Story and Photo by Steven Long
HOUSTON, (Horseback) – Texas Parks and Wildlife joins the Texas Department of Corrections in a state agency disposal method for eliminating surplus horses that many Texans are certain to find offensive.
Eleven horses from the stables of Big Bend Ranch State Park, Texas’ largest recreation area, are being sold to a well known Presidio businessman known for deporting animals to the kill box of a slaughterhouse in nearby Ojinaga, Mexico just across the Rio Grande.
Big Bend Ranch is the setting of my new novel, Ruby’s Passing. It is available in both print and in the Kindle format at www.amazon.com.
One Texan in particular is outraged by the state’s action. Jerry Finch is founder of Habitat for Horses, the nation’s largest animal rescue organization.
“Despite the known and proven fact that these horses, as all domestic horses, are filled with drugs that are forbidden in meat slaughtered for human consumption, despite the fact that the market for trained and health horses is doing fine in Texas and despite the fact that the reputation of a State agency is in the balance, Deputy Director Dan Sholly took it upon himself to seek out a method to destroy the animals at the lowest price and in cruelest way possible.” Finch said.
“Ignorance is no defense. If a person is in-charge of an activity, they should keep themselves fully aware of the results of their decisions. Passing poison meat into the market for human consumption, against the EU regulations, means that a representation of the State of Texas is participating in an unlawful act. I truly hope that the voice of the citizens be loud enough that every State department understands the consequences,” he said.
The horses are being sold for the princly sum of .25 cents a pound as meat on the hoof for canner prices. The transaction was discovered in open records requests obtained by Texas animal welfare investigator, Julie Caramante.
To: Deirdre Hisler Cc: Barrett Durst; Rod Trevizo; David Riskind
Subject: Horse Sale
In an email correspondence obtained by Horseback TPWD officials discussed pricing of the “excess” horses.
From: Dan Sholly
I don’t recall receiving an answer (could be lost in my e-mails) to my question about sell pricing. Are we willing to take canner prices for our horses? Is that all they are worth? No blood lines? No high potential for more than dog food?
I am supportive of reducing the ramuda.
Earlier this year Texas Department of Criminal Justice sold 80 prison horses, animals that are coveted by the public in TDCJ’s rare auctions. The horses went to slaughter in Ojinaga.
Sauceda is the headquarters compound of Big Bend Ranch State Park.
Horseback Online learned of the sale when a memorandum from a TPWD official was provided to the magazine by Caramante.