Breaking News: Protest today against helicopter roundups causing wild horse deaths

BLM helicopter use hearing draws uproar over wild horse deaths

For immediate release:

SAN FRANCISCO, Ca. (July 10, 2012)—Wild horse deaths and injuries during Bureau of Land Management (BLM) helicopter roundups are the focus of a rally and press conference held today in front of the Sacramento Federal Courthouse 501 “I” Street. at 2 p.m.

Americans oppose the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) wild horse helicopter roundups because they are cruel, costly, damage the environment and cause young foals to die, say wild horse advocacy groups such as rally organizers Protect Mustangs and Native Wild Horse Protection.

“Foals are often killed in roundups because they are stampeded by helicopter for miles over rocky terrain,” explains Anne Novak, executive director for Protect Mustangs. “After this prolonged suffering, the contractor is paid per head for catching them and then the BLM euthanizes them.”

During the recent Jackson Mountain roundup in Nevada, 12 wild horses were destroyed, most often because of lameness.

“Helicopter roundups are so routinely fatal, BLM had to invent two new terms for death last week,” states Terri Farley, author and wild horse advocate.

The terms acute and chronic/pre-existing conditions were recently listed on BLM’s website as “new terms to better describe the kinds of deaths that occur on the gather.”

Children, nationwide are active in the move to protect wild horses.

“Kids don’t want any animals to be scared or hurt,” says Robin Warren, age 11, youth campaign director for Protect Mustangs. “If America is not safe for the animals, then how can it be safe for the kids?”

Warren, of Las Vegas, started her advocacy at age 8 with the Petition to Save the Wild Mustangs in an effort to persuade BLM to follow Wild Horse Annie’s law. She will speak at the rally and the hearing.

“How outrageous is it that we have to fight so hard in order to get a government agency to simply follow a law that is already clearly in place to protect our Wild Horses and Burros?” states Simone Netherlands, President of Respect for Horses.

Many advocates believe wild horse roundups go hand in hand with the industrialization of U.S. rangelands.

Jetara Séhart, President of Native Wild Horse Protection says, “As ancient Cree prophecy warns, ‘Only after the the last tree has been cut down, only after the the last river has been poisoned, only after the last fish has been caught, only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.’ We request the BLM stop all helicopter roundups before it’s too late.”

“It’s time to put science and appropriate capital stewardship ahead of good ole boy politics and special interests, the plug needs to be pulled on these abusive and expensive roundups and the time to do it is now!” RT Fitch, author and President of the Wild Horse Freedom Federation.

The California BLM helicopter use hearing is open for public comment later in the day, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at the Woodlake Hotel, 500 Leisure Lane in Sacramento. The hearing will be heated with advocates opposing helicopter roundups.

Protect Mustangs is a Bay Area-based preservation group, with a national perspective, whose mission is to educate the public about the American wild horse, protect and research wild horses on the range and help those who have lost their freedom.

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 Media Contacts:

Anne Novak, 415-531-8454

Kerry Becklund, 510-502-1913

Contact Protect Mustangs for interviews, photos or video

 Links of interest:

June 9, 2012  Associated Press: Congressman criticizes Nevada wild horse roundup

Current Facebook discussion about helicopter roundups:

Protest, press conference and public hearing information:

Celebrities speak out against wild horse roundups:

America’s wild horses are indigenous:

Helicopter hearings and the public process:

Anne Novak, Executive Director for Protect Mustangs:

Robin Warren (Wild Mustang Robin), Youth Campaign Director for Protect Mustangs:   Bio here:

Author Terri Farley:

Jetara Séhart, President of Native Wild Horse Protection:

Simone Netherlands, President of Respect for Horses:

R.T. Fitch, President of Wild Horse Freedom Federation:

BLM’s press release on the California helicopter hearing July 10, 2012

BLM blocks press access to roundup:

Helicopter roundup video:

Protect Mustangs on Facebook:

Anne Novak on Twitter:

Protect Mustangs website:

Link to this press release:

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