Robert Redford, Ed Harris, Elle Fanning to Congress: Oppose Mass Slaughter of Wild Horses & Burros

Source: EcoWatch.com

“Provisions in the budget…would allow the BLM to kill captured wild horses or sell them without restriction—a change that would enable buyers to purchase wild horses on the cheap and haul them to Canada or Mexico for slaughter.”

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Robert Redford, Ed Harris, Elle Fanning, Ian Somerhalder and countless other equine enthusiasts joined The Humane Society of the United States, Humane Society Legislative Fund, Return to Freedom and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to draw attention to the threat posed to wild horses and burros.

“My family and I stand strongly against horse slaughter and against our government harming our wild horses,” said actor and director Ed Harris. “I am pleading that a humane and common sense solution to the management of our wild horse population be mandated by Congress in keeping with the spirit of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.”

Since the implementation of the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has attempted to maintain stable populations by rounding up and removing thousands of horses and burros from the wild, despite repeated directives that this was leading the program to financial instability.

The Humane Society of the United States, Humane Society Legislative Fund, Return to Freedom and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals have long called for the agency to cease these actions and instead redirect money spent on capturing and holding wild horses toward available solutions, including judicious use of safe, proven fertility control on the range.

The BLM did not listen, and now they want to fix their mistakes by slaughtering wild horses.

Provisions in the budget proposed by the administration would allow the BLM to kill captured wild horses or sell them without restriction—a change that would enable buyers to purchase wild horses on the cheap and haul them to Canada or Mexico for slaughter.

f Congress approves provisions in the president’s budget, then tens of thousands of horses will die.

On Tuesday July 18, the House Committee on Appropriations will vote on the 2018 Interior Appropriations bill. The bill, approved by the House Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, maintains protective language, but there is a chance it might be amended in full committee and removed creating a pathway to slaughter.

Wild horse supporters are raising their voices to ensure the protections remain.

Here’s the letter sent to Congress from actors, singers, screenwriters and scientists urging them to oppose wild horse slaughter:

We Stand with America’s Wild Horses and Burros

Our nation’s iconic wild horses are fighting for their lives and we cannot stand by silently and let that happen.

We the undersigned call on Congress to oppose provisions in the president’s 2018 budget that threatens the lives of tens of thousands of wild horses and burros that will be senselessly killed or easily sold to those who would profit from their slaughter.

For decades, we have had available humane solutions, which would keep wild equines on the range and save tax dollars. Sadly, agencies continue to discredit proven alternatives instead of committing to implement them.

The American people have repeatedly and resoundingly called for wild horses and burros—the descendants of the animals who helped build our country, made our own freedom possible and shaped a vital part of our cultural heritage—to live free on the range.

Two years after the passage of the “Wild Horse Annie Act,” which banned the use of vehicles to hunt down wild horses sold for slaughter, the 1961 movie “The Misfits” brought the brutal practices of the mustangers onto the big screen. Marilyn Monroe cried out on behalf of audiences when she pleaded for a roped and struggling wild horse to b set free.

A decade later, in 1971, the overwhelming passage of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act enshrined in law the historic bond between Americans and wild horses and the policy of Congress “that wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment or death.”

Yet, for all that apparent progress, the lives of tens of thousands of captive wild horses are again at risk.

As American citizens and as voters, we do not accept the use of our tax dollars, which for so many years were invested in the health and safety of the captive wild horses and burros, to now pay for the destruction of these noble animals because they have been deemed inconvenient. It is unnecessary and unconscionable.

The American people would never forgive such a betrayal.

We respectfully urge Congress to take a leadership role by opposing mass euthanasia, slaughter and unrestricted sales and, instead, work together to forge a bipartisan, well-reasoned and humane management plan worthy of these “living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West” by recognizing and prioritizing viable alternatives that do exist.

As a nation, we can and must do better.

Respectfully,

Robert Redford, Actor, Director, Advocate; Governor Bill Richardson, Politician; Wendie Malick, Actress, Advocate; Willie Nelson, Musician, Advocate; Ed Harris, Actor, Director; Amy Madigan, Actress; Lily Harris, Student; Elle Fanning, Actress; Ian Somerhalder, Actor; Carol Burnett, Actress; Ali MacGraw, Actress; Dr. Ross MacPhee Professor and Curator of Mammals, AMNH; Allen Rutberg, PhD, North Grafton, MA.; Bonnie-Jill Laflin, Fox Sports / BBC sportscaster; Priscilla Presley, Actress, Entrepreneur; Noah Wyle, Actor; Sam Elliott, Actor; Katherine Ross, Actress; Robert Gossett, Actor; Claire Forlani, Actress; Dougray Scott, Actor; Debbie Levin, CEO Environmental Media Association; Huey Lewis, Musician; Diane Warren, Songwriter; Scarlet Rivera, Musician; David Midthunder, Lakota Pipe Carrier, Actor; Amber Midthunder, Lakota Dancer, Actress; John Fusco, Writer; David Franzoni, Screenwriter, Geologist; Petrine Day Mitchum, Author, Film Historian; Robert Knott, Writer, Producer, Actor; Rex Linn, Actor; Rachael Worby, Artistic Director MUSE/IQUE; Lance Bass, Producer, Singer; Jill Rappaport, Media host, Advocate; Ed Asner, Actor; Mike Smith, Hall of Fame Jockey; Peri Gilpin, Actress; Laraine Newman, Actress, Comedian; Laura San Giacomo, Actress; Frances Fisher, Actress; Anjelica Huston, Actress; Jessika Van, Actress; Ray Abruzzo, Actor; Dan Lauria, Actor; Victory Tischler-Blue, Producer, Photographer; Tony Stromberg, Photographer; Amber Valletta, Actress; Kimberly Van Der Beek, Producer; Hart Bochner, Actor; Daryl Wein, Writer, Director; Olivia Newton John, Singer, Actress; Mickey Rourke, Actor; Jeff Franklin, Creator / Executive Producer; John Stamos, Actor; Beth Behrs, Actress; and Drew Carey, Comedian / Host

12 comments on “Robert Redford, Ed Harris, Elle Fanning to Congress: Oppose Mass Slaughter of Wild Horses & Burros

  1. Pingback: Robert Redford, Ed Harris, Elle Fanning to Congress: Oppose Mass Slaughter of Wild Horses & Burros | Straight from the Horse’s Heart – Susan Dorling

  2. There is NO overpopulation of Wild Horses or Wild Burros.

    From THE ECONOMIST
    Reader comment

    MarybethDevlin Aug 9th

    The Big Lie of “overpopulation” is the pretext for BLM’s war against the wild horses. It’s BLM’s version of the “Shock Doctrine,” wherein BLM concocted a phony crisis to push through policies antithetical to the Wild Horse Act against the will of The People.

    In fact, horses are a slow-growth species when it comes to reproduction. The gestation-period lasts over 11 months, and a mare produces just 1 foal. While an independent study of BLM’s records did confirm a nearly 20% birth rate, that study also found that 50% of foals perish before their first birthday. Thus, the effective increase in population from new foals is just 10%. However, adult mortality must also be taken into consideration. Adult mustangs succumb at a rate of at least 5% a year. So, what is a normal herd-growth rate? Around 5%, probably less. Thus, a herd could not double in 4 or 5 years, debunking another BLM falsehood. But BLM stealthily inserts herd-growth rates far higher than 20% in its reports — biologically-impossible herd-growth rates. For instance, in Wyoming, BLM declared that the Salt Wells Creek herd grew from 29 horses to 616 horses in 6 months (yes, months), a 2,024% increase. BLM’s “data” is chock-full of preposterous growth-estimates. So, when you hear talk of how the wild horses are reproducing “exponentially,” that’s a sure sign that BLM has falsified the data. You should also know that the National Academy of Sciences was required by the terms of its grant to draw conclusions per BLM’s figures — the falsified figures. The NAS was not allowed to collect data independently. Thus, BLM wired the results to confirm its lies.

    Wild horses are underpopulated. Per the guidelines of BLM’s own geneticist, more than 80% of the herds suffer from arbitrary management levels (AMLs) set below minimum-viable population (MVP). Low AMLs enable BLM to claim an “excess” in herds whose numbers, even if they were over AML, would still not reach MVP. So being “over AML” is meaningless as well as misleading. But those low AMLs, combined with fraudulent, biologically-impossible herd-growth estimates, give BLM an excuse to scapegoat those few wild horses for the range-damage done by the millions of livestock that overgraze the public lands.

    PZP is a potent weapon in BLM’s arsenal — for its biological warfare against the wild horses. PZP is a registered pesticide. Its mechanism-of-action is to cause auto-immune disease — tricking the immune system into producing antibodies that target and attack the ovaries. The antibodies cause ovarian dystrophy, oophoritis (inflammation of the ovaries), ovarian cysts, destruction of oocytes in growing follicles, and depletion of resting follicles. The mare’s estrogen-levels drop markedly as PZP destroys her ovaries. Ultimately, PZP sterilizes her. A recent study — which included the McCullough Peaks herd — found that PZP extends the birthing season to nearly year-round. Out-of-season births put the life of the foals and the mares at risk. Worse yet, radioimmunoassay tests indicated that PZP antibodies are transferred from mother to female offspring via the placenta and milk.

    As for the wild horses held in captivity, they are the “legacy” of former Secretary Salazar’s equid cleansing era, during which he had tens of thousands of wild horses removed from the range. However, the mortality rate of captive wild horses is about 8% a year. So, obviously, since they are not reproducing, their numbers will steadily drop, showing that BLM’s billion-dollar figure for their care was bogus — it was just another Lie. But that Lie has ballooned. BLM has taken the $1 billion figure that it originally announced, multiplied it by 230%, and then multiplied that number by another 200%, amplifying the fraud. When BLM lies, it lies Big.
    The Wild Horse and Burro program, if administered per the minimum-feasible management-model specified by Law, would not cost much at all. BLM does not lack for resources. There are 22 million acres of legally-designated wild-horse herd areas — which BLM previously took away for political expediency — that can be reopened as habitat. The horses now held captive can be released to those areas, where the cost of their upkeep will be $0.

    Contrary to BLM’s disinformation campaign, wild horses do have natural predators — mountain lions, bears, wolves, and coyotes. But those predators are persecuted mercilessly. The government exterminates what the hunters don’t shoot. However, the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros — Wild Horse Annie’s foundation — notes that even without predators, their wild-horse herds self-regulate their numbers, with population-growth in the single digits.

    Finally, adoptions have not declined. It’s just that BLM used to count sales-for-slaughter as “adoptions.” Now, only “forever-family” placements qualify. However, mustangs are not homeless horses. They are wild horses whose home is on the range.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. WILD BURROS..will they disappear forever?

    Dr. Lori Eggert, University of Missouri – Genetic Diversity
    BLM Advisory Board meeting Sept 9-11, 2013

    Genetic diversity of burro populations well below what you would see in healthy populations.

    12 burro HMAs with populations between 2 and 49 animals.
    Burro populations do need priority for genetic management.
    Maintenance of genetic diversity over time is going to require higher population size than even the largest HMA now has.

    Like

  4. “Using Science to Improve the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program: A Way Forward”
    National Academy of Science

    This report reviews the science that underpins the Bureau of Land Management’s oversight of free-ranging horses and burros on federal public lands in the western United States.

    The social impacts on the American public of destroying these Wild Horse Herd populations is overwhelmingly given the strong support the American public has to protect, preserve and view Wild Horses living naturally on protected public lands.

    Like

  5. Press Release. Chris Stewart Violates Title 18 of the USC

    Congressman Chris Stewart Violates U.S.C. Title 18
    https://rtfitchauthor.com/2017/07/08/wild-horses-burros-congressman-chris-stewart-violates-u-s-c-title-18-conspiracy-to-defraud-the-united-states/

    PRESS RELEASE
    6 July 2017

    Citizens Against Equine Slaughter has found evidence that the Department of the Interior (DOI), Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and at least one Congressman are guilty of violating 923. 18 U.S.C. § 371—Conspiracy to Defraud the United States:

    “The general conspiracy statute, 18 U.S.C. § 371, creates an offense “[i]f two or more persons conspire either to commit any offense against the United States, or to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose. (emphasis added).”

    Congressman Stewart Reports a 41% increase in WH&B population in less than 5 months – IMPOSSIBLE

    We find that Chris Stewart did stand in front of a Congressional Appropriations Subcommittee for the Department of the Interior in 2016, addressing the BLM FY 2017 Budget. He did state that the wild horse population, in a majority, on the range were starving, or dying from dehydration. He also stated that there were, at that time, 67,000 wild horses on the range. These claims and population statements were those made by the BLM and the DOI in several media sources, as well as the Budget Justification letter submitted to Congress.

    Screenshot 2017-07-06 17.11.22.png

    Screen grab from Rep. Stewart’s website with video of his presentation.

    These 2 population statements would suggest that the wild horses went from approximately 47,000 in January 2016 to 67,000 by May of 2016 a 41% increase in less than 5 months? When BLM skews the ratio of stallions to mares on the range, 60 :40, this would mean that with 40 percent of the 47,000 wild horses in January, 18,800 would be mares, and all of them along with approximately 1,500 stallions had to have given birth in 5 months to achieve the 67,000 population boom stated in May of 2016.

    1. We found that the August 2016 Environmental Assessment, Adobe Town Wild Horse Movements & Habitat Selection Research Gather, DOI-BLM-WY-D030-2016-0104-EA, page 35, Line 132 and 133, stated the wild horse population on the range was less than in holding (47,403 in holding), according to BLM officials in January of 2016.

    https://eplanning.blm.gov/epl-front-office/projects/nepa/59671/97559/117715/Draft_Adobe_Town_Habitat_Movements_Research_EA_9-23-2016.pdf

    2. Then in the Interior Appropriations subcommittee mark up, Representative Chris Stewart did state on 25, May 2016 that “There are more than 67,000 of them (horses) now, …” https://stewart.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/rep-chris-stewart-calls-for-bipartisan-solution-to-the-overpopulation-of

    Was there even a census between these two numbers showing a 41% increase from Jan to May of the same year (2016)?

    While we gathered photos of horses across the 10 states in various HMA’s to prove they were healthy, we found no wild horse advocate group with volunteers on the ground, no wild horse photographer, and even one ranch manager (Stacey Davies, from Roaring Springs Ranch in Oregon) who stated he knew of NO starving horses in Oregon, during a meeting of the Steens Advisory Council. So we asked, but never received any proof of this claim of “tens of thousands of horses that look like this”, made by Representative Stewart, as he held up an old photo of a mare and foal from one instance in 2015 in which human interference with wildlife created an issue where the horses did not act naturally, but instead became emaciated.

    Along with these claims of health crisis and population booms, there is always the claim of rangeland destruction, but the question must be asked when photographic, or range-tour evidence is presented, was there ever livestock here? How long ago? And did the time after livestock were removed allow for rest and recovery. There is no wild horse habitat without livestock damage that proves the wild horses are destructive. Even studies such as the WY radio-collaring of wild horses in the Adobe Town Herd Management Area will be biased by the fact that plant life or consumption will be looked at based on the location given by the collars of the horses, however, no other species that eats these plants is simultaneously studied. Therefore, there is no valid way of scientifically determining what ate that plant. Making that aspect of the entire study invalid.

    We assert that these statements and misrepresentations of truth are intentional

    We assert that these statements and misrepresentations of truth are intentional, and done to convince the public as well as Congressional members to agree to an agenda to push these horses off the range or to genetic extinction. Many herds show signs of inbreeding when the genetic analysis reports are read. Augmenting genetics with the odd mare from an outside herd is not keeping the unique genetics found in different herds or areas viable or separate from the meta population, rather destroying any uniqueness. The augmentation method has also proved unsuccessful in the Kiger/Riddle HMA’s of Oregon. The Oregon genetic analysis reports have shown a steady decline in viability, even with outside mare or stallion introductions.

    These intentional lies and mistruths must be exposed, and those perpetrating them must be charged with violation of U.S.C. Title 18, with intent to misinform the U. S. government to reach special interest agendas while misleading the people they are to serve.

    Submitted to Congressman Raul Grijalva for the Congressional record, to be shared with the Natural Resources Committee of which he is the Ranking Member, on 7, July 2017.

    Media Contact:
    Val Cecama-Hogsett
    541.315.6650

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  6. Congress, please listen! Please follow the law and the wishes of the American people. Is this a country of law? We, the people feel helpless to stop the cruelty to our fellow creatures. We don’t want our tax dollars to be used this way! When are you going to listen to us and have a soul?

    Like

  7. These horses and burros were protected by the Burns Act in 1979 but Those in charge of protecting them decided not to and here we are today! American citizens do not want this done to our animals!They are being sold for meat to foreign countries. Someone id pocketing the money!Trillions of dollars and the rape of our wild lands has been going on for a long time. Stop!

    Like

  8. Huffington post published an article about Trump the palomino stallion and his herd
    Not one horse appeared to be thin, in fact they were all in good condition.
    This is not about starving horses, but about public lands being turned over to oil companies and cattle farmers.

    Like

  9. To the Senate committee
    I believe that all of the cattle ranchers should invest and install Solar panels or wind mills to produce water to water their own land. This would illuminate the use of public land that is for all wild life . With today’s Technology there is no reason for the cattle to be on public land. Ranchers need to use the resources available in todays World to produce A better grazing land for their cattle on their own land. If they have more cattle than what their own land can handle, then they should reduce the size of their cattle herd.
    This scenario should relinquish BLM from having to round up and shoot or kill or slaughter our beautiful wild Mustangs. The BLM and the ranchers just want to line their pockets’s at the expanse of doing away with the wild horses. It does not matter how you look at it but if you kill in any way shape or form it is slaughter of the wild horses. It is a shame that humans try to play God. All wild creatures big and small have a right to live as God created them man should not eliminate them.
    If you allow anyone to do away with any wildlife from the range or rangers it is a crime and they should be prosecuted for eliminating God’s creatures. If man would leave the wild animals where they are in the public lands there should be no reason to illuminate them. If you remove all the wild horses it will cause are there wild creatures to hunt on private land that would be a shame it is only survival.
    The overpopulation is in the human race, known as mankind the cruelest of all mammals alive. Man is cruel and humans are the only ones that kill for fun.
    I am asking you please do not let anyone shoot any horses or send them to slaughter. Please say no to anything that will and the life of any of the wild horses
    Please return the wild horses to the open public land where they belong they were not starving
    Thank you and please do not kill our wild horses

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