Friday, November 27, 2009

Wild Horses: The Fight for Their Freedom

This weekend wild horse supporters have something to be thankful for.
On 11/23 In Defense of Animals and Craig Downer brought a lawsuit against the Bureau of Land Management to stop the Calico Complex Roundup in Nevada, scheduled to start 12/1. The Department of Justice delayed the start of the roundup until December 28, granting time for the lawsuit to have an effect, unlike the too short 2 day hold on the Pryor Mountain Roundup earlier this fall. Read here for more on this:

Also, now more than 155 organizations, scientists and celebrities have signed the new Unified Letter calling for a moratorium on all wild horses roundups. You can go the the Cloud Foundation page and send a letter to your representatives and to President Obama.

Here is a petition you can sign online to support the moratoriums on roundups:

All of this seems to be coming to a peak of activity here as we enter the last few weeks of the year. With the BLM rounding up 12,000 horses this year, already having taken 1000 wild horses from Wyoming last month, continuing the pressure on our representatives is vital. The BLM is like a juggernaut and at this point, legal action and legislation seems the only way to stop their destructive trend. With Secretary of the Interior issuing new plans for sterilized "salazoos" and removing more and more horses, the demise of the free roaming wild herds that represent all that is best in our Western Heritage may soon be a thing of the past if we do not continue to act.

This Thanksgiving weekend, I am so grateful for all of the wild horses advocates who are fighting daily on the front lines to save our wild horses. I am also grateful to all of you who love the wild horses and take precious time from your busy days to keep writing, emailing and calling.

Thank you very much and remember your efforts DO make a big difference.

Carol Walker

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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Wild Horses: Call for a Moratorium on Roundups

On October 7, Ken Salazar announced a disastrous new plan for managing wild horses while admitting the deficiencies in the current management of the Bureau of Land Management's Wild Horse and Burro Program. His new plan, heralded as salvation for wild horses by some, would actually spell the complete destruction of wild horses in this country. It would continue the removal of wild horses from the lands that were set aside for their use in 1971 with the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act.

With already 37,000 wild horses in holding facilities, more than are left in the wild, the Bureau of Land Management began an aggressive roundup campaign with their new funding on October 1, planning to in one year remove 12,000 more horses from their homes and families, zeroing out herd areas and bringing the numbers down in many others to impossible to sustain as genetically viable. Salazar's plan includes sterilized herds, moving horses in holding to the East and Midwest, despite having 19 million acres here in the West that are already public lands designated by Congress as protected wild horse habitat.

Part of his plan would also reduce the requirements for adopters of wild horse, thus increasing the likelihood of their purchase by killer buyers.

Shortsighted people who have endorsed this plan fail to see that removing horses from the wild, destroying their families and creating sterilized herds in captive parks is taking the very essence that we revere and admire about the wild horse - his Independence, freedom and very wildness. With no more horses left on public lands, in 20 years we shall see the end of this American Icon.

Having spent time over the past six years following wild horse herds in CO, WY and MT, and also bearing witness to the roundups and their cruel aftermaths, I would like to see the wild horses roaming free on our public lands, under new management. Instead of being targeted for extinction, these precious living symbols of our heritage deserve to be protected, and allowed to live out their lives in their homes in the West.

In Defense of Animals has an action plan with a web form for contacting President Obama, to impose a moratorium on roundups and to return the horses in holding to the range as well as a form letter to send to your Senators in support of the Roam Act:

The Cloud Foundation has an online petition for a moratorium on roundups that you can sign and pass along to others to sign:

This is a critical time in our history for wild horses, so please take action now.
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