Horse News

Wild Burro Shooting Texas Parks and Wildlife to hold Annual Public Hearing

(The News As We See It) by R.T. Fitch ~ President of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

An Opportunity to Comment

Wild Horse Freedom Federation‘s (WHFF) Director of Wild Burro Affairs, Marjorie Farabee, has brought to our attention that this week the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) will be holding an annual hearing.  It is interesting to note that with all of the controversy swirling around the TPWD’s policy of shooting wild burros on sight there is no mention of them or their policy on the proposed agenda, Marjorie intends to change that with your help.  Below is an excerpt from her latest update:

Here is the breakdown of how these meetings will be conducted.  On August 24th at 9 am the committee will discuss agenda items 1- 21.  The public may attend but they may not participate.  At 2 PM is open mic.  The public may discuss any item related to the parks at this time.  The burros may be addressed if we choose, and we can speak for 3 minutes.

On the 25th at 9am the commission will meet again to finalize the agenda, and the public may attend.
It is interesting to note that one can not find the burro listed as feral, exotic, or invasive on their site, yet they have a policy to shoot them. 
I listed two of the agenda items I felt would impact the burros, even though they are not listed by name.”
The meeting will be moderated by John Davis of TPWD.

Annual Public Hearing
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
2:00 p.m.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
Commission Hearing Room
4200 Smith School Road, Austin, TX  78744

Commissioner Peter M. Holt, Commission Chair
Carter Smith, Commission Liaison 


  1. Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission will take Public Testimony on any Issue Related to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department


Commission Agenda Item No. 10
Presenter:  John Davis

Commercial Nongame Permit Rules
August 25, 2011

I.       Executive Summary:  This item seeks adoption of proposed changes to rules governing the collection and sale of nongame wildlife.  The proposed amendments would:

  • Authorize the possession, transportation, sale, offering for sale, importation, and exportation of dead armadillos by persons who hold a commercial nongame dealer permit;
  • Clarify that “black list” species may be imported, possessed, and sold, provided they are lawfully acquired;
  • Remove all species of bats from the effect of the rules; and
  • Make housekeeping-type changes to update internal references.

II.      Discussion:  Under Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 67, the department is required to develop and administer management programs to ensure the continued ability of nongame species of fish and wildlife to perpetuate themselves successfully, and to conduct ongoing investigations of nongame fish and wildlife to develop information on populations, distribution, habitat needs, limiting factors, and any other biological or ecological data to determine appropriate management and regulatory information.  The commission is required to establish any limits on the taking, possession, propagation, transportation, importation, exportation, sale, or offering for sale of nongame fish or wildlife that the department considers necessary to manage the species.

At the May 25, 2011 Regulations Committee meeting, staff was authorized to publish proposed rules in the Texas Register for public comment.  The proposed rules appeared in the July 22, 2011, issue of the Texas Register (36 TexReg 4643-4644).  A summary of public comment on the proposed rules will be presented at the time of the hearing.

III.     Recommendation:  Staff recommends that the Commission adopt the following motions:

“The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopts amendments to 31 TAC §§65.325, 65.327, and 65.331, concerning Commercial Nongame Permits, with changes as necessary to the proposed text as published in the July 22, 2011, issue of the Texas Register (36 TexReg 4643-4644).”

Commission Agenda Item No. 16
Presenter:  Scott Vaca

Implementation of Legislation during the 82nd Texas Legislative Session
House Bill 716 — Permits for Aerial Management of Wildlife and Exotic Species
August 25, 2011

I.       Executive Summary:  This item presents for adoption, proposed amendments that would implement the provisions of House Bill 716, enacted by the 82nd Texas Legislature, which authorizes the Commission to promulgate rules allowing the holder of an aerial hunting permit to contract with a qualified landowner or landowner’s authorized representative to act as a gunner or observer for the take of feral hogs or coyotes from a helicopter.

II.      Discussion: House Bill 716 amended the Parks and Wildlife Code by adding new §43.1075, which allows a qualified landowner or landowner’s agent, as determined by commission rule, to contract to participate as a hunter or observer in using a helicopter to take depredating feral hogs or coyotes under the authority of a permit issued under Parks and Wildlife, Subchapter G.

Staff was authorized at the May, 2011 meeting of the Regulations Committee to publish proposed rules required or authorized by legislation enacted by the 82nd Legislature.  The proposed amendments were published in the July 22, 2011 issue of the Texas Register (36 TegReg 4641-4643).  Staff will present a summary of public comment at the time of the meeting.

III.     Recommendation:  Staff recommends the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopt the following motion:

“The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopts proposed new 31 TAC §65.151 and §65.152, concerning Permits for Aerial Management of Wildlife and Exotic Species, with changes as necessary to the proposed text as published in the July 22, 2011, issue of the Texas Register (36 TexReg 4641-4643).” ”

 If anyone is interested in either commenting or attending please contact Marjorie at

21 replies »

  1. Good job Marjorie. I know you have more than 3 minutes worth of talking to do. Would you like to spread the info over several people if I send you reinforcements?


    • Diana,

      Thanks for posting exactly what I was thinking.

      Will others be there in support?

      Read in some response thread regarding the shootings that these burros were crossing from Mexico. Is that true? Doesn’t make a difference to me; to exterminate this way is just sick human behavior…..just curious.


      • p.s. Wouldn’t that Mexico migration mean the burros have to cross the Rio Grande????….WOW….those are some athletic burros!


      • Denise, the entire area is known as the Chihuahuan Biosphere. This fascinating and unique ecosystem is being managed in cooperation with the Mexican government. The park does indeed border Mexico and the Rio Grande. However, crossing the river is no feat since it now has 95% of its water flow diverted for human use. Yes, it is unfortunate that these wise creatures are not wise enough to read a map, but it really should not matter. I was astounded to discover that there is a shortage of burros in Mexico, and that they are presently importing them from KY. The burro’s numbers world wide are plummeting at an alarming rate. Losing this small herd brings them closer to extinction in the wild here. I find this unacceptable.


      • Marjorie:

        Aren’t the burros in Mexico declining because of cultural reasons? Just had an business acquaintance brag that they bar-b-qued a burro and it was yummy. Wanna bet he got it from the BLM (he lives on the border area of AZ, CA and MEX)? And I didn’t ask.


    • Yes Diana, I do! Any and all the help we can get. We have worked very hard on research and grant development. We are hoping that what we propose will keep these burros in their environment.


  2. I swear, these government agencies can of nothing better then to kill every living animal on our planet. Too bad we can’t use them for target practice.
    Why can’t they just relocate them, I am sure their are states that lost their burros as the their wild horses


  3. the people of texas like to say “God blessed Texas” i’d like to know don’t they remember the sweet animal that carried God’s son on his back down the street? how can anyone even consider using these precious, gentle burros for target practice? what’s wrong with you texans? if your men want to murder wildlife for your enjoyment such as coyotes,armadillos or any other i think there’s something wrong with you. do target practice on your own cattle thank you, and be humane about it before you eat it. i pray texans come to their senses.


    • Well I am a Texan and there is no pride in this…remember, just like the Federal Government, the citizens do not always have the control over their governing bodies that might wish…and we wish for this to change, now.


    • don’t blame all Texans for the stupidity of a few!! NO, WE DO NOT ALL SHOOT FOR SPORT!! The burros are being killed because of the few ultra rich that want to use the grazing for huntable animals. I think we should work together to get some laws changed, but condemning everyone that lives in Texas is just wrong.


  4. I too remarked to the gentlemen from the parks regarding the shooting of the
    burros and he indicated that they were feral. He also said that they shot them
    because they are afraid that they will carry some type of equine disease. I then asked him to what disease he was referring to and how many burros were affected. He did not know the answer, but said there were no sick ones. Sounds to me a big horn on the wall would be alot better than a defenseless
    burro. Are all these people going mad? He also said that there were two
    rescues that were trying to catch them, but were not successful. Like I said before, how fast can a burro run compared to a horse. Pretty docile and stubborn but not fast movers. Then to bait then into an area and blast away
    is pretty sickening to me. What do all the people down there think? Are there any supporters in that area or is it just like the BLM, just do what ever they please, How come this hasn’t been in the news anywhere or is just not news worthy? Aerial gunning the MOST SICKENING THING I EVER HEARD OF! Oh, are they going to hire that Josh guy so he can run them down before they are
    shot. Just unreal…twisted and demented people.


    • Hi Gail, as far as I know there is no aerial gunning of burros. The parks employees shoot them in the normal course of doing their duties in the park. If they see them, they shoot them.

      The two rescues who attempted to take these burros out were PVDR and WHF. The terrain is formidable, and the burros are very shy since they are shot at frequently. I have to say though, Gail what some call stubborn is really the burros deeply rooted sense of self preservation. They are cautious, and you can not make them do something that they deem unsafe. But, when it comes to speed, I need to bring you to the ranch to meet some of our lovely long eared friends. They can be incredibly fast, when the need arises. It surprises people.


  5. Most generous of the commission to allow three minutes for verbal comments from the public. Would a presumption they mean three minutes for each one that wants to comment be going too far?
    It is understandable that they see a need to attempt some control of wild hogs since they ARE a feral species introduced by ignorant humans and are now spreading almost like wild fire across the whole country. They multiply like rabbits or other rodents and do tremendous damage wherever they roam, not only to farm crops and vegetation but perhaps more importantly, by their pollution of water sources that degrades usage by native animals or humans. But coyotes a feral species? I think they were already there long before humans came on the scene. But I guess they do kill a certain amount of livestock and we can’t have that. Can we?
    They have admitted to not doing any thorough population or environmental impact studies with regards to the wild burros so how can they justify any version of a shoot on sight policy? They can’t. They do it because they yield to the interests of ranching and hunting and apparently have authority from the state to write their own policies and regulations to allow it. Maybe I am just ignorant of the big picture and I can’t claim to know a lot about the lifestyle of wild burros, but it is hard to imagine there are enough free roaming burros to make it necessary to thin them out by killing them in order to save he territory.


  6. What I’d like to know is, how can you call it a wildlife park without any wildlife, ‘cos there won’t be any left by the time they’ve finished shooting them all. I’m in UK and very confused by all this killing. I don’t believe that we would get away with this here in England. It appears that Americans want to kill anything with 4 legs!!


  7. Marjorie, the Burros even made it on to Oprah’s website:
    Whether it’s the “troll capital of the world” or home to a national grits festival, every town has a story. They might be small, but they each have something unique about them, something that puts them on the map, something residents are known to brag about (and justly so). Explore and celebrate small-town USA.

    By Bradford Dworak
    Original Content | January 27, 2010

    Oatman, Arizona


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