The BLM Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board is meeting on July 9 -11 in Boise, Idaho. In recent years, the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program has gone from bad to worse, and the special interest agenda of achieving the virtual extinction of wild free-roaming horses and burros for the benefit of subsidized livestock grazing has steadily gained ground.
Here are some of the issues facing our wild horses and burros now:
A cattle industry plan – endorsed by the Humane Society of the United States, ASPCA, and Return to Freedom – that would result in the virtual elimination of wild free-roaming horses and burros from public lands over the next ten years.
BLM pursuit of the cruel and invasive ovariectomy via colpotomy experiments on wild mares in Oregon despite a warning from the National Academy of Sciences that the procedure was “inadvisable for field application” due to risk of bleeding and infection, the decision by two major research institutions to disassociate with the project, and federal lawsuits that have stopped the project in its tracks twice before.
Roundup abuses including violations of animal welfare guidelines at the roundups themselves, use of emergency excuse to conduct roundups without public input or disclosure, and abuse of the euthanasia protocols to kill horses with recoverable, non-fatal condition.
Inhumane conditions in holding facilities, such as the Hines Corrals in Oregon, resulting in high death rates of captured horses, and heartless policies that now prohibit the placement of special needs horses, such as the mare Elsa and her rare twins, with Skydog Sanctuary.
Turning the reins of public lands management over to the livestock industry, with BLM staff instructed to no longer enforce grazing restrictions as well as the firing of whistleblowers who protest these policies.
The Advisory Board is supposed to represent all stakeholders. The largest stakeholder is the public, which overwhelmingly supports the protection and humane management of wild horses on public lands, but is often left out of policymaking on the wild and burro horse issue.
There are alternatives to more massive removals and barbaric sterilization surgeries that rip the ovaries out of wild mares. Foremost is committing more funding to comprehensive PZP fertility control programs and reducing private livestock grazing on public lands.
What You Can Do
1. Attend the meeting in Boise: Details here.
2. If you can't attend, submit your comments to address:firstname.lastname@example.org Please include “Advisory Board Comment” in the subject line of the email.
(Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time.)
Thank you for using your voice to speak up for our wild horses and burros.