Without a single dissenting vote, the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act was passed by Congress guaranteeing these animals protection from “capture, branding, harassment and death.” – Mariana Tosca
CHICAGO, (EWA) – Acclaimed Actors Mariana Tosca, Christmas in the Clouds, Viggo Mortensen, Lord of the Rings, Appaloosa and Hidalgo and Kevin Nealon, Weeds have added their voice to a growing 150 organizations and dignitaries from America, Canada, the United Kingdom and South Africa asking President Obama and Secretary Salazar to halt the round-ups of America’s wild horses and burros.
The assault on America’s wild horses and burros must be halted until range studies can be performed and a solid plan is established for the management of these magnificent animals that represent our American heritage.
Actor and Social Activist, Mariana Tosca, joined the unified call with the following statement issued to John Holland, President of the Equine Welfare Alliance.
“With virtually no oversight, the BLM’s maneuvers are methodically cleansing the land of these animals who have become an inconvenience and impediment to the goals of the ranching, gas and oil industries.
It is the action of arrogance and the lowest instincts of man to place greed above the rights of others and to shape policy to fit private agendas. Millions of head of cattle are grazing on public ranges – public ranges that were designated for these wild horses and burros on land that belongs to American taxpayers, not to private entities.
These horses are connected to this land; their ancestors roamed unfettered on it over a million years ago. They represent the basic principal that our nation was founded on: FREEDOM. These animals are the physical embodiment of all that we as people and as a nation aspire to… liberty and self-determination. And at some level that resonates with each and every one of us. With every BLM round up that is allowed to happen, our heritage is under siege.”
Viggo Mortensen adds, “Thanks to all who have contacted their government representatives on behalf of mustangs, those unique animals that are living symbols of the nation’s heritage and character. Your efforts have paid off, prompting Congress to strengthen the protections afforded to wild horses and burros in the United States of America [with the passage of HR 1018].
Mariana Tosca continues, “We have to stop eroding the law that ensures their protection, simply to cater to and placate private entities. America faces a very real risk that the wild horse will go the way of the buffalo, wiped out by a zealous hunt to make room for commercial interests.
Since the BLM is a government agency, with perceived mismanagement and conflict of interest issues, the public has a right to call for an independent audit of the horses in BLM managed short and long term holding facilities, as well as an independent count of the horses remaining on the ranges. The management of our remaining wild horses should be moved to another agency.”
A lawsuit was filed by IDA (In Defense of Animals) on November 23 aimed at halting the removal of over 2,700 horses in the Nevada Calico Complex which is scheduled to start on December 1.