Just released is a new 24-minute video documentary featuring the many positive contributions that wild horses and burros make to ecosystems and effectively disproves many of the lies made by their biased enemies.
As an ecologist who cares about the future of the naturally living horses and burros, Craig Downer is fighting to protect them from elimination on the lands that are legally theirs according to the unanimously passed Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 (WFHBA).
These species are classified by biologists as Keystone Species that critically restoring and maintain native biodiversity, benefiting many diverse yet interrelated plants and animal.
Many people unfairly blame horses for water and forage scarcity, when in truth they take only a minor fraction of the forage and water resources on the public lands compared to that taken by privately owned cattle and sheep as well as the gargantuan mining and energy industries, among other nature exploiters.
Also it is important to recognize that these national heritage species are only being allocated a small fraction of forage, water and appropriate habitat even within their legal areas on BLM and US Forest Service lands. These are areas where they should be the principal resource recipients according to the true intent of the WFHBA.
Friends of Animals is appalled to learn that the Senate Appropriations Committee approved legislation that includes $35 million for the atrocious wild horse population control plan put forward by a coalition that betrayed wild horses back in April.
That means the horrific plan included in the bill, which promotes a robust rangeland fertility control program, sterilization and massive, targeted roundups of horses and burros, is on its way to the Senate floor and WE NEED YOU to contact your U.S. Senators and tell them not to support this legislation when it comes up for a vote. You can use this directory to contact them: www.senate.gov/senators/contact.
Other so-called wild horse advocacy groups have never been interested in keeping wild horses wild. And by wild we mean allowing them to flourish in their own way, not managing them by keeping them in small herd areas or limiting their population through forcibly drugging them with fertility control drugs. The BLM treats wild horses as pests because it caters to welfare cattle and sheep ranchers who resent wild horses because they want the forage for their doomed livestock.
PLEASE remind your U.S. Senators that horses have lost more than 20 million acres of habitat since the passage of the Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971. If Congress really want to strengthen the Act, they should ignore the “unprecedented alliance’’ between so-called animal advocates and the meat industry and consider these options:
● Limit or restrict entirely cattle and sheep from grazing in wild horse Herd Management Areas (HMAs)
● Limit oil, gas and mining operations in HMAs
● Amend the Wild Horse and Burro Act to allow wild horses to be returned or relocated to Herd Areas in states where wild horses have been wiped out
● Protect natural predators such as mountain lions
● Adjust outdated appropriate management levels to accommodate more horses
In 2017, the U.S. Dept of Agriculture’s killing machine division, Wildlife Services, destroyed more than 1.3 million animals, including wolves, coyotes and bobcats, all of whom would be natural predators of wild horses, to “protect” livestock.
BLM is obligated to protect wild horses under the Act and has absolutely no authority whatsoever to experiment on wild horses with new and risky surgeries. In fact, Congress has expressly prohibited the use of funds for activities that would kill wild horses as sterilization experiments may do.
America’s wild horses have a target on their backs. We have more horse slaughter proponents in this administration than any other time in history. That’s why we need our members who care about horses to go to the wall for them.
The U.S. Capitol Switchboard is (202) 224-3121. An operator will connect you directly with the Senate office you request.
Please help stop the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management plans to perform ovarietomies on wild mares.
The Cloud Foundation writes:
Despite three successful lawsuits stopping this procedure, two universities pulling out, and enormous public outcry, BLM still plans on moving forward with its plans to rip the ovaries out of mares.
Please stand with us to tell BLM “NO!”. Send the linked sign-on letter to your veterinarian. Most have an email address listed on their website. The more signatures we have, the more influence.
No caring person wants to see these mares go through this torturous procedure with little in the way of aftercare. Together, we can tell the BLM that scores of licensed veterinarians do NOT endorse this cruel procedure.
We have 47 signatures already, our goal is to have 100 by Oct. 25th, just 10 days away. We will then present it to the BLM Advisory Board in Washington, D.C. On October 30th.
THE CLOUD FOUNDATION
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Dear Dr. XX
I’m a client of your practice, you might remember my pets (insert names here). I’m also an advocate for America’s wild horses and burros.
You might not be aware, but the Bureau of Land Management is preparing to perform a sterilization procedure on wild mares, with the intent of eventually taking it into the field. Many reputable equine veterinarians advise strongly against this procedure due to the non-sterile environment, risk of infection, colic and even evisceration.
I’m asking you to please take a moment to read the letter linked HERE and add your name to the long list of veterinarians who oppose this procedure.
Thank you for your time,
FEATURED IMAGE: Cloud the Stallion. By Ginger Kathrens, The Cloud Foundation
My Dad was a single parent. He took me with him everywhere. One of those places was Las Vegas.
There wasn’t a lot for a 15 year old to do in Las Vegas. So when I asked him what I was going to do while we were there, he said something like, “You’re a smart kid. Find something. Just stay out of trouble.” So I went for a walk, looking for something that didn’t look like trouble.
I came across a sort of caravan, flea bitten looking mini bus sort of thing, with a handwritten cardboard sign that said “Wild Horse Tours”. There was an older gentleman standing nearby. I asked him about it and he told me for $5 he takes people out to see the wild horses. Having grown up with horses literally from birth, I was immediately fascinated by the idea, and knew I just had to go. So I eagerly gave him the $5 and climbed aboard.
As soon as he had enough people, we took off. We drove for some time. I started getting a bit nervous. We were in the middle of what seemed like nowhere.
Then our guide pulled over, parked and told us to get out and make ourselves comfortable. On some boulders. We sat there for a good long while. I am not sure how long now, but to a teen it seemed like an eternity. Suddenly, getting up he gruffly said, “I don’t think we’re going to see anything today”. As we got up and started dusting ourselves off, he whirled around and started shouting excitedly, “Wait. Do you feel that? Do you feel that?”
I didn’t discern anything at first, but then I began feeling what the old gentleman did. The ground had begun to move, to shake, ever so subtly. I asked myself, am I imagining this because of what he just said, or . . . ? Then it became stronger and more perceptible. “There”, he shouted, excitedly pointing to what look like dust clouds on the ground way off in the distance. I was transfixed. My breathing became shallow, my spine started tingling and the hairs stood up on the back of my neck.
Next we heard the unmistakable sound of hooves, distant but there, as the dust clouds got nearer. It seemed to go on forever. Then suddenly out of those clouds we saw emerging a band of Mustangs.
I took in a sharp intake of breath as I caught sight of them. It was electrifying. Remarkably, as far off as they were, we could not only see them but also hear them, their leader calling and his band responding.
Then for a moment they slowed down, then stopped for the briefest of moments, the lead horse angling his head around, listening intently and sniffing the air. My heart seemed to stop with them. Next the stallion pounded the earth with his front hooves, his magnificent neck arched toward it, and reared up and pawed the air. It was as majestic a sight as you could ever hope to see.
Before I could really take it all in, the stallion and his band took off again quickly beginning to disappear into the vastness and out of sight. Breathlessly watching them I remember saying to myself, “That’s what freedom looks like”. I looked around at our group to see their reaction and many were in tears, including our guide. He wiped his face and eyes with the back of his hand and said, “Dang. They never fail to get to me every time.”
It was an indelible experience. In that splendid capsule of time I witnessed and felt with all my being how it truly must feel to be free, truly free.
I learned something else that day in Nevada. The desire to live freely and unmolested is universal. All creatures share it. And that freedom is yearned for and longed for by every horse, whether domestic or in the wild. This has strongly impacted my beliefs about all horses.
When I started my horse protection organization decades later — to combat horse slaughter to begin with — I became acquainted with the many cruelties carried out against horses. Learning about the plight of America’s wild horses and burros left me stunned and heartbroken, witnessing humans robbing our Mustangs of what is rightfully theirs.
When racehorse Bodexpress dumped his jockey in this year’s Preakness, leaving him on the ground in the starting gate and galloping riderless down the track, I knew exactly what the horse was feeling. Freedom. You could see his elation. The commentators of course didn’t see it that way at all. Predictably, they said the horse was simply completing the race because that’s what racehorses do. They have no clue because racehorses are a means to an end. Their end.
Our Mustangs are also in terrible trouble, perhaps more than ever, and that’s saying something given their tragic history at the hands of man. My hope is that you will take an even stronger stand on their behalf and defend their right to roam, untouched and free.