Letter: Are we facing slaughter of America's wild horse and burro population?

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Joy Bradley, Roanoke Times

The fate of America's wild horses and burros will be determined when Congress returns from summer recess this month. Prior to the recess, the House approved two pro-horse slaughter measures- a bill which does allow federal funding for U.S. Department of Agriculture inspections of slaughter plants and a bill which allows the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to "KILL or SELL without limitations" (meaning send to slaughter) roughly 96,000 wild horses and burros on the range and in holding facilities.

Each of us must do our part to ensure that these bills never become law!

We the people do have a voice, and we must use it. A poll taken by the American Wild Horse Campaign found that 80 percent of Americans are against horse slaughter. We must let our representatives  know how we feel about the slaughter of our wild horses!

Wild horses on the range have long been an issue for cattle and sheep ranchers and other vested interests-- they want the horses gone so they can take over all of our public lands for their use.

So far, 22.2 million acres set aside in 1971 for wild horses have been given over to the ranchers. The BLM charges ranchers $1.87 per head of cattle per month, but charges tax payers $20.00 per wild horse per month. Twelve million cattle vs. 320,580 horses now graze on public lands.

The BLM conducts frequent inhumane helicopter roundups called "gathers," where family herds are disrupted and captured horses are put in holding pens for indefinite confinement - this compares to life in a concentration camp for these animals. We adopted two of four mustang foals left by the BLM to die when their herd was captured - this happens all the time--

Although PZP, an effective equine birth control, is available, the BLM refuses to use it and instead has created this impending disaster! PLEASE call and write Congress!

American Wild Horse Campaign makes it easy to find your representatives' contact information!

Originally posted by Roanoke Times