Horse News

Major Humane Organizations Plead with BLM to Postpone Deadly Wild Horse Stampede

from American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign

Eleventh Hour Plea Re-Issued

Washington, DC (January 21, 2011) . . . As Congress grapples with federal budget shortages, a group of prominent environmental, horse advocacy and humane organizations has joined forces to urge the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to postpone a large-scale wild horse roundup scheduled to begin next week in the Antelope Complex, a 1.3 million acre public lands area in northeastern Nevada.

In a sign on letter to BLM director Bob Abbey, the organizations, including the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the Western Watersheds Project, the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), PBS wildlife filmmaker Ginger Kathrens and The Cloud Foundation, and others are urging the BLM instead to pursue a plan offered by businesswoman and philanthropist Madeleine Pickens to construct holding facilities for the horses on private lands adjacent to their home range. The proposal would prevent the waste of tax dollars incurred by shipping the horses thousands of miles to off-the-range holding facilities.

Send your own letter to BLM demanding postponement of the Antelope roundup here.

Mrs. Pickens’ proposal, made on behalf of her Saving America’s Mustangs Foundation, would save the government an estimated million dollars or more, while protecting the 2,000 wild horses scheduled for removal from the trauma of shipment to holding facilities far from their homeland. Mrs. Pickens is in the process of developing a wild horse eco-sanctuary in the Antelope Complex.

The letter urges the BLM to postpone the roundup for a few months while Saving America’s Mustangs builds state-of-the-art holding facilities for the horses. It states:

“The BLM’s plan to proceed with a late-January gather in the Antelope Complex makes no fiscal or operational sense. Antelope horses will be captured during treacherous winter conditions and shipped thousands of miles to the Midwest, instead of being gathered at a safer time of year and held on adjacent private lands that will eventually become part of larger wild horse eco-sanctuary.

The BLM’s refusal to postpone the roundup and pursue Mrs. Pickens’ alternative directly contradicts the agency’s stated commitment to pursuing public/private partnerships and alternatives to expensive off-the-range holding of wild horses.

The letter notes that any concerns about future emergency water sources should be eased by the fact that there has been no livestock grazing on the public grazing allotments associated with Mrs. Pickens’ ranches since June 2010.

In addition to the aforementioned, other groups signing the letter include: Return to Freedom, Lifesavers Wild Horse Rescue, In Defense of Animals, the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros, the Wyoming Wild Horse Coalition, Respect 4 Horses, HfH Advisory Council, Animal Rescue Mission, Equine Welfare Alliance and Animal Law Coalition.

The sign on effort was spearheaded by the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC), a coalition of more than 40 horse advocacy, conservation, animal welfare and public interest organizations. The coalition is calling for:

* A suspension of roundups in all but verifiable emergency situations while the entire BLM wild horse program undergoes objective and scientific review;

* Higher Appropriations Management Levels (AML) for wild horses on horse those rangelands designated for them;

* Implementation of in-the-wild management, which would keep wild horses on the range and save taxpayers millions annually by avoiding the mass removal and stockpiling wild horses in government holding facilities.

Click (HERE) to download current letter

5 replies »

  1. I don’t understand any of this. Doesn’t the BLM want to save money? Maybe they don’t want to cancel the helicopter and trucker contracts with their friends? Is that it? The BLM says that Madeleine would charge the government $500 a head vs. the $475 they pay now, BUT her costs, in this particular situation would not include the “gather” fees nor the transporting costs – which we’ve all been told is SOOO expensive. Even if it takes some money to build a temporary area for the horses, and truck in extra water (another of their concerns) it seems to me that the final bill would be less if the horses just stay close to where they are. Another stumbling block the BLM cited was grazing rights on the proposed land, but Madeleine says that there have been no cattle there since June of 2010.
    So, by leaving the horses in a temporary, close location, horse lives can be improved, hardships from the rounding up and transporting would be all but eliminated, and a GREAT deal of money might be saved for the government — WHY don’t officials want to see this? They’ve been able to bend the laws to suit the outcomes they want, why can’t they do that now???

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  2. Can’t some important Newspaper publish the letter so folks can see it. I feel like we are in a vast wasteland.
    All those big names have got to mean something!
    I am still tearing for both the “Bravehearts”

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  3. Abbey’s public statement on Friday 21 January that Madeleine’s offer was rejected because it would not save taxpayers’ dollars is another example of an all too typical BLM attempt to mislead the public. It is another bald in-your-face-so-what-are-you-going-to-do-about-it lie. Until Abbey and the whole BLM heirarchy are put out to join Don Glenn out in the retirement pasture there will be very little if any change in BLM policies and practices regarding the wild horse management. It is simply too clear that the semi-passive protests of tens of thousands of people on behalf of the horses is having no effect on what the BLM and Interior want to do. The proverbial mnoey and power trail in all this must go deep and reach the highest levels or we would have been able to change or stop at least part of what is going on. Many of us write and write and write and make phone calls for what feels like ad infinitum but to no avail. It is like calling out into a vast, empty wilderness where there are no ears to hear or eyes to see what we are trying so hard to convey. Very frustrating to be ignored by a government that is supposed to be “by the people.”

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  4. I sincerely hope that all who read this “11th hour plea” are not too busy with their weekend to take a few minutes to click the link to download the current letter and send ANOTHER one to the BLM and your elected representatives. Remember that horses do no not have email and cannot speak for themselves! YOU must do it for them. They are out there right now on the range trying to survive the winter and though some of them may have a sense of impending catastrophy to their way of life, they do not know how to defend themselves against it other than to try to escape when the roaring machines of man come after them out of the sky.

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