July 27, 2016
Each year, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) uses helicopters to stampede, capture and remove thousands of federally protected wild horses and burros from their homes on the range.
The roundups are brutal events that force wild horses and burros to run for miles over rugged high desert terrain, frequently in extreme temperatures. In summer, tiny foals and elderly horses are stampeded along with the fit; in winter, heavily pregnant mares are forced to run for their lives creating trauma and stress that often causes them to abort their unborn foals.
Photo by Mike Lorden
The moment a wild horse or burro hits the trap, he or she loses the two things most important to them: their freedom and their families. Mares are forcibly separated from their stallions; foals are torn from their mothers. They are loaded onto trailers and driven from their homeland. Many will never see each other again.
Some horses die as a result of the roundups, often suffering from broken necks and other traumatic injuries. Many more will die in the holding facilities in the days and months after capture.
This summer, the BLM will hold a series of public meetings on the use of helicopters and other motorized vehicles to manage wild horses and burros. The meetings are required by the Federal Lands Policy and Management Act of 1976, which states:
“Sec. 9. [16 U.S.C. 1338a] In administering this Act, the Secretary may use or contract for the use of helicopters or, for the purpose of transporting captured animals, motor vehicles. Such use shall be undertaken only after a public hearing and under the direct supervision of the Secretary or of a duly authorized official or employee of the Department. .. Such use shall be in accordance with humane procedures prescribed by the Secretary…”
“The public hearing is perhaps the most widespread venue for public participation in the United States.”
These public hearings provide an opportunity for the public to weigh in on our government’s wild horse management policy -- Please act today to demonstrate public support for humane treatment and protection of our wild horses by signing our petitions below! Your petition signatures will be hand delivered at the hearings!
· In Nevada, a state in which officials want to remove 4,000 wild horses from public lands, please join us in calling for the use of humane birth control as an alternative to cruel roundups and use of helicopters only as a last resort ; and
· In Colorado, join us in supporting the BLM’s progress in eliminating helicopter roundups and implementing humane birth control programs to keep wild horses wild and free on the range in most of the state’s Herd Management Areas.
The BLM is required by law to hear from WE THE PEOPLE once a year at hearings on helicopter roundups. Don’t miss this opportunity to stand up for America’s wild horses and burros, demand better policies and stand up for good policies when implemented by our government!