Ranchers Continue To Scapegoat Wild Horses
From: The Dodo
By: Nicole Rivard
Recently Equine Welfare Alliance, The Cloud Foundation and Wild Horse Freedom Federation released data from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on livestock for Beaver County and Iron County, Utah, showing cows and sheep outnumber wild horses 10.6:1 in these areas, despite a chorus of demands from ranchers for the removal of wild horses from the over-grazed range.
“It is irresponsible and false for Iron County commissioners or anyone to claim that the wild horses in that area are having a significant negative impact on livestock and wildlife as some local news releases have indicated,” said Bob Edwards, range scientist and 30-year veteran of the BLM. “Having been well acquainted with these areas for over 25 years as a BLM employee, it is obvious that resource degradation has been and presently is mostly caused by livestock, which have been historically allowed on these areas in excess numbers and duration.”
The release of this data comes on the heels of Friends of Animals and The Cloud Foundation filing a petition with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list North American wild horses on public lands as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) since the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act (WHBA), which was passed in 1971, has failed to protect our wild horses. Six states have already lost their wild horse populations—Missouri, Iowa, Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.