Horse News

Wild Horse Advocates call BLM plans “Bloodless Genocide”

by Horsetalk

More wild horses destined for imprisonment - Photo by Terry Fitch

The increased pace of wild horse musters in the US has united the equine welfare community like never before, an advocate says.

Equine Welfare Alliance spokesman John Holland described some of the plans laid out by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which is responsible for the wild herds, as bloodless genocide.

“The reckless abandon with which the BLM has accelerated its gather programme is breathtaking,” Holland said.

“It has, however, had one effect that nobody could have predicted. It is so outrageous and unjustified in its implementation and so staggering in its consequences that it has galvanised and united the entire wild equine community to a level we have never seen before.”

The Equine Welfare Alliance, an umbrella organisation representing more than groups, has called for a moratorium on wild horse gathers.

A recent Associated Press report suggests BLM officials have rejected the idea.

The alliance will now consider its legal options.

Holland said the equine welfare community in general and the wild equine advocates, in particular, have long been a fractious, independent bunch and difficult to bring together.

“Moreover, the anti-slaughter effort has traditionally been a different set of advocates than the wild equine movement. The same can be said of other areas of animal advocacy.

“Yet we are now seeing old adversaries bury the hatchet to pull together to a degree I would never have thought possible. They realize that once the herds have been gathered and their social structures torn apart, they will cease to be wild equines and will simply be sterile, untamed horses and an unnecessary expense to the taxpayers.”

The alliance is critical of the so-called Salazar plan, which proposes more aggressive use of long-term contraceptives and relocating wild horses to up to seven new horse reserves on more productive land further east of the western rangelands.

“As to the Salazar plan specifically, we see it as a bloodless genocide at best,” Holland said.

He said Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has attempted to alter the discussion of what to do with the horses in long-term holding into a discussion of what to do with all the wild horses.

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3 replies »

  1. Stop wasting our money on collecting horses. They have been surviving extremely well on their own for hundreds of years on the land. How primitive has the BLM become. There are millions of better things to do with their time and our taxpayer money. ENOUGH!!!!!

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  2. Clinton-Gore set a 15% target for the number of wild horse and burro herd management areas through the 1997 International Plant Protection Convention ratified in October 2000. This treaty did not go into force until October 2, 2005. The only evidence that that Bush administration knew about the specifics of this treaty is their efforts to protect ranchers as the primary grazers on public lands which was declared unconstitutional.

    The entire premise of this law is that all actions be based on sound science, which this clearly is not. One has to go no farther than the GenBank to find that the ancient North American horse is Equus caballus. All these little graphic and linguistic tricks to distract us and disguise the truth burns with the irony that these people claim to have when they write in journals about ethics in science.

    This problem is far bigger than our wild horses, the BLM, or the state of Nevada.

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