Synopsis by Mark Deming
For years, wild horses were protected under U.S. law, but in 2005 Congress passed legislation permitting the hunting and slaughter of the animals in a bid to control overpopulation. However, while supporters of the new laws maintain that the number of wild horses was becoming dangerously large, advocates for the animals believe exactly the opposite is true, and that the number of Spanish Cerbat Mustangs living in the wilds of Arizona may be as few as 40. And while the slaughter of wild horses for food is illegal in Texas, the animals are indeed killed in bootleg abattoirs in the Lone Star state to supply demand for horsemeat, which goes for top dollar in Japan and Europe. Why is the slaughter of these horses allowed to go on, and who is behind it? Journalist and horse lover Len Johnson attempts to answer these questions in his documentary The Last Of The Spanish Mustangs, which examines the history of these remarkable animals and the battle being waged against the public and private sectors to protect them.