Are elected officials working off plans to “dispose” of treasured wild horses and burros?

PM Paul Ryan

Biased white papers have been swaying elected officials and spreading the overpopulation lie since 2011

It’s no wonder that we are fighting an uphill battle when our elected officials are working off white papers severely biased against wild horses and burros and their right to be part of the thriving natural ecological balance. Read the white paper that focuses on disposal and ignores the fact that wild horses are a native species.

Click here to read it: Wild Horses and Burros_Issues and Proposals

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




BLM Sets Meeting of National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board for September in Elko, Nevada

Stop BLM from EXPERIMENTING on wild mares!

September 8–9 meeting will be livestreamed at www.blm.gov/live

The Bureau of Land Management’s National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board will meet September 8-9, 2016, in Elko, Nev., to discuss issues relating to the management and protection of wild horses and burros on Western public rangelands. The two-day meeting will take place on Thursday, September 8, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:15 p.m., and Friday, September 9, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (The meeting times are local time; Elko is in the Pacific Time Zone.) The meeting will be live-streamed athttp://www.blm.gov/live.

The agenda of the upcoming meeting can be found in the August 1, 2016, Federal Register at http://go.usa.gov/x4TRJ. The meeting will be held at Stockmen’s Hotel and Casino, 340 Commercial Street, Elko, Nev. The hotel’s website address is www.northernstarcasinos.com/Stockmens-hotel-casino; its phone number is (775) 738-5141.

The Advisory Board provides advice and recommendations to the BLM as it carries out its responsibilities under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. The law mandates the protection and management of these free-roaming animals in a manner that ensures healthy herds at levels consistent with the land’s capacity to support them. According to the BLM’s latest official estimate, approximately 67,027 wild horses and burros roam on BLM-managed rangelands in 10 Western states.

The public may address the Advisory Board on Thursday, September 8, from 3:15 to 5:15 p.m., local time. Individuals who want to make a statement at Thursday’s meeting should register in person with the BLM by 3:15 p.m. local time, on that same day at the meeting site. Depending on the number of speakers, the Board may limit the length of presentations, set at three minutes for previous meetings.

Speakers should submit a written copy of their statement to the BLM at the addresses below or bring a copy to the meeting. There will be a Webcam present during the entire meeting and individual comments may be recorded. Those who would like to comment but are unable to attend may submit a written statement to: National Wild Horse and Burro Program, WO-261, Attention: Ramona DeLorme, 1340 Financial Boulevard, Reno, Nev., 89502-7147. Comments may also be e-mailed to the BLM (atwhbadvisoryboard@blm.gov); please include “Advisory Board Comment” in the subject line of the e-mail.

For additional information regarding the meeting, please contact Ms. DeLorme, Wild Horse and Burro Administrative Assistant, at (775) 861-6583. Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may reach Ms. DeLorme during normal business hours by calling the Federal Information Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339.

The Advisory Board generally meets twice a year and the BLM Director may call additional meetings when necessary. Members serve without salary, but are reimbursed for travel and per diem expenses according to government travel regulations.

In its management of wild horses and burros, the BLM is taking a number of steps to ensure healthy horses and burros thrive on healthy public lands , including sponsoring a significant research program focused on fertility control; transitioning horses from off-range corrals to more cost-effective pastures; working to increase adoptions with new programs and partnerships; and requesting two new pieces of legislative authority — one to allow for the immediate transfer of horses to other agencies that have a need for work animals and one that would create a congressionally-chartered foundation that could help fund and support adoption efforts.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.
–BLM–

PZP = Slow Extinction

PM Aerial 10

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




Red Alert: 3-Strike Friends SUZIE KING (#2473) & SNOWBUNNIE (#2256 ) at-risk & need a forever home together

UPDATE August 25th: Suzie King and Snowbunnie have been saved and will live together!

PM PVC 3-Strikes SUZIE KING #2437 August 2016

Suzie King (#2437) is buddies with Snowbunnie (#2256). Please help them!

We met them both at Palomino Valley last Friday. They were super nice and friendly. The two friends have spent all of their lives in the captive pens since they were rounded up as tiny foals. Please help them stay together in a safe place away from horse-traders, kill-buyers and slaughter!

You can do a walk up purchase until August 22nd and save both wild mares at $50. for the pair.

Here is what the BoLM says about Suzie King:

Sex: Mare Age: 6 Years Height (in hands): 13

Necktag #: 2473 Date Captured: 09/25/10

Freezemark: 10612473 Signalment Key: HF1AAAABG

Color: Gray Captured: Silver King (NV)

Notes:
Tag-#2473. 6 year old gray mare gathered from the Silver King Herd Management Area in Nevada in September of 2010.

This horse is currently located in Palomino Valley, NV. For more information, please contact Jeb Beck at (775) 475-2222 or e-mail: j1beck@blm.gov

  Here is Snowbunnie (#2256) and her filthy photo. She looks much nicer than that.

PM SNOWBUNNIE #2256 From Silver King 3-Strikes

Here is a photo of SNOWBUNNIE (#2256) from last Friday

PM PVC 3-Strikes SNOWBUNNIE #2256 Aug 2016

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




Rounded up as a foal, SNOWBUNNIE (#2256) spent 6 years in the captive pens, has 3-Strikes and is for sale!

PM SNOWBUNNIE #2256 From Silver King 3-Strikes

Filthy photo ruined her chance at adoption

SNOWBUNNIE (#2256) was rounded up in 2010 as a foal, separated from her mama, lost her freedom, family and Silver King herd forever. She has been forced to live without shade and shelter in the captive pens for 6 years. After being offered for adoption on the internet with horrible photos she was not “picked” and now she has become a 3-Strikes mustang. She is sale eligible. Just look how filthy SNOWBUNNIE is from living in the captive pens! In the wild she would be clean, happy and living in freedom as mother nature intended.

Now SNOWBUNNIE needs your help to share her post on Facebook, Twitter and by email so she can find a safe forever home. Networking can help her.

She looks willing to connect with people. Keep in mind she has spent most of her life on the other side of the bars from people. Poor baby might have forgot that life can be much better that this.

SNOWBUNNIE looks like an easy keeper and that’s exactly what the Kill-Buyers want. That way they will pay less money on feed to get the maximum dollars per pound at slaughter. This is Urgent! Help SNOWBUNNIE stay away from the KIll-Buyers!

Sex: Mare Age: 6 Years   Height (in hands): 13.1

Necktag #: 2256   Date Captured: 09/25/10

Freezemark: 10612256   Signalment Key: HF1ADAADG

Color: Gray   Captured: Silver King (NV)

Tag-#2256. 6 year old gray mare gathered from the Silver King Herd Management Area in Nevada in September of 2010.

This horse is currently located in Palomino Valley, NV.  For more information, please contact Jeb Beck at (775) 475-2222 or e-mail: j1beck@blm.gov

Update August 10: BLM said, “If no bids were placed on an animal in the last internet and a bidder that didn’t get the horse they choose as first pick didn’t decide to take a horse with no bid then those horses with no bids are available for pickup at PVC till August 22. After that date any remaining horses will be put on the next internet adoption. . . horses are available for pick up FROM PVC ONLY we will not ship as the truck is full at this point.”

From Protect Mustangs:

You can help by sharing SNOWBUNNIE’s (#2256) post to find a safe forever home away from slaughter. Share to help save her now!

Together we can turn this around.

 

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




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.



Red Alert: Stop HENRY from being disposed of

PM Fallon 3 Strikes HENRY #9847 August 8 2016

The Bureau of Land Management (BoLM) is flooding the internet with mustangs.

They are pumping America’s wild horses through their internet adoptions so BoLM can strike them out and strip them of their federal protections after only 3 failed adoptions. After 3-Strikes they can become sale eligible, like Henry,. and lose their federal protections due to a loophole created by the Burns Amendment to the 1971 wild horses and burro protection act.

It doesn’t mean they are some sort of rank mustang that nobody wants. The 3-Strikes policy is all about creating a category for disposal.

Captured as a yearling in 2011, Henry has lived most of his life in the shelterless pens with distant memories of his mama and herd in the wild. . .

Poor Henry has 3-Strikes now because he wasn’t picked like all the flashy wild horses who were adopted. He’s plain but he’s sweet and just wants to be loved. Henry is so lonely and so scared. Please help Henry #9847 find a forever home!

BLM says:

Sex: Gelding Age: 6 Years   Height (in hands): 13.2

Necktag #: 9847   Date Captured: 02/15/11

Freezemark: 10609847   Signalment Key: HG1AEAAIB

Color: Bay   Captured: Goshute (NV)

Notes:

Tag-#9847.  6 year-old bay gelding gathered from the Goshute Herd Management Area in Nevada in February of 2011.

This wild horse is currently located in Fallon, NV.  For more information, please contact Jeb Beck at (775) 475-2222 or e-mail: j1beck@blm.gov

This wild horse is available for sale or adoption with bids staring at $25.00. At the conclusion of the bidding, the successful bidder will inform the BLM if they are purchasing or adopting the animal. If the animal is purchased, not adopted, the successful bidder receives bill of sale to the animal upon completion of payment and final paperwork. If the animal is adopted, the minimum bid must be $125, and the animal is not eligible for title until the one year anniversary.

Pick up options (by appt): Palomino Valley, NV; Delta, UT; Elm Creek, NE; Pauls Valley, OK.

Adoption confirmation for this animal must be finalized, by e-mail to BLM_ES_INET_Adoption@blm.gov Henry is available for in-person walk up adoption/purchase ONLY.

Update August 10: BLM said, “If no bids were placed on an animal in the last internet and a bidder that didn’t get the horse they choose as first pick didn’t decide to take a horse with no bid then those horses with no bids are available for pickup at PVC till August 22. After that date any remaining horses will be put on the next internet adoption. . . horses are available for pick up FROM PVC ONLY we will not ship as the truck is full at this point.”

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




Red Alert: Nellie Diamond (#0484) and Star Creek (#1483) are now at risk of being sold into the slaughter pipeline

Why isn’t the Bureau of Land Management making a sale to safety happen?

PM Nellie Diamond #0484 No Bidder Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 2.17.51 AM

 

PM Nellie Diamond #0484 PVC 3-Strikes

Many people have shown interest in buying 6-year-old Nellie Diamond (#0484) but she still has no bid listed on her page and the auction is over. Is the BoLM returning email inquiries and phone calls? She can be adopted or sold. With sale the purchaser gets title of her immediately. With adoption she can be returned to BoLM if the adopter wants to. Of course then she would have another strike . . . Might be best to get her to a sanctuary with her friend Star Creek (#1483). The pair would only cost $50 and 2 lives would be saved.

Star Creek (#1483) is a sweet 6-yr-old mare from Fish Creek, NV who was rounded up last year to forcibly drug the mares with Pesticide PZP– made from slaughterhouse pig ovaries. Now Star Creek has 3-Strikes from failed adoptions and is another RED ALERT wild horse now at-risk!

This lovely wild mare wasn’t picked because she’s ‘plain” even though she seems very sweet with a special star. Now she’s at risk of being sold to a horse trader who might sell her to a kill-buyer for slaughter.

PM Star Creek #1483 Fish Creek 3-Strike Sale

 

PM Star Creek #1483 No Bidder Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 2.57.55 AM

Please share Nellie Diamond (#0484) and Star Creek (#1483) so together they can go to a loving home or sanctuary!

Here is some basic information:

This horse is currently located in Palomino Valley, NV.  For more information, please contact Jeb Beck at (775) 475-2222 or e-mail: j1beck@blm.gov

This horse is available for sale or adoption with bids staring at $25.00. At the conclusion of the bidding, the successful bidder will inform the BLM if they are purchasing or adopting the animal. If the animal is purchased, not adopted, the successful bidder receives bill of sale to the animal upon completion of payment and final paperwork. If the animal is adopted, the minimum bid must be $125, and the animal is not eligible for title until the one year anniversary.

Pick up options (by appt): Palomino Valley, NV; Delta, UT; Elm Creek, NE; Pauls Valley, OK.

Other pick up options: Ewing, IL (September 3) ; Mequon, WI (September 16); Clemson, SC (September 23); Loxahatchee, FL (September 30); and Murray, KY (October 7).

Adoption confirmation for this animal must be finalized, by e-mail to BLM_ES_INET_Adoption@blm.gov, no later than Noon Mountain August 4. After this date, all unclaimed animals will be available for in-person walk up adoption/purchase ONLY.

Update August 10: BLM said, “If no bids were placed on an animal in the last internet and a bidder that didn’t get the horse they choose as first pick didn’t decide to take a horse with no bid then those horses with no bids are available for pickup at PVC till August 22. After that date any remaining horses will be put on the next internet adoption. . . horses are available for pick up FROM PVC ONLY we will not ship as the truck is full at this point.”

Thank you and Bless you.

 

Anne Novak

Executive Director

Protect Mustangs

 

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




Poppy (#1196) deserves to live in safety

PM Poppy #1196 3-Strike PVC FB

Poppy (#1196) is from the Silver King Herd Management Area (HMA) in Nevada. She was 5-years-old when she was rounded up to never have any sense of freedom or family again.

This American mustang survived in the wild as a foal when so many perish due to natural causes. Life in the wild is harsh and only about 50% of the foals born will live to be 2-years-old. This is survival of the fittest and exactly what makes American mustangs such a strong and special breed.

Now Poppy is 7 and has been help captive for 2 years without shade or shelter . . .

Please Help Poppy! She has been passed over in 3 adoptions because her photos are bad. That shouldn’t ruin her life. It’s not her fault.

By sharing this post on Facebook, Twitter and by email you can help Poppy find her forever home. She is for sale for $25 and she is wild. That means she will need to go to a trainer for gentling or her new person would need to borrow a high fenced round pen and gentle her like so many people do–with LOVE and patience.

Together we can make this happen!

BoLM says:

Sex: Mare Age: 7 Years   Height (in hands): 14

Necktag #: 1196   Date Captured: 11/11/14

Freezemark: 09621196   Signalment Key: HF1CAAEAD

Color: Brown   Captured: Silver King (NV)

Notes:

Tag-#1196. 7 year old brown mare gathered from the Silver King Herd Management Area in Nevada in November of 2014.

Sale information is here: http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/whbprogram/adoption_program/sales.html

Update August 10: BLM said, “If no bids were placed on an animal in the last internet and a bidder that didn’t get the horse they choose as first pick didn’t decide to take a horse with no bid then those horses with no bids are available for pickup at PVC till August 22. After that date any remaining horses will be put on the next internet adoption. . . horses are available for pick up FROM PVC ONLY we will not ship as the truck is full at this point.”

This horse is currently located in Palomino Valley, NV.  For more information, please contact Jeb Beck at (775) 475-2222 or e-mail: j1beck@blm.gov

Stop the Roundups for Experiments, Pesticide PZP and removals!

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




#URGENT ~ Which wild horses have 3-Strikes and who was really picked up by adopters? Who needs to be saved? #Call2Action

QUESTIONS:

1.) After the BLM’s poorly publicized Internet Adoption, which wild horses have three-strikes therefore losing their protected status?

2.) Which wild horses have been picked up by adopters and who is still at risk?

3.) Who wants to save some 3-Strike wild horses?

Answer in the comments below and let’s network these wild mustangs to safety away from kill buyers’ trucks.

BEWARE: Pro-Slaughter Activist have been sabotaging our posts on Facebook and getting them deleted from groups they have infiltrated. They can’t mess with saving wild horses from slaughter on our website so let’s get to work!

FALLON, Nevada Part I :

PM FALLON Who is 3-Strikes Now Part 1

FALLON, Nevada Part 2:

PM FALLON Who is 3-Strikes Now Part 2

FALLON, Nevada Part 3:

PM FALLON Who is 3-Strikes Now Part 3

 

BURNS, Oregon Part 1:

PM BURNS Who is 3-Strikes Now Part 1

 

BURNS, Oregon Part 2:

PM BURNS Who is 3-Strikes Now Part 2

RIDGECREST, California Part 1:

PM RIDGECREST Who is 3-Strikes Now Part 1

 

RIDGECREST, California Part 2:

PM RIDGECREST Who is 3-Strikes Now Part 2

 

RIDGECREST, California Part 3:

PM RIDGECREST Who is 3-Strikes Now Part 3

Information on BLM’s 3-Strike system is here.

The BLM’s online gallery is here: https://www.blm.gov/adoptahorse/onlinegallery.php#cat_645

Sale Authority wild horses come with title immediately.

See the empty captive pens at Palomino Valley Center where 1,800 wild horses and burros lived: https://www.facebook.com/annenovak/posts/10153713070608133

Follow Anne Novak on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annenovak and on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheAnneNovak

Follow Protect Mustangs on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ProtectMustangs

Our email is Contact@ProtectMustangs.org

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




Does the meat Industry want to SLAUGHTER wild horses?

Read what the Pro-Slaughter advocates say about wild horses below. They are publishing this in pork industry publications!

Meat of the Matter: Wild and worrisome

Time for a brief quiz.

Question 1): How many wild horses and burros are currently roaming across the Western rangelands?

Question 2: How many wild horse and burros are adopted by private citizens each year?

Question 3): Absent “control measures,” how long does it take for the population of wild horses and burros to double in numbers?

Answers: 1). 67,000. 2). 2,500. 3). Four years.

In other words, each year there are thousands more of these feral animals being added to what is already an overpopulation across the semi-arid rangelands of Nevada, California, Utah and several other Western states.

In fact, the Bureau of Land Management announced last week that as of this March, there an estimated 67,000 wild horses and burros in the West public rangelands, which is a 15% increase over the estimated 2015 population.

The updated data are more than twice the number of horses on the range than is recommended under BLM land-use plans. It is also two and a half times the number of horses and burros that were estimated to be in existence when the Wild and Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act was passed 45 years ago in 1971.

“Over the past seven years we have doubled the amount of funding used for managing our nation’s wild horses and burros,” Neil Kornze, BLM Director, said in a statement. “Despite this, major shifts in the adoption market and the absence of a long-term fertility control drug have driven population levels higher.”

The major shift to which Kornze referred is a dramatic decrease in adoptions of wild horses, due to economics and other factors — ie, the fact that the wild mustangs, in particular, don’t adapt well to life in a stable.

Here’s the problem: The lifetime cost of caring for an unadopted horse removed from the range approaches $50,000 per animal. With 46,000 horses and burros already residing in off-range corrals and pastures, this means that without some way to place these animals with willing owners, BLM will spend more than a billion dollars to care for and feed them over the rest of their lives.

And there are plenty more where the current ones came from.

As The New York Times phrased the situation in a lengthy article two years ago, “There are now twice as many wild horses in the West as federal land managers say the land can sustain. The program that manages them has broken down, and unchecked populations pose a threat to delicate public land, as well as the ranches that rely on it.”

And the situation has only worsened since then.

A question of numbers

Keep in mind that the population of wild horses and burros affects not just agency budgets and wildlife populations, but impacts a significant economic and cultural resource: the grasslands of the West. When deer populations exceed their rural habitats east of the Mississippi, there is property damage and traffic accidents for suburban and rural residents to contend with, but there is far less impact on agriculture.

Not so out West. There simply isn’t carrying capacity for ever-expanding herds of horse and burros, while at the same time maintaining the grazing rights of ranchers and conserving the limited supply of grassland and water resources.

BLM officials are trying to address the challenge on a number of fronts, including:

  • Sponsoring research on fertility control, which to date is neither effective nor inexpensive
  • Transitioning horses from off-range corrals to lower cost pastures, which at best may offer modest mitigation of the cost burden
  • Working to increase adoptions with new programs and partnerships, which won’t even get the populations stabilized at the levels of 10 or 15 years ago, when horse adoptions were far more popular

None of those measures — even in combination — will be enough, however, and so the agency announced in a statement that it would request two new pieces of legislation: One to permit the transfer of horses to other agencies that have a need for work animals; and another that would create a congressionally chartered foundation to help fund and support adoption efforts.

Unfortunately, all the money in the world can’t turn adoption in to a sustainable solution. Wild mustangs and feral burros make lousy pets and equally undesirable work animals. It’s one thing to “domesticate” bison, another “wild” species dependent on rangelands. The time, trouble and expense of keeping them corralled represents an investment recouped by selling the meat and hides, whereas the only reason to keep horses around these days is to ride them, either for pleasure, for racing or for equestrian competition.

Most wild horses are highly unsuited to all of the above.

As is true with any invasive species, the spectrum of control measures starts out with the least intrusive, most humane interventions. But unless such a limited strategy actually works, efforts must be ramped up — all the way to forcible population control.

I’ve yet to hear from any activist with a better solution.

Or one with an extra billion they’d like to donate to the cause.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Dan Murphy, a veteran food-industry journalist and commentator. Cross-posted for education and discussion from PorkNetwork

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