Humane Society Plans Trip To Help Havasupai Horses

Havasupai Pack Horses

Is This HSUS Overreach Or A Matter Of Free Enterprise?

Pack Horses at Havasufalls
Pack Horses at Havasufalls

In 2016 there were several reports from visitors of the Grand Canyon on the Havasupai Indian Reservation of of Supai of abused pack horses.  Repeated visits by advocacy groups to assess this situation now pulls the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to get involved.

The Arizona Humane Society’s Kelley Pinkleton reached out to the tribe and tribe officials to make arrangements in helping the tribe improve conditions and the health of these horses saying “We definitely want this to be a long term effort”.

The trip to Supai, eight miles into Grand Canyon, the HSUS will travel with a team of two veterinarians, two equine dentists and a farrier. Volunteers with the organizations, which include Equine Voices and Healing Hearts Animal Rescue, are also experienced with horses, Pinkleton said.

The Problem With Getting The Havasupai Tribe To React

She acknowledged that concerns about the treatment of horses and mules in Supai have existed for years despite repeated trips by individuals and organizations to provide care for the pack animals.  New licensing and animal permitting system as a positive step and was encouraged when the tribe last year sent its animal control officer to an animal cruelty training put on by the Humane Society and hosted by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.

Loading up Pack Horses
Loading up Pack Horses

This issue has been going on for 20-25 years and the tribe appears to care less because the problem persists.  Having the HSUS, and other animal rights organizations, intervene will have no impact and thousands of dollars will be spent to no avail.  Even Susan Ash is one of those who remains doubtful that new policies and licensing are being enforced.

So what is the tribe is doing with the $7,500-per-year fee now charged to trekking companies as part of the new licensing system?  Who knows.

How To Fix The Problem Of Havasupai Pack Horses

It’s called Supply & Demand, that if visitors stop using this service that the Tribe will “quickly” renovate their operation or fail.  It’s a free enterprise system even on the reservation.  No visitors, no business.  It’s simple and a pragmatic (no cost) solution to the problem.

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