MARCH AGAINST HORSE SLAUGHTER — Utah lawmakers and county commissioners are fed up with the Bureau of Land Management’s approach, which they say allows horses to proliferate at the expense of range health, livestock operators and native wildlife while wasting $50 million a year confining horses that could be slaughtered for their meat.
“The fragmentation coming out of D.C. is tremendous,” Rep. Ken Ivory, R-West Jordan, told the House Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environmental Quality Committee on Wednesday. “This is a hell for the ecosystem, it’s is a hell for the wildlife species, it’s is a hell for those on the ground who are told the solution is to cut back their livelihoods and their herds. It’s a hell for the animals themselves; they are starving and dying. Clearly we can do this better.” Ivory is the sponsor of HCR22, a resolution calling on the federal government to either take immediate steps to “humanely preserve the feral horse and burro populations in the West at established population management objectives” or cede that authority to the state.
Rep. Keven Stratton, R-Ore, is seeking $1.1 million to manage Utah’s 19 herds, whose population now exceeds 5,000, or about 2½ times the BLM’s target. He is also sponsoring a bill that lays out a state management plan.
“Utah is a beautiful state. I would hate to see it get a black eye with these crazy inhumane plans,” said filmmaker Ginger Kathrens, executive director of the Cloud Foundation and member of the BLM’s wild horse advisory board. “You would have to have the law changed where Utah is this special place where they get management and their plan is to kill them. That’s jumping through an awfully narrow hoop. It irks me that they are so blind to the benefits [of free-roaming horses] and can’t see beyond their ignorance. They are so out of step with what the American public wants. When you talk about killing healthy animals and trafficking them to Mexico, it’s just disgusting.”
Lethal population control is in line with positions advocated by Interior Secretary nominee Ryan Zinke* as well as the BLM advisory panel, which urged the agency last September to offer “all suitable animals in long- and short-term holding deemed unadoptable for sale without limitation or humane euthanasia. Those animals deemed unsuitable for sale should then be destroyed in the most humane manner possible.”
Advisory panel members said they were not endorsing slaughter for meat, but after a negative public reaction, the BLM pledged it would not destroy healthy horses and burros.
The last time a buyer shipped wild horses to Mexico, more than five years ago, the public outcry was intense and the Interior Department put a stop to it.
• Source: The Salt Lake Tribune “Utah lawmakers set out to wrangle wild horses from BLM’s control – and possibly slaughter them for meat“, by Brian Maffly, 22 February 2017.
*The US Senate confirmed Ryan Zinke’s nomination to lead the Interior Department by a 68 to 31 vote on March 1st.
TAKE ACTION UTAH
Residents of Utah, show your legislators at the state and federal levels that you value your wild horses and are strongly opposed to any interference with them and to their slaughter.
- Contact your State Representative and OPPOSE HCR22.
- Contact your US Representative (1) and US Senators (2) and tell them you are opposed to the management of Utah’s wild horses by your State and opposed to the slaughter of horses under any circumstances.
Write a letter which is always important because you can identify yourself as a constituent. Your legislators will have an online contact form for your use in just about every case.
However for extra added impact that will reach your legislators plus spread our horse protection message, use social media and especially Twitter. It is worth setting up a Twitter account for this purpose.
Once you have found out who represents you at the State level in Utah, find their Twitter handle. You can find it with a quick internet search. For example, we found you can tweet all Utah State Representatives @UtahReps.
Remember to tweet your Governor. It is your Governor on whose desk these bills if successful will eventually land for signing into law. For Utah tweet Gov. Gary Herbert @GovHerbert.
You can tweet from your phone, tablet and laptop in minutes. Here are some sample tweets to get you started.
I strongly oppose the State management of Utah’s #wild horses @InsertYourStateRepsHandle
I strongly oppose the slaughter of Utah’s #wildhorses @InsertYourStateRepsHandle @UtahReps #horseslaughter
I strongly oppose State management and slaughter of wild horses @GovHerbert #wildhorses #utah
I strongly oppose HCR22 @InsertYourStateRepsHandle @UtahReps #wildhorses #utah
I strongly oppose State management of Utah’s #WildHorses @SenMikeLee. Protect them from slaughter.
I strongly oppose State management of Utah’s #WildHorses @OrrinHatch. Protect them from slaughter.
OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA
Do the same on Facebook and Instagram, the other two most effective social media platforms at the moment.
Learn how to hashtag effectively for Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
THE HORSE FUND
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Wild horses Utah. Source: American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign. Grulla / Reuters.