Demand an Urgent Congressional Investigation and Head Count of all Wild Horses and Burros in Captivity and in the Wild sign and share the petition: https://www.change.org/p/u-s-senate-investigate-the-wild-horse-burro-count-in-captivity-and-freedom
Tuesday the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled against the state of Wyoming pushing for more roundups.
“The Interior Department and the BLM responded that they don’t have a mandatory duty to remove wild horses from herd management areas. The district court issued an order dismissing the case, and the state filed an appeal with the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
“The state’s arguments, however are contrary to the plain language,” of the law, according to the opinion issued Tuesday by a three-member panel of the appeals court.
The Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 directs the BLM to maintain an inventory of wild free-roaming horses and burros on public lands, saying the inventory’s purpose is in part to determine whether an overpopulation exists and whether action should be taken to remove excess animals, the opinion said.
The second statutory requirement hasn’t been met, the opinion said, because “the BLM has not determined that action is necessary to remove the excess animals …. the BLM is under no statutory duty to remove animals from the seven HMAs at issue.”
Protect Mustangs intervened in the Bureau of Land Management’s law suit to stop the Checkerboard Roundup. We are so grateful for the outcome in the Court of Appeals.
Protect Mustangs is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of native and wild horses. www.ProtectMustangs.org
Protect Mustangs will help find homes for 2 wild horses who would have been killed at Modoc Forest roundup
ALTURAS, Ca.(September 27, 2016)–Last week Anne Novak, founder and director of Protect Mustangs reached out to U.S. Forest Service staff with an offer to help find homes for any wild horses rounded up with pre-existing conditions–who would be killed–not offered a chance at adoption. Tonight Novak received the first call from Forest Service staff.
“It’s always bothered me that after wild horses heal from injuries and survive in the wild, they are chased by helicopters, rounded up and killed upon capture because they don’t seem like they would get adopted,” says Novak. “Some people don’t want a riding horse. Some people want to save a life.”
So far, two wild horses from the roundup have pre-existing conditions. One is believed to be pigeon toed due to a broken foot that healed in the wild. The other mustang’s condition is unknown at this time.
“They need to go to loving homes to become pets–not riding partners–or go to sanctuaries,” explains Novak. “They have survived in the wild and that’s a harsh life. They deserve our compassion after the roundup and they deserve to live.”
After the mustang protectors make an assessment of the wild horses with pre-existing conditions, a sanctuary might be a more suitable forever home. It’s too early to tell.
These two California wild horses from Modoc County will join their herd-mates at the Bureau of Land Management’s Litchfield holding Corrals near Susanville. There they will be prepared for adoption with the others.
Adoption applications are here: Protect-Mustangs-BLM-facility-adoption-app
- Cost to adopt is $125.
- Adoptions by appointment only, call (530) 254-6575.
- Open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Summer hours are 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. The facilities are closed on federal holidays. Please call for current information.
- Information is available 24 hours a day by calling 1-800-545-4256.
- Completed adoption applications can be sent to Videll Retterath by e-mail email@example.com or fax (530)252-6762.
- The Corrals are located 21 miles east of Susanville , CA on US Highway 395.
- Adopters receive title to wild horses after one year
Members of the public with questions about the BLM’s requirements for adoption, questions about the wild horses with pre-existing conditions, who want to help network homes for wild horses who would be killed for pre-existing conditions, need trainer referrals, or want some tips on how to build an inexpensive shelter are invited to email the mustang protectors at Contact@ProtectMustangs.org
“I pray we can change the trend of killing special needs wild horses at roundups,” says Novak. ‘Someone’s going to fall in love with them. After all they’re still American mustangs.”
Protect Mustangs is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of native and wild horses. www.ProtectMustangs.org
(Roundup to administer Pesticide PZP for experiments)
PZP or Reserve Design? You Decide
By Craig C. Downer, Wildlife Ecologist, Wild Horse and Burro Fund
September 24th, 2016
On September 7th, 2016, I participated in the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board rangeland tour of the Antelope Valley Wild Horse Herd Management Area (HMA); and on September 8th, I again participated in this board’s official meeting at the historical Stockman’s Hotel in Elko, Nevada. Though both tour and meeting provided for some public input, these were “one slick operation” by BLM officials and certain members of the board. This event aimed to convince all board members as well as the public of a “wild horse overpopulation crisis” with a pre-meditated selection of sites to visit and points to make. And I can well understand why a person with little knowledge and background on wild horse and public lands issues or with a pre-existing selfish agenda could be easily stampeded into accepting the over-population myth.
Indeed, on Friday, September 9th, the board voted 8 to 1 to recommend disposal of ca. 44,000 wild horses and burros currently in holding throughout the United States. If accepted by the BLM, such a recommendation would result in the cruel killing of most of these national heritage animals.
Being all too aware of how wild horses and burros have been set up to fail, all too aware of how they have been used as scapegoats for ecological problems that overpopulated humans have basically caused, I was relieved that BLM officials did not – at least for now – accept their appointed board’s advice. I was also pleased to learn that BLM recently cancelled certain surgical sterilization experiments on over 200 captured wild mares in Oregon and others in Wyoming for which over $11 million dollars had been allocated.
The board’s recommendation would have been tantamount to murdering nearly all of the 44 thousand horses and burros in holding. This proposed bloodbath created an enormous national and international outcry, becoming a global bone of contention. And I find it heartening to see evidence that so many people care about the wild ones and their right to live freely and naturally.
Horses and their burro cousins are highly-evolved beings, fellow sojourners on planet Earth, companions who have lived and labored alongside us humans for many generations –even several millennia! What horses and humans have experienced together concerning Life’s unfolding story is truly awesome! Could this be why the cavalier disposal of the lives of so many horse souls rankles so deeply and with so many?
Today a great moral challenge stridently calls for us humans to more fairly and justly treat our fellow inhabitants of planet Earth. We must give these fellow conscious beings the life they deserve for a change! In the case at hand, horses present highly evolved beings present here on Earth for millions of years of free and natural living, often in wide-open spaces. In diverse ecosystems, they have developed intricate relationships with an astounding diversity of plants and animals and in a way that is truly splendid. As an ecologist, I realize that they are mutually complemental to the other species of fauna and flora. And that they are extraordinarily beautiful should give us some clue as to why they are pleasing to Heaven.
Such realizations occurred to those who established the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 (WFHBA). This was one of the first times Americans decided to do something major that was genuinely good for a fellow species. And it defied centuries, even millennia, of human self-absorption, thoughtlessness, cruelty and greed. For rather than merely continuing to take from, we humans actually chose to give back to horse kind something of true worth and excellence: their natural freedom to live on their rightful natural land, or home. In other words, to be themselves!
Along with the Wilderness and similar acts, the WFHBA was a “great forward leap for mankind.” Yet, an “all-points bulletin” today concerns our government’s emerging plans for America’s last remaining wild horses and burros. As a wildlife ecologist and even more as a human being who appreciates horses in the wild, I perceive their enemies not only among those traditionally opposed to them, but in our very government and even among people who claim to be wild horse advocates yet who are quick to overly compromise the future of these wild horses and burros as naturally living Earthlings! Why are the latter buckling under to the wild horses’ and burros’ traditional detractors and enemies? It seems that they are being duped into conceding to plans that will only ensure the decline of the wild herds? Many of us believe that this pusillanimous position must not pass! (No pasara! as we speakers of Spanish say.)
Core to what’s wrong are the so-called “Appropriate Management Levels” (AMLs) that have been assigned to the legal wild horse and wild burro herds on their legal lands throughout the West, both on BLM and US Forest Service lands. And along with these, the failure to fairly allocate natural resources for truly viable populations. These AMLs are simply much too low! They are genetically non-viable and would result in under-populated herds.
Any group of creatures that senses itself to be underpopulated usually “struggles to survive,” as Charles Darwin so aptly stated. Herd numbers as well as the locations and sizes of Herd Management Areas (HMAs) have been too arbitrarily set to fit the demands of cattle and sheep ranchers, big mining corporations, expansion-hooked land developers, ORV rippers up of the land, and the kill-focused hunting establishment. As is so typical, the root of the problem lies with that thoughtlessness and greed that infects too many humans today. The consequence has been many millions of acres of zeroed-out, though still legal, herd areas, and herd sizes and the sizes and habitat composition of HMAs (BLM) and Territories (US Forest Service) that are simply not adequate to the long-term survival needs of those wild horses and burros who still remain. To my very bones I feel that we humans must rise to the great moral challenge concerning the horses and burros and their right to live free. And this also has to do with our own success as a species, for it concerns obeying the laws of Higher Justice that govern the universe.
Truly realizing and living the noble intent of the WFHBA will make America great again, allow it to stand uprightly on solid moral ground. We shall learn to share the land and freedom with the wild ones, and this lesson shall be our salvation. We shall no longer restrict and exploit such “paragons of Nature” as the horses and their rightful lands in such a way that denies them their true place in the world we share with them as home. Today we have arrived at a crucial crossroad, a critical turning point:
Faulty PZP-type Choice for America’s Wild Horses and Burros
Shall we only continue to restrict and distort the true natures of the horses and burros and to ever greater degrees, as well as their proper habitats here on Earth? Shall we only continue to deny them genuine freedom here on Earth by condoning marginally productive, water-deprived, and un-whole habitats that have been carelessly and deviously assigned for them? Shall we be cornered into accepting the application of harmful, FDA-classified pesticides such as Porcine Zona Pelucida, or PZP, GonaCon, SpayVac, etc.?
These drugs, vaccines, inhibitors of healthy horses – call them what you like – only distort and suppress the true health and well-being of vigorous wild horses and burros! And then do we expect the wild horses and burros so violated to fit into unfairly small and inadequate habitats that do not provide their long-term survival needs? No! Such marginal habitats, substandard population numbers, and biologically compromised individuals are simply unacceptable! They would not be genetically viable and would only set the horses and burros up for inbreeding suppression while at the same time preventing their filling their ecological niches in a harmoniously adapted way. And these animals already face enough survival challenges without having to deal with the violation of their most intimate parts!
Is PZP really a solution that works for the horses/burros?
I have participated in many wild horse and burro meetings and heard talks given by experts describing PZP and its actions on wild horses, including by PZP’s inventor Dr. Jay Kirkpatrick and by Dr. Daniel Rubenstein, a behavioral zoologist who has studied PZPed wild horses in nature. I have also perused many scientific and popular articles about the effects of PZP upon wild horses, both short- and long-term, and both upon individuals and their social groups.
Here are some of the major proven damages to wild horses caused by PZP:
(1) PZP weakens immune systems of individuals and their herds since it inhibits reproduction in horses with stronger immune systems. Horses with weaker immune systems are precisely those who reproduce in greater numbers in PZP-treated herds. Eventually, PZP weakens wild horse herds’ overall immune systems. (Reference: Gray, M.E. & Cameron, E.Z. 2010. Does contraceptive treatment in wildlife result in side effects? Reproduction 139: 45-55.)
(2) Increased stress is experienced by mares who have been successfully darted by PZP and by other members of their social bands. This is because of PZPed mares’ frustration in completing their natural reproductive cycle, which affects the other members of their bands. Ironically, it is precisely the mature and stable, more content and non-PZPed bands that do, in fact, cause a slowing of reproductive rates, as years of research by the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros (ISPMB) and others abundantly proves. (Reference: Sussman, Karen. 6/6/2015. Suspicious deaths with use of anti-fertility drugs. ISPMB Journal. www.ispmb.org/BirthControlDeaths.html.)
(3) PZP adversely affects mares’ hormonal systems and consequently the social groups to which they belong. PZPed mares become irritable, aggressive, and more masculine, causing disharmony in their bands. PZP lowers estrogen and increases testosterone in mares and also produces ovarian cysts. Cysts increase testosterone levels. (Reference: U.S. National Library of Medicine. National Institutes of Health. Ovarian overproduction of androgens. (Reference: https://www.nim.nih.gov/medicineplus/ency/article/001165.htm.)
(4) Auto-immune oophoritis, aka ovaritis or inflammation of ovaries, and also stillbirths result from PZP. Autoimmune oophoritis can lead to the development of other autoimmune diseases. (Reference: Kaur, K. & Prabha, V. 2014. Immunocontraceptives: New Approaches to Fertility Control. BioMed Research International, Vol. 2014, Article ID: 868196.)
(5) PZP-darted herds in Little Book Cliffs, McCullough Peaks, and Pryor Mountains wild horse legal herd management areas gave birth nearly year-round, i.e. 341 days, rather than in the normal spring season. This exposed PZPed wild mares and their offspring to extremes of temperature, and, consequently, to suffering and death. (Reference: Ransom, J.I. et al. 2013. Contraception Can Lead to Trophic Asynchrony between Birth Pulse and Resources. PLoS ONE 8(1): e54972. Doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0054972.
(6) It is quite disturbing that PZP antibodies transfer to foals from the mare through the placenta while they are in the womb as well as through mare’s milk. These antibodies react with and bind to the zona pellucida of female newborns. Yet, BLM regularly administers PZP to pregnant and lactating mares in spite of these published scientific findings. (Reference: Sacco, A.G. et al. 1981. Passage of zona antibodies via placenta and milk following active immunization of female mice with porcine zonae pellucidae. Journal of Reproductive Immunology. 1981, December; Vol 3, Issue 6: pages 313-322.)
(7) Weakening of immune system subjects wild horses to mal-adaptiveness to unforeseen major changes such as are occurring due to Global Warming, or catastrophes such as epidemics or wildfires. (Reference: Gray & Cameron, 2010, op cit.)
(8) PZP causes the immune system to attack and destroy the ovaries and produces a large variety of adverse effects. (References: Gray & Cameron, 2010, op cit.; Kaur & Prabha, 2014, op. cit.)
(9) By extending the lifespans of PZPed mares, PZP creates abnormal numbers of aged, sterile mares. This disadvantages younger horses, who continue to be taken away by BLM roundups to reach arbitrary AMLs. This appeases livestock or other wild-horse-adverse interests on the public lands, rather than respecting the General Public, whose majority values wild horses and burros and wants them to be fairly treated. (Reference: Knight, C.M. & Rubenstein, D.I. 2014. The Effects of Porcine Zona Pellucida Immunocontraception on Health and Behavior of Feral Horses (Equus caballus). Princeton University thesis, Dept. Ecology & Evolutionary Biology.)
(10) PZPed mares are no longer reproductively active in the wild horse population, thus diminishing the genetic viability of the herd. The resources they consume would otherwise contribute to reproducing adults and their offspring and maintain the vigor of the herd into ongoing future generations that adapt to ongoing environmental changes, thus assuring their long-term survival. (Reference: Ransom, J.I. et al. 2013, op. cit.)
(11) PZP is a safety hazard to humans, especially to females who administer it. (Reference: Devlin, M. and Protect Mustangs 2015. Fact Sheet: The Truth about PZP. http://protectmustangs.org/?p=8749.)
For these and related reasons, I believe that PZP will seriously harm and undermine the vigor of wild horse and burro populations that our nation’s laws mandate us to protect and preserve, as well as to manage. The restoration and maintenance of herd vigor is essential to the ongoing ecological adaptation and long-term survival of each herd. Healthy reproduction is key to healthy wild horse and burro individuals, bands and herds. Tampering with reproduction produces a variety of aberrations that lead to dysfunctional and disordered wild horses. This results in a decline of the herds.
I have heard from many people who closely observe and/or live near wild horses treated with PZP. They describe many still-born or defective foals produced by mares in whom the effects of PZP have worn off, permitting them to again try to reproduce. Also please consider that after a few to several years of yearly application, PZP generally produces total sterility in mares, depending upon the strength of their individual immune systems. This calls into serious question the proclaimed “reversibility of PZP” to enable mares to reproduce again! To reiterate: of great concern is the fact that PZP is less effective in those mares with weakened immune systems. Hence, the wide-spread use of PZP among America’s last wild horse/burro herds – nearly all below minimum viable population (MVP) level – will seriously undermine their long term survival.
But thankfully there exists an honorable alternative to PZP, and similar horse-disrespectful “quick fixes”. As a wildlife ecologist, I have formulated a sound alternative to PZP and similar invasive proposals. This Reserve Design strategy would restore long-term viable, ecologically well-adapted, and naturally self-stabilizing populations of wild horses and burros throughout the West. (References concerning Reserve Design: Peck, S. 1998. Reserve Design. In: Planning for Biodiversity: Issues and Examples. Island Press, Washington, D.C. Pages 89-114; Soule, M.E. & Terborgh, J. 1999. Continental Conservation: Scientific Foundations of Regional Reserve Networks. Island Press, Washington, D.C.; Downer, C.C. 2010. Proposal for wild horse/burro reserve design as a solution to present crisis. Natural Horse Volume 12, Issue 5, pages 26 to 27; Downer, C.C. 2014. The Wild Horse Conspiracy, www.amazon.com/dp/1461068983, look up “Reserve Design” in Index.)
Reserve Design: the Intelligent and Caring Choice for America’s Wild Horses and Burros
If followed correctly, the unanimously passed WFHBA would have set aside somewhere between 54 million and 90 million acres for the preservation of wild horses and burros in the wild. Lamentably, the rights of these animals—and their human supporters—have been undermined by wild horse and burro enemies, including officials charged with their protection. Current policies toward these “national heritage species” are thinly disguised plans for reducing the herds to cripplingly low, non-viable population numbers. These levels would be unable to sufficiently and adequately reproduce so as to survive into the long-term future. Too often the plan has been to simply eliminate them from their legal areas, i.e. “zero-out”. Indeed, anywhere from 22 million to 40 or more million legal acres have been declared officially empty and “not for” the wild horses and burros or simply ignored at the onset of the WFHBA in the early years of this act (see Downer, C.C. 2014. The Wild Horse Conspiracy).
Some wild horse advocates and observers say there are only 33,000 wild horses and burros remaining on America’s public lands as independently estimated for mid-2016 (Louise, Katia, wild horse documentary filmmaker, pers. comm.). Even if the official BLM figure of 67,027 wild horse and burros remain on the public lands (55,311 horses & 11,716 burros [BLM report of March 1, 2016]), either level would be out of step with the amount of ecologically appropriate habitat where these animals have a legal right to live. The small number of horses and burros our government intends to leave on each of the ca. 179 remaining BLM-designated areas is a sure prescription for the over-fragmentation and isolation of wild horse/burro populations. This would only jeopardize their long-term survival, compromising their true vigor in the wild.
The nationwide population of wild horses and burros that our government plans to allow as the high end Appropriate Management Level is only 26,715. This would be composed of only 1,676 individual wild horses and/or burros in Arizona; 2,200 in California, 812 in Colorado, 617 in Idaho, 120 in Montana, 12,811 in Nevada, 83 in New Mexico, 2,715 in Oregon, 1,956 in Utah, and 3,725 in Wyoming. (Source: Herd Area and Herd Management Area Statistics as of March 1, 2016. BLM, Washington, D.C.) These assigned population levels are very unfair and cater to wild horse and burro detractors while largely disregarding the General Public that are strongly support this Quality of Life issue.
Our government’s current goal of and plans for drastically reducing small and genetically vulnerable wild herds include the partial—and very possibly total—sterilization of mares through PZP injection. These plans also include the unnatural skewing of sex ratios to establish excess males, even in the naturally harem social structure of naturally living horses in which females are usually more numerous. And even more invasive measures have been planned in the past and are likely to crop up again, including painful—often lethal castration of stallions and the ovariectomies (removal of ovaries) of mares (thankfully recently cancelled in Oregon and Wyoming), as well as the individually deranging and socially disruptive injection of sterilization drugs or vaccines, such as PZP.
Clearly, our wild horses and burros are in a very critical situation today. I judge them to be more imperiled than they were in 1971 just before the passage of the WFHBA when they were “fast disappearing from the American scene”—and I used to work with Wild Horse Annie. We must quickly respond with a well-conceived plan for reforms that will restore the true rights of wild horses and burros upon our public lands. These lands belong to all Americans, not just to resource exploiters, whether officials of corporations or private individuals. As a wildlife ecologist and deeply rooted native Nevadan personally familiar with many of the West’s wild horse and burro herds, I strongly urge the restoration of these deeply rooted North American native species. Their return to North America should be as genetically viable and naturally self-stabilizing herds that are allowed too adapt ecologically to each specific region where they have legal right. This can be accomplished by following the sound principles of Reserve Design. Such a plan would end cruel, disruptive roundups and reproductive manipulations – practices that mock the true intent of the 1971 WFHBA by causing untold suffering and death to these beautiful and highly evolved, sensitive, wise, and freedom-loving creatures.
Reserve Design combines ecological, biological, social, and political considerations in order to achieve desired results. Basically, it involves setting aside areas of complete year-round habitat where human intervention is buffered against and where natural processes are allowed to reestablish natural checks and balances. Reserve Design will achieve internal harmony for the diverse, yet interrelated, species living within each wild horse/burro-containing ecosystem.
Critical steps for realizing Reserve Design in wild horse and wild burro habitats are as follows:
 Properly identify the long-term survival requirements for viable equid population levels to be accommodated in each reserve. Our chief focus would be to promote wild horse/burro-containing ecosystems of adequate size and condition to sustain viable equid populations and where plant and animal species are allowed to adapt naturally over the generations and in inter-balanced fashion. The level of 2,500 individual has been recommended for the viability of an equid population by the IUCN SSC Equid Survival Group (Equid Action Plan, IUCN SSC ESG, 1992).
 Conscientiously identify appropriate ecological areas suitable for the implementation of wild horse/burro-containing reserves. This would involve travel to, on-ground inspection of, flights over, and GIS analysis of a wide variety of places throughout the West. This would also entail setting up Cooperative Agreements under Sections 4 and 6 of the WFHBA in order to achieve complete habitats around the federally designated wild equid lands and involving both private and other government lands such as state and local.
 Wherever possible, wisely incorporate natural equid predators (such as puma, bear, and wolf) that would both limit and tone/strengthen, wild horse and burro populations.
 Wherever possible, wisely incorporate natural barriers that would limit the ingress and/or the egress of certain species, including the wild horses and burros. This would avoid conflicts and set up conditions for the natural self-regulation of populations.
 Identify where buffer zones, artificial barriers, or other means of impeding movements in and out of a reserve should be established in order to keep the species in question from coming into conflict with humans. Buffer zones possibly involving non-injurious means of “adverse conditioning” could be employed as well as “positive reinforcement” as a means of encouraging the wild equids to stay within the reserve, as for example, by providing all of their habitat needs. Also, “semi-permeable barriers” that do not restrict most species but do prevent equids from passing out of the reserve may be used. These means would be described in practical detail and as tailored to fit each specific reserve area.
 Identify the presence and abundance of necessary food, water, shelter, mineral procurement sites, elevation gradients for seasonal migrations, etc., that will accommodate the long-term habitat needs of long-term viable wild equid populations. Such will also allow the natural rest-rotation of foraging between the natural subdivisions of the reserve. Fences within the reserve that impede the free-roaming lifestyle of the wild equids will be located and their removal accomplished. The intrinsic Carrying Capacity of the land in question will also be estimated as closely as possible. Such will be based upon the Productivity of forage adequate to at least a minimally viable population of wild horses/burros. Besides food, this determination will take into account other survival factors such as water, minerals, shelter, breeding and nurturing habitat, seasonal migrations, and needed protection from existing threats to the wild equids.
 Identify geographical regions whose human inhabitants are benignly disposed toward the creation and long-term implementation of extensive, ecologically balanced wild horse/burro-containing reserves. This would involve traveling to different areas and setting up meetings with pertinent individuals, town and government officials, etc. This also relates to the setting up of Cooperative Agreements under Sections 4 and 6 of the WFHBA, as mentioned above.
 Identify ways of and benefits from implementing Reserve Design that result in win-win relationships centered on the presence of wild horses and burros. Ecotourism is one major possibility here, and wild horse/burro viewing tours have already proven to be successful in several states, including Craig London’s tours to the Montgomery Pass wild horses of eastern California. Restoring native ecosystems, including soils and native species, would be a major ecological benefit. The reduction of flammable vegetation through equid grazing and the restoration of hydrographic basins through the enrichment of soils, would be other major, positive contributions by wild horses and burros. Another major benefit concerns the prevention of catastrophic wildfires that over-burn vegetation, sterilize soils and denature their stored seed banks. Such fires can set the life community back to very primitive evolutionary stages. Indeed, it can be strongly argued that the restoration of wild equids in North America is crucial to combating life-disrupting Global Warming itself.
 Of key importance is informing the public concerning the many ways that horses and burros, as ecological “climax” species, self-limit their own populations once their respective ecological niches are filled in any given bounded area. This knowledge is key to realizing a humane relationship with these animals, a relationship that does justice to and demonstrates respect for them. And it is this respect and appreciation on the part of us humans that is key to allowing the horses and burros to fulfill their important natural roles within the life community.
Whom to Contact to Help Wild Horses and Burros:
Please contact your Senators and Representatives, the President, the Secretary of Interior and its Bureau of Land Management; and the Secretary of Agriculture and its US Forest Service. Both of these agencies are mandated by the WFHBA to preserve and protect as well as to manage the wild horses and burros and their legal lands and resources for the benefit of the former.
Also contact your state governor and state, county, and municipal officials concerned with wildlife and natural resources. Get in touch with the media: newspapers, magazines, TV and radio stations. Make all of the above aware of what is needed to stop the over-reduction or zeroing-out of the herds and the cruel abuse of wild horses and burros, whether through drugging, vaccines, surgeries, or other unnatural and invasive methods. Rather, persist in the restoration of the wild horse and burro herds and their habitats to viable levels, healthy conditions and sizes. This will be to restore the pure intent of the law.
A key committee to contact right away is the U.S. House of Representatives’ Appropriations Committee, particularly its Interior, Environment & Related Agencies Subcommittee. The telephone number of the latter is (202) 225-3081. Emails of staff to contact are firstname.lastname@example.org and Kristin.email@example.com. This subcommittee is now deciding which direction to take in regards to the wild horses and burros. It has been hearing too exclusively from traditional wild horse and burro enemies.
Those of us who value and appreciate the wild horses and burros and their rightful place in the world of nature must set the record straight for these wonderful and ancient presences on Earth. We must not allow their enemies or those ignorant of their worthiness prevail!
The spirited and intelligent horses and burros are depending on you and I!
In addition to contacting the above, be sure to contact the President of the United States and the White House staff at (202) 456-1111 (TTY/TTD: (202) 456-6213). Switchboard (202) 456-1414. You can also do this by email at http://www.whitehourse.gov/contact or firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may contact your Senators and Congressmen/State Representatives (federal and state) by linking on internet with “Elected Officials / USA Gov”. This will provide you with the contacts you require for federal, state, and local offices. The link is: https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials.
And in closing I urge you to contact the natural resource and public lands committee and subcommittee in the U.S. Senate.
On behalf of our wonderful wild horses and burros, I sincerely thank all of you for your caring and for your effective action.
Wildlife Ecologist. A.B. UCB; M.S. UNR; Ph.D. Cand. U. Durham UK. Link to his article The Horse and Burro as Positively Contributed Returned Natives in North America is http://www.sciencepublishinggroup.com/journal/paperinfo.aspx?journalid=118&doi=10.11648/j.ajls.20140201.12 Website to check out is www.thewildhorseconspiracy.org in which the links to the article and how to order his book are present.
Also please consider signing this important petition to stop this massacre of the wild horses and burros from happening: The link to this petition is: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/907/592/301/demand-nokill-45000-wild-horses-burros-in-holding/
From Tuesday’s Horse:
Thanks to our good friend Terry we received an interesting email containing an embedded post.
The controversy surrounding wild horses on public lands and the cruel and often deathly mismanagement by the federal agency Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is not news to us and no doubt not news to you.
We have read numerous writings over the years by those out in the field from experts to interested observers.
What is pretty clear is that the BLM and their cohorts simply do not want wild horses off public lands. They want them dead. Historically this is a decades old problem.
Here’s the opening salvo from the post I refer to:
“Soon we will not have available our historic link to wild horses. Ignorance is dominating the wild horse issue, as if trading slaughter for birth control to extinction is an answer to save them! No! It is simply an overwhelming amount of ignorance, from those who have no clue in the matter of wild horse management nor anything of wild horse virtue and necessity. Our American Icon has so many positive attritbutes, and unless one knows of nature, our environment, and our natural ecological systems, they will never know, nor acknowledge the benefits of wild horses on our public lands. Below are notes and from limited distribution, so perhaps new information to many. . .” — John Cox, The Cascades
The writer continues by pointing out problems that the BLM and the federal government continue to ignore.
There are too many cattle on public lands. Check. Wherever they are, the cattle are destroying the ecosystems. Check. The Humane Society continue to promote its pesticide PZP they say to help control herd numbers when it appears to be destroying them. Check.
We have not heard the following before.
The BLM allow public land ranchers (or “welfare ranchers” — we will come back to that in a minute) to do as they please which he says results as follows:
“Public health hazards are developing, aggressively I might add, even while I am writing this, and beef from public lands grazing is diseased.”
The writer goes on to say that he does not know to what degree (as in percentage) but cites the BLM’s inadequate checks and balance system as the reason for it.
Now you may think that public land ranchers — some of whose contracts with the federal government go back generations — do not contribute that much to the beef industry. We do not have the data. But even if we were able to get figures from the BLM could we believe them given the BLM’s history of playing with numbers.
Read more and comment at Tuesday’s Horse : http://bit.ly/2drecl1
Doesn’t the law protect wild free roaming horses and burros from harassment, branding, etc?
Listen carefully to the Bureau of Land Management propaganda as you watch the wild mare who is forcibly branded and jabbed with Pesticide PZP, made from slaughterhouse pig ovaries. The Bureau gives more public land use to commercial livestock for grazing than the native wild horses in northeastern California’s huge Twin Peaks herd management area.
Read about the dangers of Pesticide PZP here: http://protectmustangs.org/?page_id=6922 Despite the dangers this is what the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC), the Cloud Foundation, Return to Freedom, Front Range Equine Rescue and others want to do to America’s wild mares. They are buying into the Cattlemen’s overpopulation lie
(Poster by Shane Destry)
Overpopulation is a lie. Even if there were 67,000 –150,000 wild horses and burros left in the western United States that would be too few for them to survive human predation, mountain lions, the drop in the water table and climate change.
We all know wild horses and burros are not “pests” as the Pesticide PZP Pushing Humane Society of the United States called them on the “pesticide” application. Sell outs.
Join the PZP Forum on Facebook to receive news about forcibly drugging wild mares with Pesticide PZP and the fight against it
Protect Mustangs is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of native and wild horses. www.ProtectMustangs.org
Ben Masters claims, in his PRO-KILL statement on 9/10/16, that there are 3,160 wild horses in the area he visited on the BLM tour last week. He visited Dolly Varden Spring in Antelope Valley, Nevada. One of our members was there too.
A well established local journalist, Larry Hyslop wrote about the wild horses at Dolly Varden Spring on 8/20/16. According to Hyslop there are 1,100 wild horses. Ben Masters, a new Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board member, claimed there were three times as many in his PRO-KILL statement on 9/10/16.
So who is telling the truth?
How many wild horses are out there? Where is the evidence?
Ben Masters only holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences from Texas A&M University. He produced and played himself in the film, UNBRANDED, a Bureau of Land Management propaganda film with all those talking heads forced into the story of an epic journey.
Sign and Share the Petition to Demand #NoKill 45,000 Wild Horses & Burros in Holding: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/907/592/301/demand-nokill-45000-wild-horses-burros-in-holding/
Sign and Share the Petition to Defund to Stop the Wild Horse and Burro Roundups and Slaughter https://www.change.org/p/defund-and-stop-the-wild-horse-burro-roundups
Sign and Share the Petition to Investigate the Wild Horse & Burro Count in Captivity and in Freedom https://www.change.org/p/u-s-senate-investigate-the-wild-horse-burro-count-in-captivity-and-freedom
Help fight the killing!
Protect Mustangs is a 501c3 nonprofit organization who protects and preserves native and wild horses.
Protect Mustangs, a 501c3 nonprofit organization calls for protests against the Bureau of Land Management’s (BoLM) Wild Horse Advisory Board’s decision today to euthanize all the allegedly “unadoptable” wild horses in long-term holding. They also voted to push more wild horses through advertised adoption events to strike them out quicker! Under former Secretary Salazar, the BoLM has irresponsibly rounded up more wild horses than they could ever adopt out at once. Is it because Salazar is a fifth generation rancher paying back a promise to the Cattlemen’s lobby? Since then the federal agency has been hoarding America’s wild horses in captivity at huge tax-payer expense without correcting the failed adoption program. Now they want to kill the mustangs they call “unadoptable” and sterilize all the wild horses living in freedom on the range. Protect Mustangs is calling for the Bureau of Land Management to #PutThemBack on the 1971 herd areas in the West and stop sterilization. More than one-third of the herd areas have been zeroed out.
“We will fight this outrageous plan to kill and sterilize America’s icons of freedom and we will win,” states Anne Novak, executive director of Protect Mustangs. “The public is not going to tolerate this. The Bureau of Land Management is a rogue agency and their advisory board is made up of people favoring the livestock industry except for one person. The bogus board of mustang haters needs to be dismantled and recreated with wild horse and burro experts–not cattlemen with a huge conflict of interest. It’s time to put America’s wild horses and burros back on public land where they belong.”
Who are the wild horses in long-term holding? Are they mostly 3-Strike mustangs from the BoLM’s failed adoption program with rotten customer service? Others are over 10 years old and should have been left out on the range to live their lives out in peace.
Check back here for updates and donate to Protect Mustangs for legal fees to fight with the law by clicking here www.PayPal.me/ProtectMustangs or go here to donate on the crowd-funding site: https://www.gofundme.com/FightwithLaw
The fight is on!
Update on Cleo April 2012: We found an adopter for Cleo but the BoLM had already shipped her out. When we told the Nevada BLM that the adopter was willing to go to long-term holding (Midwest) to get her they said that was impossible. They said they would only sell 100 horses at a time out of long term holding. The adopter could only take Cleo. The BLM said it was impossible.
Protect Mustangs is a 501c3 nonprofit organization who protects and preserves native and wild horses.
Beware of fear mongering and stand strong for wild horses to remain wild and free as the 1971 law protects them to be. YOU are needed by the wild horses to stay grounded and fight for them.The PESTICIDE PZP PUSHERS have created a big mess by pushing fertility control on wild horses in the West. They falsely claim Americans want fertility control when the truth is Americans want our wild horses protected on public land so they can be wild and free. Free is not forcibly drugged with Pesticide PZP made from slaughterhouse pig ovaries or any other form of fertility control.
Wild and free needs to be free as nature intended.
We all agreed on stopping the roundups but the PZP PUSHERS took that one step further to push their PZP management goal. They hired salaried employees to manipulate the public. Before long people were signing online letters and petitions without reading the whole thing–especially where it called for “humane management” the buzz phrase for Pesticide PZP. Even Robert Redford seems to have been fooled into asking for “humane management” because of the way the PZP PUSHERS twisted the information claiming it’s just “birth control” and not telling people about the dangers found here: http://protectmustangs.org/?page_id=6922
Pushing for Pesticide PZP as fertility control went along with the Bureau of Land Management’s (BoLM) and Cattlemen’s lobby’s overpopulation LIE. Pushing for fertility control was Pandora’s box and down a slippery slope. Now the Bureau of Land Management has jumped on the false claim that the public wants “fertility control” and so they are calling for experiments to find new ways to quickly sterilize America’s wild horses as a result. The Cattlemen’s have issued a statement against mare sterilization for their Pro-Kill agenda and you can read it here: https://www.scribd.com/mobile/doc/315053204/Cattleman-Statement-Against-Mare-Sterilization-Exp Isn’t it time we pull back and fight for America’s wild horses to be protected so they can live in freedom not buy into an overpopulation myth to sterilize, kill or slaughter them.
Please sign and share these petitions:
Stop sterilizations and Slaughter of 100,000 wild horses: https://www.change.org/p/president-of-the-united-states-congress-president-stop-sterilization-slaughter-of-100-000-wild-horses-burros
Defund the Roundups: https://www.change.org/p/defund-and-stop-the-wild-horse-burro-roundups
Send a handwritten letter to your confessional representative and your 2 senators and include the top page of these 3 petitions. Ask them to protect them from being wrongfully treated as pests. Tell them people want to adopt wild horses but are discouraged because the Bureau of Land Management’s adoption program is a failure due to poor marketing and rotten customer service. Therefore the wild horses should not be punished for lazy government employees. Ask your elected officials to intervene on your behalf to stop halt all roundups and all fertility control–including experiments because there is no independent accurate census of wild horses and burros in the wild. Tell them to stop spending taxpayer funds to pull native wild horses off public land for commercial livestock grazing and welfare ranching. Let them know that all the wild horses and burros should be put back onto public land in herd areas that have little to no wild equids left and to stop killing predators to save taxpayers one billion dollars over the next 20 years. That is the truth.
Protect Mustangs is a 501c3 nonprofit organization who protects and preserves native and wild horses.
Made with slaughterhouse pig ovaries PZP is dangerous to herd health
To: Jacob Bunge, Wall Street Journal
Dear Mr. Bunge: Regarding your article — They Shoot Horses (With Birth-Control Darts), Don’t They? — here are facts to correct the lies and disinformation you have been told.
Sting of the dart: If it were only a sting! Fact: Many wild horses develop an abscess at the dart-injection site.
Bogus ballooning population: Wild horses are a slow-growth species when it comes to reproduction. The gestation period lasts 11 months, and a mare produces just 1 foal. While an independent study of BLM’s records confirmed an almost 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%. But adult mustangs also die. They succumb to illness, injury, and predation at a rate of at least 5% a year. So, what is a normal herd-growth rate? About 5%, probably less.
Fraudulent figures: The Big Lie of “overpopulation” is the pretext for BLM’s war against the wild horses, and the wild horses are prisoners of that war. 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. There is no overpopulation except on BLM’s falsified spreadsheets. Reviews of BLM’s population-estimates reveal biologically-impossible herd-growth rates. For instance, in Utah, BLM claimed that the Conger herd grew from 156 horses to 285 horses in one year, an 82.7% increase, to which BLM tacked on another 20% by counting the unborn foals — the fetuses. 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 such 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.
Wild horses are underpopulated: Per the guidelines of BLM’s own geneticist, 83% 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 the low AMLs, combined with falsified, 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.
Whose grass? In fact, it is the livestock who are eating the wild horses’ grass. Some background — the dedicated wild-horse habitats cover only 11% of BLM land. Cattle are allowed to graze about 5 times that much, including within all but 4 of the wild-horse herd areas. Yet in those official wild-horse habitats where livestock are given allotments, the mustangs are restricted to 18% of the forage while the cattle get 82%.
Bogus billion: The wild horses being held in captivity are the “legacy” of former Secretary Salazar’s equid cleansing era, during which he had 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 is just another Lie. The Wild Horse and Burro program, if run 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 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.
Adoptions: Have not declined. It’s just that BLM used to count sales-for-slaughter as “adoptions.” Now, only “forever-family” placements qualify. However, wild horses are not homeless horses. They have a home — where they belong — on the range.
Persecuted predators: 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, wild-horse herds self-regulate their numbers, with population-growth in the single digits.
Science and Conservation Center: Is the manufacturer and distributor of PZP / ZonaStat-H. Thus, its information is not impartial. PZP is a registered pesticide that was approved by the EPA for use on wild horses and burros “where they have become a nuisance.” However, PZP was registered without the standard testing requirements. There is currently a lawsuit challenging the legitimacy of the registration, especially in light of studies that have disclosed PZP’s many adverse side-effects.
Shooting wild horses: PZP is a potent weapon in BLM’s arsenal — for its biological warfare against the wild horses. But birth control for wild horses is unnecessary because there is no overpopulation. Why would we contracept herds whose population is inadequate for genetic viability? Why would we contracept herds based on falsified figures? Logically we wouldn’t and ethically we shouldn’t. Further, if PZP were going to stop the roundups, it would have done so long ago for the Pryor Mountain herd, which has been darted with PZP for nearly two decades. Yet roundups have been scheduled there like clockwork every 3 years and, in spite of intensifying the PZP treatments recently, BLM tried to implement yearly roundups until stopped by a Friends of Animals lawsuit.
PZP — the anti-vaccine: PZP causes auto-immune disease. PZP “works” by 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. Because PZP stimulates the immune system, it ironically works “best” — sterilizes faster — in mares that have strong immune-function. Such mares respond to the anti-vaccine and produce quantities of PZP antibodies that destroy their ovaries. But, conversely, PZP may not work at all in mares whose immune-function is weak or depressed. Those mares fail to respond to PZP. They keep getting pregnant and producing foals who, like their dams, suffer from weak immune-function. So, the PZP pesticide works against the very horses that Nature has best equipped for survival-against-disease while favoring and selecting for the immuno-compromised. Worse yet, radioimmunoassay tests indicated that PZP antibodies are transferred from mother to female offspring via the placenta and milk.
Health-risks to volunteers: As for the well-meaning volunteers who dart wild horses, EPA’s Pesticide Fact Sheet for PZP advises that Personal Protective Equipment requirements include long sleeved shirt and long pants, gloves and shoes plus socks to mitigate occupational exposure. EPA specifically warns that pregnant women must not be involved in handling or injecting ZonaStat-H, and that all women should be aware that accidental self-injection may cause infertility. Unfortunately, PZP’s manufacturer has misrepresented PZP as “so safe it is boring.” But research shows that PZP is a powerful hormone disruptor. Further, consider the magnitude of the risk — the PZP-in-question is a horse-size dose. If volunteers think PZP is safe, they will be less likely to protect themselves from this dangerous pesticide. Indeed, please note that in the photo accompanying your article, Ms. Bolbol is not in compliance with EPA’s safety-precautions. She is not wearing the required protective gear.
Mengelian experiments: Now, BLM wants to perform diabolical sterilization experiments on these equine POWs to develop a Final Solution to the “problem”. BLM is handing out $11 million for sterilization-studies. The grant money is surely intended to buy loyalty and silence potential criticism from academia. Plus, BLM, a corrupt agency, gets to cloak itself in respectability by affiliating with prestigious universities.
The ugly side of PZP is humane-washed by feel-good features that describe it with humor, sweetness and light. However, the true story of PZP is one of scandal, whose deceit and danger — to both horses and humans — must be exposed. That is the story that needs to be reported.