Davis, CA (January 3, 2017) . . . The nation’s leading wild horse advocacy organization, The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC), today blasted the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for continuing cruel and inhumane wild horses and burro roundups despite a scathing report by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) that characterized the agency’s management practices as “expensive and unproductive for the BLM and the public it serves.”
According to a recently-discovered schedule, the agency intends to use helicopters to round up nearly 800 wild horses from Herd Management Areas (HMA) in Nevada and Utah over the next two months. The new roundups follow the BLM’s capture and removal of more than 1,500 wild horses from the range in November/December 2016.
The captured horses will be transported to BLM holding pens, where they join over 45,000 other warehoused mustangs and burros.
“The BLM continues to cruelly round up and remove wild horses and burros from their homes on the range and stockpile them in feedlot holding pens, contrary to scientific recommendations and public opinion, which demands more humane treatment of these national icons,” said Suzanne Roy, Executive Director of AWHPC. “Meanwhile, the agency continues to underutilize humane birth control as an alternative to cruel and costly roundups.”
Roy noted that the agency is catapulting the wild horse and burro program toward disaster by stockpiling tens of thousands of wild horses and burros, apparently gambling that the new Congress and Administration will lift the ban on slaughtering captured wild horses and burros. However, 80 percent of Americans oppose horse slaughter while nearly 3 in 4 support protecting wild horses on our public lands.
“We are not going to ‘make America great again’ by slaughtering our national symbols of freedom,” she continued. “The American public will not stand for the mass killing of America’s iconic mustangs and burros.”
The BLM roundup of wild horses from Utah’s Frisco HMA begins today. Other roundups are planned this month for Utah in the Cedar Mountain and Sulphur Herd Management Areas (HMAs), and in Nevada in the Reveille HMA. Last month, the BLM rounded up and removed over 1, 400 wild horses from the Owyhee Complex and 74 horses from the Eagle and Silver King Herd Management Areas (HMAs) in Nevada.
AWHPC also charged the BLM with “willful misleading of the public” by claiming that wild horses are overpopulating the West, noting:
·Wild horses are present on just 17 percent of BLM rangelands available for livestock grazing. (26.9 of 155 million acres).
·Approximately 80 percent of available forage in wild horse habitat is allocated to livestock, not wild horses, meaning that livestock still outnumber wild horses on this small amount of public land where wild horse are present.
·The BLM’s overpopulation claims are based on the agency’s self-imposed population limits (misleadingly called “appropriate” management levels). However, the NAS found that these population limits lack a “science-based rationale” and “are not transparent to stakeholders, supported by scientific information, or amenable to adaptation.”
·The BLM’s national population limit for wild horses and burros is 18,000 – 26,700. That’s the number of wild horses that existed in 1971 when Congress passed a law to protect them because they were “fast disappearing.”
The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC) is dedicated to defending America’s wild horses and burros to protect their freedom, preserve their habitat, and promote humane standards of treatment. AWHPC’s mission is endorsed by a coalition of more than 60 horse advocacy, public interest, and conservation organizations.