Cavel: slaughter story distorted

By Gerold Shelton

Cavel General Manager Jim Tucker said a recent story by The Associated Press about the slaughter of 41 wild mustangs last week was blown out of proportion.

The AP reported that slaughtering the horses might have violated an agreement the previous horse owners had.

The Rosebud Sioux Tribe of South Dakota had a provision in its contract with the Bureau of Land Management that the horses were to be provided humane care.

Tucker said he believed he had legal right to the horses.

“This made the news big time,” Tucker said. “It ended up with me on that day getting a call from the Bureau of Land Management asking us not to slaughter them.”

The Ford Motor Company, makers of the Mustang automobile, provided the money to pay for 52 other mustangs that were also to be slaughtered by Cavel.

“Putting up money to save the mustangs from being slaughtered was a very nice gesture of the Ford Motor Corporation,” said Gwen Dodt, president of the NIU chapter of the National Student Horse Protection Coalition. “They put up more than a few thousand dollars to rescue these wild horses from the slaughterhouse here in DeKalb.”

Dodt said no protests have been held or are being planned at this time. However, the group is working with members of Congress to support the passage of separate bills presented earlier this year that oppose the slaughtering of horses.

Dodt encouraged anyone interested in supporting the bills to visit

“I think people can be misled by some inaccurate statements previously made such as, ‘horse slaughter is humane,’” Dodt said. “The terms horse slaughtering and humane are in no way of equal meaning.”

Tucker said in a Feb. 15 Northern Star article that “we don’t really want wild horses” because of quality issues.

“They are generally smaller animals, and they are just not the kind of horse we are looking for,” Tucker said. “Our buyers buy horses for other reasons, but they buy horses for us, too.”

The only differences between wild horses and other kinds of horses are size and color, Tucker said.

The meat is shipped to central Europe, France, Belgium, Europe, Italy and Germany.