- Posted December 17, 2012 by
Wild Horse Roundup: todays truth
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is currently removing wild horses in northern Nevada. The agency will tell you they manage protected wild horses and burros for the "welfare" of the animals. Yet they operate without any enforceable standard of humane care.
BLM has also asserted that they do not ship wild horses to slaughter, yet a recent investigation has shown that they ship to known kill-buyers. More than 1700 wild horses have gone into the hands of Tom Davis, who says he worked for the Secretary of Interior's family hauling livestock.
In the last two years BLM has received two Federal Temporary Restraining Orders (TRO's) and an Injunction to conduct at roundups. The agencies own internal investigations have revealed that the conduct alleged in court documents in fact, took place. Despite continual reassurances to the public that a humane policy is forthcoming the agency continues "business as usual" on the range.
The current Owyhee Complex roundup in Nevada has revealed wild horses run into barbed wire, repeatedly electrocuted with hotshots (including foals) and being stampeded in freezing temperatures causing the animals to literally steam to the point of obstructing visual observations.
These wild horses are being removed from western rangelands as the Wild Horse and Burro program runs a broken program full-steam ahead. At the passage of the Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act in 1971 we had 303 areas identified for management of populations that the act defined as "fast-disappearing." Populations were designated "wild" under law to be managed as "living symbols of the pioneer spirit of the west" and "integral to
the landscape." Americans thought the act protected wild horses and burros for future generations.
Today we face a tragic situation. We only have 180 areas left in the western United states that have any populations of wild horses and burros. Only 28 of those areas have populations that have sustainable genetic viability. We have more wild horses warehoused at tax-payer expense than we have left wild on the range.
Public land management favors private profiteers from big energy to livestock grazing. All of these entities turn public resource into private profit, many times subsidized by the US tax-payer.
Wild horses are being removed from public land today without so much as a humane handling policy.
Does the wild horse have a place in America's future? Or will we, as a culture, truly lose our "pioneer spirit of the west?"