The recent announcement of plans by the Nevada Department of Agriculture to remove 24-25 wild horses from the Damonte Ranch development in southeast Reno, Nevada has brought to light several issues that must be addressed.
The area in question has been used by wild horses as grazing lands for over a hundred years. The expansion of our city has slowly converted these grazing lands to residential and commercial properties thus complicating the issue of human/animal cohabitation. Who is responsible for creating the problem and for solving it?
Scrutinizing the Damonte Ranch development points us to the answers. Along with grassy lawns and greenbelts providing a food source which draws grazing animals by their very nature,development laid a web of roadways precipitating horse/human encounters dangerous to both. Protective fencing was apparently not part of the plan even though such fencing was removed to accomplish the build out.
City and County agencies were certainly aware of the need for mitigating these dangers in the planning and permitting stages of the project. Again, mitigation was not addressed.
The state of Nevada has laws that speak specifically to the issues at hand. These laws have been ignored in too many instances.
As a result of the failure to address mitigation of a known consequence of this development, the Nevada Department of Agriculture will soon place 25 horses up for bid, preferably to be purchased by a single buyer. They will be sold by the pound. An average bid of 3-4 cents per pound commonly results in transport to Mexican or Canadian slaughter facilities.
It is our position that the primary responsibility to the public and to the animals lays squarely on the lap of our City and County agencies and the Developers who are involved.
Wild horses don’t read street signs. They don’t understand that us two legged critters have claimed their land. Just like us, they must eat and drink to survive. They are the innocent ones..... we are the guilty.