Wild horses of Utah. Unattributed image. Not filed with Press Release.
Animal Wellness Action, The Cloud Foundation, and American Wild Horse Campaign Joined by 60 Stakeholders in Opposing Cruel, Costly Massive Wild Horse and Burro Round-Up Plan
The plan, still short on details, would cost taxpayers a billion dollars and depopulate many parts of the West of these iconic animals
May 13, 2019 14:56 ET | Source: Animal Wellness Action
(GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, a broad coalition of stakeholders, organizations, and businesses sent a letter to the U.S. Congress in strong opposition to a dangerous and unworkable proposal that threatens our iconic American wild horses.
The bizarre proposal, a brainchild of The HSUS and ASPCA, working in concert with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and American Farm Bureau Federation, calls for the removal of at least 45,000 to 60,000 and potentially as many as 200,000 wild horses and burros from our federal lands over the next ten years, putting the horses at significant risk of slaughter and placing a burden on taxpayers for an outcome that is widely appalled by the public.
Nearly 50 signors, including wild horse advocacy organizations, horse rescues, animal protection organizations, and horse-related businesses across the nation have banded together to defeat this egregious measure, urging legislators to reject the dangerous proposal.
“This is terrible deal for wild horses. The unfunded ‘plan’ will put tens of thousands more wild horses in government holding, with their fate left to the whims of future appropriators,” said Suzanne Roy, executive director at the American Wild Horse Campaign. “Make no mistake: this could result in the eventual slaughter of tens of thousands of wild horses. The cattlemen’s lobby is the only winner, achieving the near extinction-level population of wild horses they have long sought.”
“This ill-considered plan would remove tens of thousands of our iconic American wild horses from the range at a billion-dollar price-tag to the taxpayer over a decade,” said Marty Irby, executive director at Animal Wellness Action. “The biggest beneficiary of this plan would not be horses, but the livestock industry, which will see the federal government remove wild horses so that more cattle can graze on our public lands.”
“In its current form, this plan would be disastrous for our wild herds,” said Ginger Kathrens, founder and executive director of The Cloud Foundation. “It provides for no meaningful accountability on the part of BLM to implement humane and reversible fertility control measures. This plan gives BLM the mandate it has always wanted to round up more than 50,000 of our wild horses, doubling the number in off-range holding at enormous cost to the American taxpayer. We fear that unless funds are allocated to support those horses in holding for the rest of their natural lives, we will eventually see them sold killed in slaughterhouses. Meanwhile, our wild herds will be even more decimated, suffering deterioration in health due to poor genetic variability. Bottom line, wild horses and burros will eventually disappear from the West altogether. We suspect this is exactly what some of the stakeholders presenting this plan want.”
“This proposal is both inhumane and socially insensitive, and it falsely implies that there are not other viable solutions,” said Willis Lammis, president, Least Resistance Training Concepts, based in Nevada. The BLM should instead focus on humane management options, such as fertility control, and work to achieve measurable results, not continue conducting calamitous roundups.”
Rounding up horses and burros is a highly stressful and dangerous experience for these animals. Injuries and deaths are not uncommon, and many horses will be separated from their families.
The plan places wild horses and burros at significant risk of slaughter. The proposal significantly increases the number of captive horses at federally run and financed facilities and will create a future fiscal crisis. If history repeats itself, this increase will provoke pro-slaughter lawmakers to call for mass slaughter and euthanasia as a matter of fiscal responsibility.
As a humane and responsible alternative, stakeholders are instead calling for a step up in BLM-conducted fertility control programs, which allows horses to be managed humanely on the range. Proposed by U.S. Reps. Dina Titus (D-NV) and Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), fertility control will eliminate the need for mass roundups and removals and spare taxpayers the need to finance long-term care, feeding, and leasing of land.
Animal Wellness Action
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Has it really come to this? Where America’s wild horses and burros have no trustworthy friends even among their “advocates” — so called? This is yet another shocking and dangerous chapter in the history of America’s wild horses and burros.
If we have to choose between the two, fertility control is about the only reasonable suggestion. However, take it away from the oversight of the Bureau of Land Management. All the BLM want to see all is all the wild horses removed or better yet, dead. That has been its goal for decades.
The right thing to do is remove the cattle and all other interlopers and allow the horses to stay in their native habitat. Mother Nature is quite capable of managing their numbers.
There are huge amounts of acreage available inhospitable to cattle. But wild horses and burros could survive there. That’s what an old BLM man told us many years ago. And we found out he was right on the money.