Horse News

Citizens call for immediate moratorium on wild horse round-ups


33,000 horses are alleged to be held emprisoned by the rouge BLM - Photo by Terry Fitch

CHICAGO, (EWA) – The Equine Welfare Alliance (EWA), an umbrella organization comprising over 60 member organizations, announced today it is joining the growing chorus calling for an immediate moratorium on the gathering of wild horses and burros by all government agencies. Already calling for a moratorium are The Cloud Foundation, The Animal Law Coalition and noted expert, wildlife ecologist, Craig Downer and Mustang author Deanne Stillman.

On October 7, Ken Salazar, head of the Department of Interior (DOI) and Bob Abbey, head of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), publicly admitted the deficiencies in the current management of the Wild Horse and Burro Program in announcing the development of a new plan. “The Salazar plan would simply throw the herds off of their historical Western lands set aside for them in the 1971 Wild Horse and Burro Act and put them into long term holding facilities which it renames “refuges” explains EWA’s Vicki Tobin.

In an August letter to Bob Abbey, Congressmen Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) outlined the deficiencies in the current program over the past several years. To date, none of the deficiencies have been corrected and until range studies can be completed, there is no scientific evidence justifying the removal of wild horses and burros from the land. Following a GAO report in 2008 that found that the BLM did not have adequate funding to support the estimated 37,000 horses they had in holding pens, Congress generously increased their budget.

Instead of using the funding for its intended purpose, the BLM has intensified round-ups and has zeroed out many herds while leaving the remaining herds genetically unviable as a result of reduced numbers and mares that were given birth control. The increased round-ups are coming at time when there are more wild horses in holding pens than on the open range at a cost of millions of dollars to tax payers. “The huge number of horses being gathered is effectively guaranteeing a new and worse budget crisis in the immediate future” says EWA’s John Holland.

As long suspected by many, the DOI/BLM is on a course to exterminate America’s wild horses and burros. Cameron Bryce, a BLM ecologist was quoted in a recent follow up to George Knapp’s KLAS-TV investigative report, Stampede to Oblivion as stating “Wild horses do not belong in western ecosystems,” and that “The 1971 Horse and Burro Act was based on emotions, not science.”

In a comparative analysis of free-roaming wild horses and burros in relation to habitat, wildlife and livestock populations, wild horses and burros populations pale in comparison. In most cases, the wild horses and burros are being removed in record numbers with no scientific evidence justifying the need for these removals. According to the BLM schedule, another 12,000 wild horses and burros are targeted for removal in 2010.

The cries of Americans to their elected officials, the White House and the DOI/BLM remain unanswered. Removing horses without scientific justification is in violation of the 1971 Wild Horse and Burro Act. The 1971 Wild Horse and Burro Act is a law and Americans are demanding that instead of ignoring the law, the BLM enforce it. An immediate moratorium on round-ups must be issued until the range studies are completed and the discrepancies are resolved.

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11 replies »

  1. Yes, This is needed badly. Now. Remaining herds in the wild are needed to be kept there. The Burros will be gone from the last two states they inhabit by the end of next summer. There are only A FEW herds left. We do not want this to happen to the horses, too. And it could, as the BLM machine goes on operating in disregard to all warnings, requests, criticisms and demands. We need to be educating our elected officials and changing minds and making new allies through the use of information. They cannot respond to us any longer with BLM lies and BS. Any response using BLMisms should be met with an educational response and a warning to do their homework. This is a National issue not just a Western one because the wild horses and burros belong to the whole lot of us. There is no time left for all these horses anymore. No time left for Burros. Trying must be replaced with Doing and Succeeding. Mar


  2. Thanks R.T.! Narrowing everyone’s focus to the #1 plan for this hour of urgency!

    Here is more on the moratorium information from The Cloud Foundation, Equine Welfare Alliance and American Horse Defense Fund:


    This I know for sure. Donations to The Cloud Foundation will go towards legal defense funds. The Freedom Funds were first used for adoption & purchase of the Pryor Mt. Range Mustangs on 09/26/09. Now donations go toward legal assistance on Mustang & Burro issues from the Foundation’s hard working attorney.

    Anyone can make donations to the other fine organizations mentioned by R.T. I just have not personally contacted them for information, with exception of a donation to Habitat For Horses.

    The postcard campaign has ended through:
    America’s Wild Horse Advocates, P.O Box 156, Blue Diamond, NV 89004

    They sent out 6,000 postcards with a professional photograph by Carol Walker.


      • Jo Bunny,

        Yes. The organization has run out of funds. I had contact with Garnet today. I offered to pay for the postage. Correction – it was 8,000 poscards. I received 100 of them 2 days ago for a 4th grade class at a local elementary school. My close friend is a teacher there. I also gave her my Brighty of Grand Canyon book and Mustang of the West book to read to the classes. The project will be a grade for English or History.

        Have you been told otherwise?


  3. morgan, i was hoping that a few thousand would make it to the equine affaire here in a few weeks. thought there would be a few thousand more possibilities of signatures….was even hoping to take some to mr. mcnabb when HE’s there….maybe stop by the blm booth to get a few signatures there….hahahahahahahaha.
    how much do they need??? if people wanted to pay for them, how much would, say, a stack of 100 cost????
    i had already received a stack of them & was able to get most all of them signed & sent by people around here!


    • Suzanne:

      I let those words fall out of my mouth too, just once, when talking to Ginger Kathrens and Katia on Blog Talk Radio. Katia said “You cannot fail if you never give up”.

      Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Sign petitions, make what calls you can, write as many postal letters as you can afford, financially support or volunteer at your choice of organizations on the front lines of the battle (see the lists to the right of this page) and join Facebook if you haven’t already. Please add me as a friend if you want to! email to search for is Most of all just keep talking, talking and talking. Someone is listening in your home, neighborhood, school, church or social network. Someone of influence just may be listening to your conversations.

      For me, when I get down, I go back to all my favorite Biblical examples of courage & faith.


  4. The DOI/BLM has chosen to not only eradicate wild horse from the rangelands via a process of mass gathers but they also have chosen to weaken the species diversity and long term viability among their ecosystem via a unique way of reverse bioengineering the horses gene pool.

    With a concerted effort from select wildlife biologists we can prove that the BLM has been reverse engineering what nature has created by deliberate design. The BLM’s main objective is to eliminate wild horse from the rangelands forever.

    The wild horse being a diverse and resilient species is purposefully being gentically eroded..This process is called genetic erosion and will eventually,inevitabally and indefinitely destroy the species ability to thrive in an ecosystem that is conducive to all of it’s organisms.

    My suggestions for stopping wild horse round ups will entail a few months of surveillance and accurate record keeping of herd activity. BLM movement is also essential when they move horses from location to location. Wherever that may be..

    It would not be wise for me to outline any plan of action as some readers of this board have insisted that I do..As the moderator and founder of this board has suggested.. “The enemy is watching”. So why would I broadcast an outlined plan of action?

    I assure you all that there is a plan that is pending that will aid in ending the wildhorse round ups. I wish I could share it with all of you.. But if I did that on here I may as well call the BLM personally and leave a message telling them all about it.


    • I do agree, Jack. Eyes are watching. That’s why I don’t even mention PETA and other “animal rights” groups. PETA and the Animal Liberation Front are classified as Eco-terrorists and with good reason. We do NOT want to be associated with them even by inference.

      I don’t agree with their tactics and I certainly don’t agree with their agenda – PETA especially. They are much more covert concerning their TRUE agenda these days, but they don’t deny it. Those of us who have been keeping an eye on them for years know what they’re up to and I’m sure Homeland Security does too.

      We certainly don’t want to be lumped in with these kinds of groups even tho Sue Wallis tries to infer that we are. Heck, I’m not even a vegetarian, let alone a vegan.


    • Wow, Mustang Jack, these are the best words I have ever heard in wild horse world to date! A plan for DIRECT ACTION! Yahoooooooooo! Bring the press on, do it good, do it loud and to the point, hopefully the unstifled press will show up!


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