The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has released their plan for the “management,” aka the capture, sale, and slaughter, of American wild horses and burros, and as one might expect from the BLM based on their history, these plans are extreme and dangerous for the survival of these majestic creatures.
The plans include: the removal of 50,000 wild horses and burros from the range, the mass killing or sale for slaughter of 100,000 wild horses and burros, including those who have already been captured and are in “holding facilities,” and the mass sterilization of wild horses and burros who are not captured, a practice that is extremely dangerous for the natural behaviors of wild herds, who are protected under federal law.
The plan would cut wild horse and burro populations to a shockingly low 27,000; ironically, the same number that existed in 1971 when Congress set measures to protect the dying species. These plans are so outrageous that on the 14 million acres of land managed by the BLM in New Mexico, only 83 wild horses will be allowed.
Suzanne Roy, Executive Director at American Wild Horse Campaign, remains somewhat optimistic, stating, “BLM, the agency whose terrible mismanagement of this program has brought us to this place, is now proposing more bad ideas, including mass roundup and slaughter to cover for their incompetence … Rest assured, this plan will meet with strong opposition from the horse welfare and wild horse advocacy communities, which came together several months ago to produce a Unified Statement for humane and sustainable wild horse and burro management, signed by more than 100 organizations throughout the country.”
Wild horses and burros, herbivores who coexist peacefully even with grazing cattle and humans, are routinely targeted by the BLM and chased down by helicopters to be taken to “holding facilities” where they will wait indefinitely before being put on the auction block to be sold, slaughtered, and eaten in countries around the world. These actions by the BLM are largely driven by special interests, i.e. cattle ranches and Big Meat and Dairy, and if these mass killings continue, America’s wild horses, our great symbol of freedom in the Wild West, will soon become extinct.
You can help America’s wild horses and burros in several ways. For starters, spread awareness of the issues by talking to your friends and family and sharing posts like this one on social media. You can also join and donate to groups advocating for wild horses. To learn more about the serious issues at hand and how you can become involved in saving America’s equines, visit the American Wild Horse Campaign website here.