Management Does NOT Equal Extinction

The Texas Humane Legislation Network calls for a rebuttal of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) recent report to Congress, submitted under the guise of achieving an “appropriate management level.” With this inhumane and half-baked plan, we believe BLM is shirking its duties to preserve and sustainably manage wild equines, for the reasons outlined below.

The devil is in the details. And a close look at BLM’s proposal—based upon no factual evidence supporting BLM’s claim that horses are overpopulating or destroying range ecology—reveals it is not only extremely inhumane but would thrash wild horse numbers to unsustainable levels. All for the sake designating more public lands to ranches. That BLM did not release the proposal to the public, and incorrectly refers to the proposed killing of horses as “euthanasia,” only underscores just how merciless BLM knows its proposal to be.

A few of BLM’s recommendations to Congress include:

  • Killing 10,000 wild horses and burros
  • Massive roundups of 50,000 wild horses and burros currently in our public lands
  • Sterilizing 80% of the wild horses and burros that remain
  • Removing limitations on sale of wild horses and burros, exposing them to risk of sale to slaughter

In short, the proposal would reduce the number of wild horses and burros to just 27,000—the same number that prompted the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act because America’s wild equines were “fast disappearing from the West.”

Not that BLM’s proposal is surprising—since 1971, when the above-mentioned Act was passed to protect horses and their rangelands, BLM has done away with 42% of public land designated for wild horses and burros. And should we mention the chasing down of horses with helicopters and penning them in inhumane holding facilities?

There are many viable alternativesto BLM’s list of recommendations: implementing reversible fertility control in targeted herds; returning wild equines from expensive government holding facilities to their ranges; adjusting population targets to ensure genetically viable numbers; and enabling more successful public-private partnerships for improved herd and rangeland stewardship.

Want to join us and help make some noise for horses in Congress? Contact your representatives and let them know that BLM’s plan clearly curtsies to special interests and that, for the above reasons, you believe horses and burros deserve so much more than what BLM has proposed.


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