Fund-raisers say ‘neigh’ to wild-horse slaughter
Appeal Staff Writer
Nevada’s wild horses have been protected by the congressional Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act since 1971, but the recent population boom and a last-minute rider slipped into the 2005 Consolidated Appropriations Bill by Sen. Conrad Burns, R.-Mont., allowing for the commercial sale of wild horses, has equine activists like Etta Butler scrambling to raise money to save what she calls “Nevada’s legacy.”
As president of Men and Women for Wild Horse Freedom, Butler is aligned with lawmakers like Reps. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., and Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., in trying to overturn the bill, along with those who fear the federal government is leading the wild horse down the same path as the buffalo.
“It’s genocide,” says Butler, not letting a case of laryngitis pull any of her vocal punches at the issue.
The group will be holding a fund-raiser from 4 to 7 p.m. April 23 at NV 50 Restaurant and Ultra Lounge in Mound House in hopes of buying land to build a sanctuary for the threatened herds.
“These horses are descended from the pioneers who settled Nevada,” Butler said. “These are the horses who made it possible for people to come out here in the first place.”
Under the Burns rider, which critics say snuck in like a horse thief at night, wild horses more than 10 years old or horses that have failed to be adopted after three chances are to be sold at livestock auctions.
Champions of equine rights like Butler fear this raises the abominable prospect of Nevada horses being bought, slaughtered and sold for their meat abroad.
“The horses are running out of places to go,” Butler said, comparing preserving the animals to preserving the spirit of the Old West.
Rockin’ Robin, NV 50’s featured entertainer, and country music band “Trilogy” will be on hand providing the entertainment for the fund-raiser while NV 50 is offering a buffet and a “no-host” bar.
All money collected from ticket sales will be donated to the “Wild Horse Freedom Fund” and the efforts to purchase land for the wild-horse sanctuary.
While Butler acknowledges that it’s something of a somber issue, she says she can’t stress enough that the fund-raiser is all about raising awareness of what’s going on while still having a good time.
n Contact reporter Peter Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1215.
Save the wild horses
What: Fund-raiser to build a sanctuary for wild horse
When: 4-7 p.m. April 23
Where: NV 50 Restaurant & Ultra Lounge on Highway 50 in Mound House
Tickets: $20 each, $35 per couple if purchased before April 18. After April 18, tickets can be purchased at the door for $25 each or $45 per couple. Western attire is suggested.
Information: Call 220-5460