By Simone Netherlands
July 4, 2017
We celebrate America’s independence and freedom today.
But this Fourth of July, America’s symbols of freedom are under attack.
The Interior Department has asked Congress to lift the ban on slaughtering our federally-protected wild horses.
The decision Congress makes will decide whether 92,000 of these American icons will live or die.
Congress is getting flooded with calls from outraged Americans,
Why? We can tell you.
It is the same reason that the Forest Service received 65.000 emails when it wanted to remove the Salt River Wild Horses from the Tonto National Forest near Phoenix.
It is a good reason.
You cannot rob Americans of something that embodies us as a people. The wild horse represents who we are as Americans in every way.
Slaughtering wild horses is like killing our American spirit.
Wild horses are not only the icon of the American West and a living remnant of the history of this great nation; but also they stand for what we as Americans care about most: FAMILY AND FREEDOM.
They are just like us.
Here's what we are saying to the Interior Department, the BLM and the Trump Administration: please do not underestimate the extent to which Americans connect with wild horses and burros. Do not underestimate the American public’s support for our iconic wild horses. And above all, do not rob the American people of this legacy that belongs to us.
The untamed spirit of the American West is alive and it should stay that way. America’s wild horses – and the public lands they live on -- are owned by all Americans, and all Americans should have a say in what happens to them.
The Interior Department's lethal plan for our wild horses is socially unacceptable. And it's unnecessary. Science tells us there is a better way - birth control.
Yet less than 1 % of the BLM budget was spent on the humane birth control vaccine, PZP. Brutality should not be proposed as a solution when responsible and humane management has not been given a fair shot.
And we'll never resolve this situation with killing. If management does not begin at reproduction, thousands of wild horses and burros can be sent to slaughter and nothing will be accomplished, except terrible cruelty and a very angry American public.
Complaining about an overpopulation problem (which is also debatable) without giving humane birth control a fair shot is like complaining that your sink is overflowing, but not turning off the faucet.
With 80% of the American public opposed to horse slaughter, we do not want or need our federal government to be in the horse slaughter business. Brutality is not the solution, science is.
We the people will accept no less than responsible and humane management that protects our wild horses on the range, wild and free. Science tells us it can be done. Society tells us it must be done.
Ancestors of our wild horses helped us fight for our freedom. Now we will fight for theirs.
Celebrate your own freedom and demand freedom for our wild horses: Join in Wild Horse Wednesday tomorrow by calling Congress and telling them #NoHorseSlaughter.
- Simone Netherlands, Founder, Salt River Wild Horse Management Group, National Spokesperson AWHC Because of the efforts of Simone and her organization the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group, with assistance from AWHC and the overwhelming support of the public, the removal of the Salt River wild horses has been prevented. The state and federal government’s have gone from considering these beloved horses to be“stray livestock” to classifying them as “watchable wildlife” worthy of protection.