico complex this year, over 100 wild horses died either during the operation or shortly afterward.
Bill desBarresof the Horse Welfare Alliance of Canada (HWAC) will be giving the “international perspective”. DesBarres is a stalwart defender of the Canadian abattoirs, even listing the Bouvry horse slaughter plant as a “resource partner”. When devastating undercover videos of the treatment of horses at the slaughter plants were released by the Canadian Horse Defense Coalition, desBarres claimed they had been faked even as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) was admitting they were authentic.
And these are but a few examples of the people who will be speaking. While the event claims to be open to ideas from all sides, it does not include anyone known to disagree with the pro-slaughter anti-mustang positions of its organizers, United Organizations of the Horse and United Horsemen.
Equine Welfare Alliance