Horse News

Congress Targets our Wild Horses and Burros

Many thanks to Susan Wagner, Pres. of Equine Advocates, for writing this excellent OpEd for the New York Daily News.

SOURCE:  New York Daily News

photo by Carol Walker of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

by Susan Wagner, Pres. of Equine Advocates

Special interests in the ranching, oil and gas and mining industries and the lawmakers who do their bidding have a nefarious but underreported agenda: to round up and destroy the wild horses and burros on America’s public lands.

This is not the first time they’ve tried, but this time, the stars are aligned in the worst way, and they just might succeed.

First, some quick history. Back in the 1950s, wild horses were at the brink of extinction. They had no federal protections. People known as Mustangers were chasing, rounding up and selling them for slaughter by the thousands. Anyone who has seen the classic 1961 Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe film “The Misfits” has a sense — albeit a sanitized, Hollywood sense — of this dirty work.

That changed when activist Velma Johnston, famously known as Wild Horse Annie, inspired the passage of the Wild Horse Annie Act in 1959, which provided some protection for these animals. That law was followed by even stronger legislation — the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971. It expressly prohibited the hunting, capture, injury and disturbance of wild horses and burros.

Over the years, however, lawmakers have chipped away at this legislation, removing many of its vital protections. Tremendous damage was done by the 2004 Burns Amendment; it passed without so much as a hearing and permitted the sale of these animals for commercial purposes. Many ended up at slaughter.

The biggest threat to wild horses today is a group of ranchers — known as “welfare ranchers” — who use federal lands to graze their cattle. They have made it clear that they want the horses and burros gone. They believe they are entitled to the land and water rights for their livestock.

Though they style themselves as independent pioneers, these ranchers are given huge subsidies by the federal government, enabling them to lease our public lands for a pittance, while the wild horses and burros are rounded up and sent to holding facilities operated by the Bureau of Land Management, a division of the the Interior Department.

According to the Center for Biological Diversity, this program has cost the American taxpayer more than $1 billion over the past decade and is “ruinous to the public lands and the wildlife that inhabit it.”

There is no doubt that our wild horses and burros can be managed humanely, but that is not what is going on. Nearly 50,000 healthy animals are now being held captive in Bureau of Land Management holding facilities. Many suffer and die horrible deaths during the roundups, which are cruel and unnecessary.

Making matters worse, a five-year investigation released in July by the Wild Horse Freedom Federation accuses the bureau of deliberately trying to deceive American taxpayers and members of Congress about the costs and consequences of their actions.  READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE HERE.



11 replies »

  1. There are currently 450 wild horses on the Onaqui HMA/HA that consists of 507,681 acres. That is 0.000864 Horses per acre or 8.64×10^-4 Horses/Acre. How can the BLM, possibly scream overpopulation?


  2. OCTOBER 2017
    Public comments needed on BLM’s plans to roundup wild horses on the Onaqui HMA in Utah


    Tar-sands oil mining has now come to the U.S.
    By Bobby Magill
    Oct 2, 2015

    Despite long odds as oil prices continue their dip below $50 per barrel, commercial tar-sands mining is coming for the first time to the U.S., where an Alberta company called U.S. Oil Sands has begun producing tar sands from a mine in eastern UTAH.
    “Some of the federal lands containing oil-sands resources are located in national parks, national monuments, wilderness, and wilderness study areas, so those areas would not be developable,” Spinti said. “However, the state has shown significant interest in developing the oil-sands resources on its lands and there are private landowners interested in development as well.”
    If the industry does gain a foothold in the U.S., the climate implications could be significant.
    But U.S. Oil Sands, which did not respond to requests for comment, is moving ahead with production, even as tar-sands producers in Canada struggle to make a profit as crude oil prices fall.
    U.S. Oil Sands, which has acquired the rights to produce tar sands at mines on 50 square miles of land between Salt Lake City and Moab, Utah, plans to produce 2,000 barrels of oil per day by the end of the year, according to documents the company filed with Canadian securities regulators.


  3. US Oil Sands plans another restart in UTAH

    “The funds will allow the company to restart its PR Spring demo project early in 2017”

    Calgary-based US Oil Sands has closed on previously announced US$7.5 million in financing, obtained from its largest shareholder (ACMO) at a 15% annualized interest rate. As part of the company’s refinancing deal, three of its board members have been replaced with ACMO representatives.

    The funds will allow the company to restart its PR Spring demo project early in 2017.

    The company has patented a proprietary extraction process which uses a citrus bio-solvent to extract bitumen from oil sands without the need for tailings ponds. PR Spring is located in the Uinta Basin in northeastern Utah.


  4. There’s cause for concern that Another trick proslaughter Is utilizing is YET Another Facebook page/organization against Wild horses. THE wild horse and Burro coalition. THEY are Duquette, and the entire clan degrading our wild horses while pretending to legit about saving them but the groups sole mission is to aquire slaughter. THEY have an article asking will the Senate keep feeding wild horses. Now as looked into an old story in Mexico wondering how did they get by with So much so far? The plants are owned by South Americans (2 at least), Dr. Lenz AVMA and Unwanted Horse Coalition, Former AQHA and Complete Horse killer…..spent time in Mexico confirming there were no controls until the horses hit the plants. He admitted they checked for “some drug residues and 1 illness only Post Mortem. There’s a lot of serious questions given now years later suspicious suit is launched to stop the contraceptives from being administered to wild horses, then a new Organizations formed for supposedly wild burros and horses meanwhile deceiving the publuc. THE TRUTH is, unless you speak out firmly and with All the Power We have to Fight, Show strength No Doubts, No weakness these nuts are forming make believe solutions which all result in disaster. Speak Only with strong words from here fprward, no more conversations of fear or Worry, we have to United. THE best thing you can do is explain that reopening this Industry using wild horses will Destroy the Horse Industry and point to Congress with All the Issues with Russia Right now we cannot have the Bureau trying to sell our wild horses to them. We have to draw the line somewhere. THE BLM wants to sell to Russia and that’s questionable. THE FACT is, we need to learn from history. Standing strong in the face of our adversary who wishes to kill wild horses is necessary. Reminding Congress that this IS America and it’s written in the Wild Horse and Burro Act THESE HORSES ARE WILD. Point out they are attempting to commit fraud claiming without evidence the horses are feral. THE issues are very real and we are Dangerously close to the end of this battle. These people are attempting to hide behind random facebook pages, tear people down, Slander, libel and destroy historical facts. This is the time to Preserve Our Wild Horses this is no longer just about cold hard factd, this is about debunking the other sides lies. Unless your talking to people everywhere media, letters to editor in every state, communication is key now. THE FACT IS we are needing to comment on newsarticles and I’ve had supposed horse advocates directing me not to comment….always comment, rebuttal everything. Stand strong.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Excellent article by Susan, who outlines exactly what is going on with our wild horses and burros and what is driving these roundups. Very well explained for those who don’t understand the dire straits theses animals are in.


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