For immediate release
Deaths are disguised
SAN FRANCISCO (December 13, 2012)–In honor of the National Day of the Horse today, Protect Mustangs calls for an end to cruel roundups of native wild horses. The California based conservation group is circulating a Change.org petition to Congress to De-fund and Stop the Roundups. The roundups are deadly and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is skewing the death count.The BLM emphasizes preexisting conditions so Congress won’t realize how many federally protected wild horses are being killed as a result of the roundups.
“Enough is enough!” states Anne Novak, executive director for Protect Mustangs. “If they weren’t rounded up at the hands of the BLM then those wild horses at Owyhee and other ranges surely would not be dead now. We want the roundups to stop, the warehousing to stop, the fiscal irresponsibility to stop, the bad science to stop and we are asking for an accurate independent census of how many wild horses are left on the range.”
Today close to 50,000 wild horses are warehoused in government short or long term holding facilities yet only an estimated 20,000 remain in the wild. In the 1900s two million wild horses roamed in America. Afterwards the wild horse population dropped mostly due to hunting for their meat.
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“America’s wild horses should be returned to the range,” states Inez Fort, vice president of Protect Mustangs’ board of directors. “In 1971 there were almost twice as many herd management areas for wild horses. Today it’s hard to find free roaming mustangs on the range. They’ve been stampeded by helicopters and have become victims of roundups.”
“Today, with the public land grab for water rights, energy development and mining projects, the wild horse is facing a huge monster called greed,” explains Novak. “It’s not sustainable to wipe them out. Native wild horses can reverse desertification, offset carbon emissions and heal the land. We need our wild horses to help stop global warming.”
The horse originated in North America. Many breeds of horse exist today–including the American wild horse aka mustang. The Spanish Conquistadors reintroduced the horses to their native homeland where they benefit the ecosystem, reduce global warming and inspire people across the globe.
Ph.D.s J.F. Kirkpatrick, and P.M. Fazio cite in Wild Horses as Native North American Wildlife that:
The key element in describing an animal as a native species is (1) where it originated; and (2) whether or not it co‐evolved with its habitat. Clearly, E. 6 caballus did both, here in North American. There might be arguments about “breeds,” but there are no scientific grounds for arguments about “species.”
The non‐native, feral, and exotic designations given by agencies are not merely reflections of their failure to understand modern science but also a reflection of their desire to preserve old ways of thinking to keep alive the conflict between a species (wild horses), with no economic value anymore (by law), and the economic value of commercial livestock.
Native status for wild horses would place these animals, under law, within a new category for management considerations. As a form of wildlife, embedded with wildness, ancient behavioral patterns, and the morphology and biology of a sensitive prey species, they may finally be released from the “livestock‐gone‐loose” appellation.
In 2004, Congress recognized the first official National Day of the Horse. The text of the resolution states:
Encouraging citizens to be mindful of the contribution of horses to the economy, history, and character of the United States and expressing the sense of Congress that a National Day of the Horse should be established.
Whereas the horse is a living link to the history of the United States;
Whereas, without horses, the economy, history, and character of the United States would be profoundly different;
Whereas horses continue to permeate the society of the United States, as witnessed on movie screens, on open land, and in our own backyards;
Whereas horses are a vital part of the collective experience of the United States and deserve protection and compassion;
Whereas, because of increasing pressure from modern society, wild and domestic horses rely on humans for adequate food, water, and shelter; and
Whereas the Congressional Horse Caucus estimates that the horse industry contributes well over $100,000,000,000 each year to the economy of the United States: Now, therefore, be it Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That Congress–
(1) encourages all citizens to be mindful of the contribution of horses to the economy, history, and character of the United States;
(2) expresses its sense that a National Day of the Horse should be established in recognition of the importance of horses to the Nation’s security, economy, recreation, and heritage; and
(3) urges the President to issue a proclamation calling on the people of the United States and interested organizations to observe National Day of the Horse with appropriate programs and activities.
On the eighth anniversary of the first official National Day of the Horse, horse enthusiasts are encouraged to celebrate the horse’s contribution to the United States.
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Anne Novak, 415-531-8454 Anne@ProtectMustangs.org
Kerry Becklund, 510-502-1913 Kerry@ProtectMustangs.org
Links of interest:
Petition to Defund and Stop the Roundups: http://www.change.org/petitions/defund-and-stop-the-wild-horse-burro-roundups
America’s native wild horses: http://www.Protectmustangs.org/?page_id=562
Protect Mustangs is a California-based preservation group 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.