Horse News

Wild Equine Groups Continue to Cry “FOUL” on Coalition Plans

Open Letter from AWHC, at WHFF we share their dismay.

Dear Wild Horse & Burro Advocates,

Photo by Carol Walker of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

This is a difficult email to write, but our commitment to protecting America’s wild horses and burros requires us to share this update. AWHC has always placed a high priority on working collaboratively with other wildlife and animal protection organizations.

It is with great sadness but certain conviction that we must now strongly oppose a policy being promoted by several of these groups and we urge you to oppose it as well.

On Monday, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the ASPCA and Return to Freedom announced a deal with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, rancher lobbyists, and Rep. Chris Stewart, the leading advocate in Congress for the mass destruction of wild horses. It’s a bad deal and disregards the Statement of Principles and Recommendations signed by more than 100 horse organizations:

  • It would require the removal of an unprecedented 15,000-20,000 wild horses from public lands in Fiscal Year 2020 alone. Large-scale removals, involving cruel and inhumane helicopter roundups, are envisioned for several additional years to get within 20 percent of the BLM’s extinction-level population limit of 27,000 horses on 27 million acres of BLM land.
  • It will continue a policy of cruel roundups and confinement. The BLM will have control over these horses, and any improved holding facilities, like “enclosed pastures” will be managed by the BLM and at the mercy of annual appropriations.
  • The only scientifically proven method of humane population management, PZP fertility control, is not mandated. The BLM has repeatedly demonstrated its unwillingness to use PZP, as it currently spends 0% of its budget on it. Instead, the agency has demonstrated its preference for more draconian measures, including surgical sterilization and managing wild horses in non-reproducing and single-sex herds.
  • It’s unscientific and prioritizes cattle over wildlife. The plan accepts the BLM’s unscientific population limits for wild horses and burros, for which the National Academy of Sciences found no scientific support, and which are based on restricting these animals to just 12 percent of BLM lands and then allocating 80 percent of the forage in the remaining habitat to privately-owned livestock.
  • It’s unsustainable and expensive. Removing 15,000-20,000 horses from the range will cost at least $15-20 million, and storing them in holding for just one year could add $30 million annually to the BLM’s $80 million a year budget.

There’s a better way. Together we successfully beat back attempts by the BLM and livestock lobbying groups to legalize wild horse and burro slaughter. Together we’ll pursue creative solutions for wild horse management that give wild horses a fair share of resources on the small amount of public lands designated as their habitat. Together we’ll fight the mass removals that the National Academy of Sciences warned against as we advocate for humane management in the wild using fertility control.

We don’t need to cave to cattle industry interests for nothing but vague promises. We have the power of the people on our side. We can and we will do better. Please join us and contact Congress now.

Wild horses and burros are counting on us.


16 replies »

    • Very informative, thanks for sharing! I’m not familiar with that org. but will check them out, as they have been around for a long time.


    • THANK YOU Barbara

      Here’s something else that might be of interest:

      National Academy of Sciences Report 1982

      [On the issue of livestock competition]

      Which of these species of animals should be carried in a given area becomes one of human value or preference. Biologically, the area may be able to support 500 cattle and 500 horses, and may be carrying them. But if the weight of public opinion calls for 1,000 horses, the area can be said in this context to have an excess of 500 cattle [Important Management Decisions: What is Excess?, page 22].

      Hence, grazing by two species can increase their mutual food resources in these situations [ibid]. In a land management sense, if one species is reduced artificially to provide a maximum amount of forage for another, this could be considered a form of competition, bureaucratically imposed [ibid].

      Liked by 1 person

      • The Act does state that excess wild horses and burros can be removed BUT (bottom line) if they have no proof that there is an excess then they cannot cannot cannot legal remove a single one from their legally designated lands (HA & HMA). So every single WH&B that has been removed in the last “x” number of years without PROOF of their “excess” population was removed ILLEGALLY

        “The Wild Horse and Burro Program has not used scientifically rigorous methods to estimate the population sizes of horses and burros”

        Click to access wild-horses-report-brief-final.pdf

        Liked by 1 person

    • Stop this insanity now we the people do not consent . Leave our horses alone. They need to be protected at all costs
      Disband open grazing for cattle and sheep sinister


  1. I’m still confused here. Everyone is quiet now. I just received an email from Return to Freedom, explaining the situation at hand. On FB, The Cloud Foundation has mentioned nothing about this. What are we supposed to do now in regards to the welfare of these innocent ones? I did respond to AWHC request to contact our reps in Congress, & Senators. What do we need to do next? Need some input here plz??

    Liked by 1 person

    • National Academy of Sciences Report 1982

      [On the issue of livestock competition]

      If the 64,545 equids [herd estimates 1980-81] on BLM lands are assigned 12 AUMs each, the total for feral equids on both kinds of public lands [BLM and Forest Service] is 794,740 AUMs. Hence the ration of forage used by livestock to that of feral equids is about 23:1 [ibid].

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Divide and conquer, always worked before, still does. We need a major, unified national voice to present to Congress on behalf of our remaining wild horses and burros, and we also need their management placed entirely under a different department that has their survival and sustained viability first and foremost on our public lands. Anything less and we will be the last generation to see them alive and free.

    Liked by 2 people

    • and…in light of current events

      By Greg Walters

      Two senior Trump administration officials were once registered as lobbyists for an investment company controlled by a Soviet-born industrialist who made billions doing business with newly sanctioned Russian oligarchs.

      Makan Delrahim is now the assistant attorney general for the Antitrust Division in the Department of Justice, after rising from his original appointment as deputy White House counsel and deputy assistant to the president.

      DAVID BERNHARDT is the No. 2 official in Trump’s Department of the Interior.

      Both men registered as lobbyists in 2011 and 2012 for Access Industries, a holding company controlled by billionaire Leonard Blavatnik, according to public filings reviewed by VICE News.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I also received that email from RTF, didn’t bother to read it and and promptly unsubscribed from any more messages from them after this complete betrayal of our wild horses and burros. In my mind they simply cannot justify their actions, and the fact they are buying into the insane rhetoric that wild horses are overpopulated astounds me. It boggles the mind….and I still think that there is money involved to these groups for their actions on some level. Why else would they be partnering up with the likes of the Cattlemen’s Association??

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Although I don’t agree with use of PZP because of it’s disastrous effects on the mares,afterall it is a poisonous pesticide and disrupts nature’s biological functions of a wild horse herd, I stand with opposing the mass removal of over 20,000 wild horses when the BLM pays billions to warehouse them and jumps at any chance to sell them for slaughter. All the while subsidizing #WelfareRanchers (with more billions of our tax dollars) and allowing corporate interests to make more untaxed billions to rape and pillage our public lands for oil, minerals, mining and gas fracking.
    Give back our public billions of acres for the wild and free. This includes all wildlife, coyotes, bears, wolves, rabbits, porcupines, deer, elk and our majestic wild horses. Let nature do it’s magic. Man only destroys nature with greed. #KeepWildHorsesWild

    Liked by 1 person

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