A large contingent of wild horse and burro preservation advocates are attending the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Advisory Board Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, with high hopes of hearing something, anything, convincing them Director Bob Abbey will implement the reforms he promised in his agency’s Wild Horse & Burro Program.
Joined by throngs of online mourners both in America and abroad, advocates held a candlelight vigil outside the hotel where the meetings are taking place to commemorate the lives of the wild horses and burros terrorized and killed by the BLM: the ones we know, and the ones we will never know.
Humane observers — except for the occasional few who are closely monitored — have little or no access to the round ups or holding facilities where wild horses die from gather related injuries and diseases, in some cases put down instead of being treated, or shot because they do not “look right.”
It is a scandal on a grand scale how the Obama Administration is destroying the nation’s wild horses and burros, that if the United States had a truly free press it would be widely reporting it and the individuals responsible exposed, prosecuted and removed.
However, the failure of the media has in no way deterred the people who work to preserve these magnificent and iconic animals.
In spite of the BLM’s lack of transparency, wild horse and burro advocates have still managed to collect documentary evidence of the agency’s cruel and destructive practices.
The Internet is abundant with videos, photographs and eyewitness accounts of the trauma, injury and suffering inflicted on wild horses and burros by the BLM and its contractors during roundups, capture and holding.
Advocates have hammered long and hard at Congress, the Department of Interior, and the White House with this information calling for a moratorium on all wild horse and burro roundups until the government conducts a full investigation. They have been largely ignored. Until recently.
At long last Congress took notice and responded by taking away a portion of the BLM’s funding.
Dean Bolstad of the BLM announced at the Phoenix meeting what many advocates expected to hear, that the agency cannot conduct any further round ups until the start of the next fiscal year on October 1st, but added that the BLM found some money in another federal agency budget that will enable them to conduct a few small gathers, here and there.
Compelled to instill Congressional confidence in the agency following the recent funding cut, officials reporting at the BLM Advisory Board Meeting put forward information full to overflowing with the same type of faulty data and misrepresentations they always use, to the groans and even a few boos from members of the audience.
It seems quite clear from this latest bit of flummery that the BLM have high hopes of their own, that Congress will not see through, or to choose to look past, the ruse and give them the increased funding they are asking for the fiscal new year so they can continue their mission of mass destruction of America’s wild horses and burros.
They may convince Congress. They fail to convince us.
–Int’l Fund for Horses