By Staci-lee Sherwood as published on The Daily Kos
“The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is often referred to as the most corrupted of the agencies that fall under the Dept of Interior jurisdiction…”
…It’s a massive agency of thousands of employees charged with overseeing hundreds of millions of acres of public land. They’re also in charge of leasing for oil and gas exploration and for the livestock program. The wild horse & burro program is probably this agency’s most notorious program because of its questionable unproven statistics, lack of science based data and openly hostile attitude toward anyone that questions their policies and sources.
Over the years the wild horse & burro program should be renamed to rancher’s choice award program because of the agency’s open favoritism toward the ranching industry. They defy federal law by removing the wild horses and burros effectively stealing their land and giving it to private industry. Justification for this is done by using vague propaganda sent to uneducated media, closing off access to the public, threatening intimidation toward those that challenge them and greenwashing the truth. Here’s how they do it.
It’s eradication not a ‘gather’. It’s important to understand the psychological manipulation the Bureau of Land misManagement (BLM) uses when choosing certain words. Their wordplay is designed to make the public feel more than think when they read a press release or see a news story on tv. Let’s start with the word ‘gather’ which sounds like a group of housewives who gather at the coffee shop. The real adjective is removal and it’s a physically and psychologically brutal one for the horses and burros who have to endure it. It’s also a shocker for the people who witness it many of whom end up suffering a form of PTSD. The entire wild horse & burro program is based on false accusations, non-existent scientific data, questionable ethics of those in charge, hidden criminal backgrounds of those hired to do the dirty work and pseudo wild horse advocacy groups.
Starvation is a bold and powerful word one that conjures up images of tired, weak animals with bones showing. This is the go to word for the BLM because subconsciously people hear that and think oh poor horses we need to rescue them they have no food. Over the years there have been hundreds of images taken of wild horses on the range and only a scat few actually show a horse looking like he’s missed a few needed meals. The vast majority show healthy active horses with proper weight. A closer look reveals a nice coat, clear eyes, no visible wounds or injuries. This is hardly the image of starving desperate horses in need of rescue.
Drought is another favorite word for the BLM to pass around when needing to justify the removal, not a gather, of our wild horses and burros. Amazingly this mysterious lack of water and food never seems to be an issue for the millions of cows and sheep shuffled into the exact same range just days after the horses are removed. This miracle of sustenance has never been explained because it can’t be. This isn’t even gaslighting anymore the ranchers are too emboldened to waste time on that. They know big brother has bestowed on them a protective shield from the questioning public.
Multiple use is perhaps the most popular word among government employees because it’s not definable. Like pornography everyone has their own definition of what that is. This has always been code for hunting, drilling and mining. These activities are often deemed unacceptable by the majority of Americans on public land or in a wildlife refuge so these actions are couched in a more palatable word that no one can clearly define…’multiple use’. This term is often inserted into legislation without anyone paying attention as a backdoor to revisit after it becomes law to expand hunting, mining and drilling.
Overpopulated is another excuse the BLM throws around. The National Academy of Science said otherwise and said the BLM had no scientific basis or rationale for any of their claims. Most observers not paid off by the ranching or energy industries agree. For years numbers alluding to this overpopulation of wild horses have been put out there with no proof. The BLM knows it’s not possible to count every horse, the range is too vast. However it’s clear from those who truly have the horses and burros welfare at heart there is no overpopulation and in fact legitimate science proves they are under populated.
The inane ‘path forward’ was concocted by the Cattlemen’s Association and oil & gas companies. Their claim is the horses and burros have to follow an arbitrary ‘AML’ (appropriate management level) or end up starving and thirsty from all this lack of food. This AML is not defined by proven facts but the ranchers own agenda. They convinced a willing unethical government and con artists to point to this as the line in the sand which if crossed leads to dire consequences. Their claim is the land lacks capacity to sustain our horses and burros at current levels. It was really designed to slowly quietly exterminate all wild equine so the land could be opened up to more livestock grazing and drilling without the barrier of protected species.
Rounding out the con is the Humane Society, itself rife with fraud and corruption, and Return to freedom who either is clueless about politics or is perpetuating their own con game. All this being done at the horses and burros expense. These so called horse advocate groups have set in motion extinction and are worse than the industry folk whose agenda is at least out in the open. If you donate to the HSUS or RTF you are supporting this.
Feral or non native are the last of the buzzwords. Fossils have been found showing equines were in north America pre Ice Age then likely re-introduced several hundred years ago. One can say that white Europeans aren’t native either and perhaps we too should be removed. If you follow the premise of non native than everyone but native Americans would have to vacate the US. Regardless of when wild equines got here those that are here now were granted full legal protection in 1971.
The BLM has used these six magical words for decades to excuse away what is both ethically and legally wrong. The true description would be the BLM hires violent men with criminal backgrounds to remove America’s wild horses and burros. Despite their having legal protection they’re subjected to a variety of abuses from hotshots and whips to punches and being shot. Taken off their native range most seem to be driven straight to a rendering facility on US soil or taken to nearby friendly tribal land to be held until they are taken across the border for slaughter than shipped to Europe and Asia.
This is done so the few companies the BLM hires, along with complicit and culpable government staff, can make millions much of which is probably not even taxed. Say that to the public and you get a backlash. Tell the public the feral overpopulated horses and burros are starving, sickly and thirsty while damaging the public lands so they are being gathered for their own good and kept at holding facilities until adopted and you have support…(CONTINUED)
Categories: Horse News, Horse Slaughter, Wild Burros, Wild Horses/Mustangs
Finally, a writer who is not afraid to speak the horrible truth. Many have done so before, but this is here and now and should be sent to every possible politician, news media, and friend and family as we can. Thank you for posting this, R.T.
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The whole reason I started my blog so I could write what needed to be said and if it offended people oh well….the truth often does
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Stacie-Lee Sherwood has spoken the truth for a lot of different subjects, GG. Sad to say – this article was written last January & reading the comments after it – well, they are typical. feral pests, non-native etc etc etc. There were a few that seemed to know & understand the facts, but as usual – many rants.
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I posted this on my blog and it got a lot of play. I have posted a few things on Daily Kos but the people who comment the most are the know-it-alls who won’t consider they might be wrong. many of my comments were deleted because, like fb, someone complained (when confronted with the truth). if the Daily Kos readers think they’re so enlightened they are quite misguided in many areas. People just don’t want to admit the truth.
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Great & true article. You’ve got to be a real psycho to treat any animal like they abuse OUR Wild Horses & Burros. Never dreamt I’d see this kind of heinous treatment in our country! Am horrified! More people need to contact their congressman and use strong language to get the point across that we as Americans want these atrocities stopped and OUR horses released back to their LEGAL lands!!
We know our gov. is complicit in letting this happen and should be held accountable especially Deb Haaland [Sec. of Interior] Her job is to have rein over these agencies BLM etc. Lay most of the blame at her feet for not fighting to save OUR Wildlife!!!!
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Sadly it is true and how anyone can see this and not think serial abuser/killer boggles mind.
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People are heartless and too lazy to contact their congressman to help stop these atrocities Maybe the more people helping might help their plight!
Wild Horses & Burros belong to the American people as well as OUR public lands! We seem to be powerless to stop the abuse and slaughter! OUR gov. needs to know how much we oppose what is done to both. Ranchers are running roughshod over the land
that legally belongs to the horses and exterminating them helped by the BLM and other agencies that are supposed to protect them!!
All that is happening right now is illegal, but not one person is doing anything about it! Wild Horses & Burros are federally protected, the gov. should be held accountable for these atrocities! Please contact your congressmen telling them in strong language that you oppose the inhumane treatment of OUR animals and want if stopped immediately! Contacting them is so import. Talking about it doesn’t help.
BLM claim land is degraded by the horses, but everyone knows and can prove it’s the cattle. BLM states that there isn’t enough foliage for horses to consume, but there sure is enough for cattle!! The cattle must roam instead of staying basically in one area because they pull the grass up by the roots to eat. This means it will take so much longer to regrow the area than it would if horses were eating in the same area
Not only are the Horses & burros suffering and dying at the hands of killers, but the American people are footing the bill for this. We are paying millions of dollars to assist in these sick acts. Warehousing horses’ costs millions instead of free roaming horses & burros that have fended for themselves for years! This costing the taxpayers nothing. We are paying the helicopter people to torture horses by running them for miles to the site of no return. We are paying the” handlers” to abuse all the animals. We are subsidizing ranchers by millions. They are already rich, but our hard-earned money goes to help them get richer.
This should make your blood boil. We have more important uses for our money than help kill OUR beloved horses & burros!!
BLM also states that there are too many horses on the land, but fact is there are millions MORE cattle.
Public lands are NOT to be used for monetary gain to private citizens, but that is exactly what is going on and has been for years!
If you have a conscience and love animals, you will help these wonderful guys. Write, call, e-mail your congressman over and over!!
WE MUST STOP THIS ANNILATION OF WILD HORSES & BURROS AND ALL WILDLIFE!!!! PLEASE HELP!!
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