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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