Animal rights activists are outraged over the recent sale of Wyoming horses to a Canadian slaughterhouse.
The horses, which had roamed free on federally owned land in northwestern Wyoming since the 1970s, were sold by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Land Management to officials from the state of Wyoming, who held an auction for the animals. Bouvry Exports, a Calgary, Alberta-based slaughterhouse, purchased the 41 horses for $1,640, Fox News reports.
Despite accusations of animal cruelty, the Bureau of Land Management maintains that it adhered to the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, which, among other protections, prevents wild horses from being sold for slaughter. The horses in Wyoming, the bureau claims, were technically abandoned by a rancher named Andy Gifford who died in 2009. They weren’t wild; therefore, they were eligible for sale.
The bureau also claims that it had properly advertised the auction in order to give all potential buyers a fair shot. According to the Billings Gazette, bureau officials had posted notices in local newspapers and on signs in post offices.
There were only three bids for the horses, which have since been shipped out of Wyoming.