Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Help Save the Wild Horses

I’ve been getting a lot of emails this week from organizations who are trying to save America’s wild horses. In case you aren’t aware, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced that it intends to euthanize thousands of healthy wild horses because it is too costly to feed and care for them.

As part of its wild horse management program, for the past few years, the BLM has been rounding up wild horses and keeping them in private, long-term holding facilities. Now, they have decided that it’s too expensive. Groups like the ASPCA are suggesting that they reopen additional land for horses and increase the contraception programs that have been proven to be safe and effective.

The Cloud Foundation, which is dedicated to preserving wild horses on public lands including the Pryor Mountain herd in Montana, issued an urgent statement. They say that since 2000, the BLM has conducted massive round-ups, removing over 75,000 wild horses from the range, bringing the wild mustang population to the brink of extinction. They believe that there are few wild horse herds large enough to maintain their long-term viability.

In the past years, when the BLM requested “kill authority”, Congress placed protective language in each Appropriations Bill, preventing them from massively killing off wild horses. Unfortunately, in late 2006, U.S. Senator Conrad Burns of Montana slipped in a rider that took out the protective wording. The U.S. House of Representatives quickly passed a bill HR 249, to reinstate the protections in the Wild Horse and Burro Act. The bill stalled in the Senate in 2007, and has not passed out of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Now, the BLM announced that they will decide whether they will begin killing the wild horses in September.

To learn more, go to:
Return to Freedom Sanctuary
The Cloud Foundation

To speak out:
Call the BLM at 1-800-710-7597 or email
Go to the ASPCA website and download a letter to your Congress person:


Grey Horse Matters said...

I've already gone to the ASPCA and sent a letter to my representative. This is such a shame and a sneaky way to get rid of the wild horses. Who by the way had the right to the land in the first place. Now the cattle industry,wants more land, and I'm sure the payoffs are very generous for anyone who will slip a rider into a bill. Unless a lot of people get involved very quickly I'm afraid there will be no help for these poor horses,who are part of our American heritage. Again I must say what a shame it is to have part of our heritage murdered simply because of the greed of a few people.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

The part about wild mustangs being on the verge of extinction needs to be taken with a grain of salt. We have various wild herds in our area of Nevada. Yes, some have been rounded up by the BLM, but plenty of others remain on their own. They're not too hard to find.

I visit the BLM's Palomino Valley facility from time to time, and they have a huge number of horses there waiting for adoption. The local prison has a program in which prisoners train the mustangs to make them more adoptable. It's great for helping find homes for the horses, and helps the prisoners too.

The best way to avoid the slaughter, besides the politcal route, would be for people who have the space and skill to adopt mustangs. There are some rules, such as a horse over a certain age needs to have a 6-foot fence. However, there are plenty of foals and yearlings available.

Jen said...

Events such as the Extreme Mustang Makeover try to give the mustang a good name and show the breed off as the intelligent, loyal horse that it is. I believe many people working together in different ways will keep the breed alive, but as for the individual horses kept in the holding pens at the moment at these facilities, I'm afraid very much that they will go the way many dogs and cats in animal shelters go if they are not adopted. It is such a shame that more of the famous horsemen don't take an interest and invest some of their funds and actively help train some of these horses so average-skilled horse owners would have more chances to own them. Kudos to the prison programs. Like someone said, There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. Or something like that!!! :) Let's contact legislators AND trainers making the 'big bucks' and see what we can do!
Thanks for bringing this up, Victoria!

jme said...

thanks for bringing this topic up here. i agree with GHM that the problem is largely about the beef industry usurping the rangelands designated for wild horses, which is what is forcing these horses to be rounded up or killed in the first place.

it's not so much that the mustang as a breed will become extinct, but that the population of WILD horses will. right now the numbers are so small that soon it will no longer be a viable breeding population. all of the housing facilities and adoptions, while necessary under the circumstances, miss the point that these horses are being pushed off the land they are entitled to in order to make way for privately owned cattle, often on public lands.

this is our national heritage. these horses have a right to that land, and we have a responsibility to make sure they can remain there, without the constant threat of being shot or rounded up and eventually slaughtered. it's a national issue, and one too big to let a handful of greedy ranchers to decide for us.

Strawberry Lane said...

Thanks, Victoria, for posting info on this dreadful situation. I've signed petitions & sent notices to Washington, but it never seems to be enough.

Just when I think something is being accomplished, along comes this news from the BLM.

There are wonderful people and programs for Mustangs. It is when they talk about slaughter that we can never let up on our pressure!