Dear Friends of Wild horses and burros,
It’s bad when the BLM holds captive mustangs with no shade or shelter but if we all don’t rally quickly to stop a misleading bill in Congress, we could witness America’s cherished wild horses being sold to slaughter by the thousands instead of being held captive in holding pens or living in freedom as the law intended–safe from harassment and slaughter.
You probably have witnessed what happens when the states “manage” wild horses. . . In the case of the 41 wild horses from Dry Creek, Wyoming, 37 were sold to the Canadian slaughterhouse. We are so grateful to have rescued 14 youngsters (8mo-2 yrs) who were all going to be butchered for human consumption abroad.
Below is an Associated Press article that is going viral this weekend while the National Association of Counties is meeting in New Orleans. The Utah Commissioners are trying to get a joint resolution backed which would put American wild horses at-risk of being killed and slaughtered to “dispose of them.” Of course the politicians don’t pitch it this way. No . . . they cover that part up and make their resolution and their legislation look like it has animal welfare in mind. You can see the bill below.
Let’s hope this article shines the light on their sinister plans. It’s time to fight for the protection of wild horses.
Bill seeks to allow states to manage wild horses
By Martin Griffith, Associated Press
RENO, Nev. (AP) — A Utah congressman has introduced legislation to allow Western states and American Indian tribes to take over management of wild horses and burros from the federal government.
Rep. Chris Stewart said the U.S. Bureau of Land Management has mismanaged the animals on public rangelands and states should have the option of managing them.
An overpopulation of horses is pushing cattle off the range, the Republican lawmaker said, and leading to the destruction of important habitat for native species.
“States and tribes already successfully manage large quantities of wildlife within their borders,” Stewart said in a statement. “If horses and burros were under that same jurisdiction, I’m confident that new ideas and opportunities would be developed to manage the herds more successfully than the federal government.”
But Anne Novak, executive director of California-based Protect Mustangs, said her group opposes the legislation because it would lead to states and tribes killing the animals or selling them off for slaughter for human consumption.
The government is rounding up too many mustangs while allowing livestock to feed at taxpayer expense on the same rangeland scientists say is being overgrazed, she said.
“We’ve had firsthand experience with states and tribes managing wild horses, and it’s horribly cruel,” Novak said in a statement. “They ruthlessly remove wild horses and sell them to kill-buyers at auction. Severe animal abuse would be the result of the (legislation).”
The Bureau of Land Management says it’s doing all it can, given budget constraints, overflowing holding pens and a distaste for the politically unpopular options of either ending the costly roundups or slaughtering excess horses.
The bill’s introduction comes at a time when the bureau has been under increasing pressure from ranchers to remove horses that they say threaten livestock and wildlife on rangelands already damaged by drought.
In Utah, Iron County commissioners had threatened to gather up hundreds of mustangs themselves, saying the government refuses to remove enough horses in herds that double in size every five years.
Iron County Commissioner Dave Miller said he and commissioners from Utah’s Beaver and Garfield counties are trying to drum up support for a resolution in support of the legislation at the National Association of Counties annual conference in New Orleans, which ends Monday.
“The resolution will be instrumental in getting Chris Stewart’s bill through Congress because it shows support across the nation,” he told The Spectrum of St. George, Utah.
Stewart said his Wild Horse Oversight Act would extend all protections that horses and burros enjoy under the federal Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 while giving states the opportunity of implementing their own management plans.
Under the bill, the states could form cooperative agreements to manage herds that cross over borders, and the federal government would continue to monitor horses and burros to ensure that population numbers as prescribed by the 1971 act are maintained.
The bureau estimates 40,600 of the animals — the vast majority horses — roam free on bureau-managed rangelands in 10 Western states. The population exceeds by nearly 14,000 the number the agency has determined can exist in balance with other public rangeland resources and uses.
Some 49,000 horses and burros removed from the range are being held in government-funded short- and long-term facilities.
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Cross-posted from the San Francisco Chronicle for educational purposes: http://www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/Bill-seeks-to-allow-states-to-manage-wild-horses-5617520.php
Please share this news with your friends and help with a donation to feed and care for the WY14 and the other wild horses in our Outreach Program here: http://protectmustangs.org/?page_id=701
Hear a commissioner spin his pitch while interviewed on a friendly radio station in Utah: https://soundcloud.com/ksvc/mark
Take action and contact your county commissioners and all your elected officials to request they do not support rogue commissioners in Utah and ask that they do not support the individual states managing wild horses because it would put them at risk of slaughter.
Now is the time to stand up and fight for the voiceless! Together we can turn this around.