NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

April 26, 2014

Standoff in new Old West

(Continued)

The Bundys say some of their cattle, mostly females, were killed by the BLM, and some calves may have died because of separation from their mothers.

Michele Fiore, a Republican Nevada Assemblywoman and Bundy supporter, said she has heard of other cases of the BLM mistreating animals.

“I have ... emails from ranchers across Nevada telling me that the BLM does the same practices when they are herding horses,” she told Breitbart News. “The foals are getting killed. Horses are getting killed. It’s really horrible and cruel”

A BLM spokesperson confirmed last week that two bulls were shot during the roundup because they posed a “safety hazard,” according to the Las Vegas Review Journal. Ammon Bundy said one bull appeared to have been shot in the back of the head from a helicopter.

Enter stage left: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) on the side of the cattle.

“These animals shouldn’t be killed either by the government, or by the rancher who plans to send the cows off to slaughter,” the animal rights group said in a statement last Thursday. “The best thing anyone can do to stop the suffering of animals is to go vegan.”

I talked with my vegetarian son who lives in Nevada and has been following the situation. He, too, suggested that ranchers shouldn’t be given use of the people’s land to raise cattle, which isn’t the most efficient way to feed humanity. Fair point.

Follow the money. Rumors abound about Sen. Harry Reid, who calls the ranchers “domestic terrorists.” In recent years, he lobbied the BLM to change the boundaries of the tortoise’s habitat to accommodate development by Harvey Whittemore, Reid’s top political donor. Now, according to Investor’s Daily, Reid’s son is involved in “a plan by China’s ENN Energy Group to build what would be America’s largest solar energy complex ... in Clark County, where Bundy’s ranch is.”

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