by William E. Simpson II as published on ValueWalk
American Wild Horses Are Arguably Worse-Off Today
A recent article at Reason, titled ‘Predictably, Wild Horses Are Still Suffering Due to Federal Slaughter Ban’ stated that, “Turns out that basing animal rights policy on the strong feelings of animal rights activists is not working out so well for the animals themselves”.
While the title of the article seems to imply that America’s wild horses would be better off if there was no ban on slaughter, the statement about the failure of emotionally driven efforts of activists is debatably correct.
The economic argument against slaughter is straight forward and compelling; each wild horse in worth $72,000.00 in a wildfire abatement role. And that thesis is clearly made in a 2-part feature series in the Medford Mail Tribune titled: ‘What is the value of a wild horse’; Part-1, and Part-2
This leaves us with the arguments around the obsolete and misguided policies driving the mismanagement of American wild horses.
After decades of emotionally-driven efforts and tens of $-millions of donation dollars spent, America’s wild horses are arguably worse-off today than anytime in the past 30-years.
It’s is truly sad to see the current plight of America’s wild horses and burros today, which have suffered setback after setback since they were protected in 1971 by the Wild Burro & Horse Protection Act.
In the preamble to the Act, Congress states:
“Congress finds and declares that wild free-roaming horses and burros are living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West; that they contribute to the diversity of life forms within the Nation and enrich the lives of the American people; and that these horses and burros are fast disappearing from the American scene. It is the policy of Congress that wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death; and to accomplish this they are to be considered in the area where presently found, as an integral part of the natural system of the public lands.”
As we examine the history of wild horse management since the Act was codified by Congress, we clearly find that there has been government malfeasance in the caring for wild horses and burros under the Act.
Some of the most important intentions of the Act were stated with these words:
“wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death”, as well as;
“as an integral part of the natural system of the public lands.”
Wild horse advocates chasing horses around the landscape with compressed-gas-powered firearms and shooting them with heavy darts filled with chemicals is technically ‘harassing’ wild horses and arguably illegal under the 1971 Act!
Condoning such conduct against wild horses, even as a so-called band-aid, is engaging in willful ignorance and ignoring the solution that is truly the best one for the horses.
It’s also shocking to learn that people working for and at the Bureau of Land Management (‘BLM’) and United States Forest Service (‘USFS’) have either condoned (by inaction) or participated in deeds that are diametrically opposed to the foregoing law, and have allowed or engaged in the ‘capture, branding, harassment and death’ of wild horses and burros. The evidence is staggeringly clear and would convict anyone of such violations in any just court of law.
During roundups, wild horses (and burros) are driven beyond their physical abilities, in many cases, some are dying from stress during or after the roundups. Foals literally run their hooves off, and some can’t keep up and are lost, left behind for predators. Pregnant mares abort their unborn, some die from shock out on the range, some of these atrocities are concealed from the public.
Some atrocities are not, such as this BLM contractor helicopter ramming a fleeing burro, and a BLM contractor beating and punching a helpless little burro (the contractor was never prosecuted); VIDEO EVIDENCE:
Having seen just this one video of many available, it’s no wonder that many people become emotionally driven to stop what may now be widespread abusive tactics in wild horse and burro management…(CONTINUED)