Outrage over pro-kill, anti-mustang article in today’s Economist

PM Economist Billions Spin Article

Today The Economist published an article titled America is set to spend billions on taming its growing wild-horse population with fake projected costs in the multi-billions for shock value and pro-kill, pro-slaughter, pro-sterilization undertones. It’s clear the media piece goes beyond yellow journalism and was placed in the economist by a PR firm paid for by public land-grabbers who hate wild horses. Otherwise, how could such an article, filled with outrageous errors and lack of facts, get into the publication?

The $1 billion figure that BLM claims it would cost to care for the wild horses held in captivity has ballooned.  Keep in mind that in an article posted in the Rawlins Times, BLM inflated that number to $2.3 billion — 230% times the original number.
In today’s Economist.com article, the $2.3 billion has swelled to $4.6 billion — 200% times higher still.

This “article” is trying to put pressure on Congress to kill or sterilize America’s beloved wild horses. The motives are clear.

Marybeth Devlin, Protect Mustangs Advisory Board member and member of the Alliance for Wild Horses and Burros wrote the following in the comment section. Let’s hope people will read the facts:

“The Big Lie of “overpopulation” is the pretext for BLM’s war against the wild horses. It’s BLM’s version of the “Shock Doctrine,” wherein BLM concocted a phony crisis to push through policies antithetical to the Wild Horse Act against the will of The People.

In fact, horses are a slow-growth species when it comes to reproduction. The gestation-period lasts over 11 months, and a mare produces just 1 foal. While an independent study of BLM’s records did confirm a nearly 20% birth rate, that study also found that 50% of foals perish before their first birthday. Thus, the effective increase in population from new foals is just 10%. However, adult mortality must also be taken into consideration. Adult mustangs succumb at a rate of at least 5% a year. So, what is a normal herd-growth rate? Around 5%, probably less. Thus, a herd could not double in 4 or 5 years, debunking another BLM falsehood. But BLM stealthily inserts herd-growth rates far higher than 20% in its reports — biologically-impossible herd-growth rates. For instance, in Wyoming, BLM declared that the Salt Wells Creek herd grew from 29 horses to 616 horses in 6 months (yes, months), a 2,024% increase. BLM’s “data” is chock-full of preposterous growth-estimates. So, when you hear talk of how the wild horses are reproducing “exponentially,” that’s a sure sign that BLM has falsified the data. You should also know that the National Academy of Sciences was required by the terms of its grant to draw conclusions per BLM’s figures — the falsified figures. The NAS was not allowed to collect data independently. Thus, BLM wired the results to confirm its lies.

Wild horses are underpopulated. Per the guidelines of BLM’s own geneticist, more than 80% of the herds suffer from arbitrary management levels (AMLs) set below minimum-viable population (MVP). Low AMLs enable BLM to claim an “excess” in herds whose numbers, even if they were over AML, would still not reach MVP. So being “over AML” is meaningless as well as misleading. But those low AMLs, combined with fraudulent, biologically-impossible herd-growth estimates, give BLM an excuse to scapegoat those few wild horses for the range-damage done by the millions of livestock that overgraze the public lands.

PZP is a potent weapon in BLM’s arsenal — for its biological warfare against the wild horses. PZP is a registered pesticide. Its mechanism-of-action is to cause auto-immune disease — tricking the immune system into producing antibodies that target and attack the ovaries. The antibodies cause ovarian dystrophy, oophoritis (inflammation of the ovaries), ovarian cysts, destruction of oocytes in growing follicles, and depletion of resting follicles. The mare’s estrogen-levels drop markedly as PZP destroys her ovaries. Ultimately, PZP sterilizes her. A recent study — which included the McCullough Peaks herd — found that PZP extends the birthing season to nearly year-round. Out-of-season births put the life of the foals and the mares at risk. Worse yet, radioimmunoassay tests indicated that PZP antibodies are transferred from mother to female offspring via the placenta and milk.

As for the wild horses held in captivity, they are the “legacy” of former Secretary Salazar’s equid cleansing era, during which he had tens of thousands of wild horses removed from the range. However, the mortality rate of captive wild horses is about 8% a year. So, obviously, since they are not reproducing, their numbers will steadily drop, showing that BLM’s billion-dollar figure for their care was bogus — it was just another Lie. But that Lie has ballooned. BLM has taken the $1 billion figure that it originally announced, multiplied it by 230%, and then multiplied that number by another 200%, amplifying the fraud. When BLM lies, it lies Big.

The Wild Horse and Burro program, if administered per the minimum-feasible management-model specified by Law, would not cost much at all. BLM does not lack for resources. There are 22 million acres of legally-designated wild-horse herd areas — which BLM previously took away for political expediency — that can be reopened as habitat. The horses now held captive can be released to those areas, where the cost of their upkeep will be $0.

Contrary to BLM’s disinformation campaign, wild horses do have natural predators — mountain lions, bears, wolves, and coyotes. But those predators are persecuted mercilessly. The government exterminates what the hunters don’t shoot. However, the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros — Wild Horse Annie’s foundation — notes that even without predators, their wild-horse herds self-regulate their numbers, with population-growth in the single digits.

Finally, adoptions have not declined. It’s just that BLM used to count sales-for-slaughter as “adoptions.” Now, only “forever-family” placements qualify. However, mustangs are not homeless horses. They are wild horses whose home is on the range.”

Protect Mustangs is an organization who protects and preserves native and wild horses.



12 thoughts on “Outrage over pro-kill, anti-mustang article in today’s Economist

  1. Cattlemen make up BLM. Cattle replace our heritage horses so cattlemen can profit and horses die. FBI will soon be involved with the cruelty done and ongoing. About time.

  2. I dred the thought of these horses coming to us in Canada. It is absolutely shameful that our Canadian government support this crulty by taking wold hirses to slaughter. An so sorry. Our own wold horses are going to slaughter too. I wish it would stop.

  3. I dred the thought of these horses coming to us in Canada. It is absolutely shameful that our Canadian government support this crulty by taking wild horses to slaughter. Am so sorry. Our own wild horses are going to slaughter too. I wish it would stop.

  4. Several days ago I sent my state rep. a email almost just like this pointing out what the BLM is doing and why. I asked her if she would open a investigation into just what the BLM is trying to pull I don’t know if she will or not you know how these politicians are protecting their back side.

  5. Trash journalism, the problem is that people actually read the Economist and believe this stuff.

  6. How can it take a billion dollars to care for them? They DON’T care for them. They throw them in holding pens to rot while they wait for slaughter. They get no shelter, no shade, no food except scrappy hay. They’re lucky to have the nasty water they recieve. Not sure who the billions of dollars is going to but it damn sure ain’t the horses.

  7. SHAME on Whole Foods Stores, for perpetuating this mass murder of our precious wild horses. Everyone is making a buck off them, the so called caretakers, BLM, making a buck off the ranchers who have enabled them to take over our wild horses grazing lands, ‘ public” why are we allowing this!! why are we so PASSIVE about it! why can’t we take ‘Our Public Lands’ back off these self serving greedy bottom feeders with no morality ! I have BOYCOTTED whole Foods Stores. Please do the same.

  8. That publication is a right wing rag – – it represents the worst callousness of man, worshiping the dollar. There would be no civilization without the contribution and partnership of horses, and there have always been the raze the earth men who treat them as disposable, the same men who would dispose of them now. They are not horsemen, they have no idea of the grace and wisdom a horse possesses, far greater than any of those who would harm them.

  9. This article is full of evil lies against the wild horses and burros and must be effectively countered! This is our responsibility, to respond to the lies and maliciousnessC!

  10. Cattlemen rule. Cattlemen are BLM. Our heritage horses killed so cattlemen can profit. Bundy hijacked land and was arrested and charged. Cattlemen and BLM need the same. Lets complain to FBI as this is cruelty to animals. There is ope with the FBI now getting involved with animal cruelty.

  11. I just copied the response to the article and emailed it to the Economist. I dare them to print this rebuttal.

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