Sequester prompts call for wild horses and burros to be returned to the wild


Horseback Magazine , April 8, 2013

images-11WASHINGTON (April 8, 2013)–Last week Protect Mustangs, the California based conservation group, officially called for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to put a freeze on roundups and return all wild horses and burros, in government funded holding, to herd management areas in the West. They cited the current climate of federal economic instability as putting captive wild horses and burros at risk. As of April 7th, Protect Mustangs has not received a response from from BLM officials.

“It’s fiscal folly to roundup more wild horses and burros than they can adopt out,” explains Anne Novak, executive director for Protect Mustangs. “The roundups need to stop now. We are calling for the more than 50,000 stockpiled native wild horses and historic burros to be returned immediately to public land. We are concerned the government won’t be able to pay for their feed and care during the federal fiscal crisis. We need to be proactive to ensure their safety. If a government shutdown occurs, their only chance of survival is in the wild.”

The Weekly Standard broke the story on BLM’s $6 Mil helicopter contract for the wild horse and burro program after the sequester went into effect.

Roundups increased dramatically in 2009–the same year BLM started fast tracking energy projects with the Stimulus Act in full force. The deadly Calico Roundup and others popped up all along the Ruby Pipeline natural gas route. Protect Mustangs believes wild horses and burros are being removed from 26 million acres to avoid environmental mitigation and costly delays for the extractive industry.

Last month, in response to the BLM’s request for comments on the controversial Continental Divide-Cresta natural gas development project, Protect Mustangs called for a $50 Mil fund to mitigate environmental distress and removal of Wyoming’s wild horses.

In 2012, Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board member, Callie Hendrickson, suggested slaughtering native wild horses as a solution for the government’s holding crisis. Protect Mustangs is concerned the pro-kill faction of the BLM will jump on current federal economic instability to spin a death or slaughter sentence for captured wild horses and burros.

“Native wild horses should not be made to suffer further because of the BLM’s fiscal irresponsibility,” states Kerry Becklund, outreach director for Protect Mustangs. “Killing them is wrong. Now it’s time to return them to their wild lands. All the captive males have already been castrated so they won’t be reproducing. Overpopulation is a myth anyways.”

The BLM justifies using fertility control drugs because of the overpopulation myth. Yet cattle outnumbers wild horses at least 50 to 1 and is the source of most range damage. EPA approved “limited use pesticides” such as SpayVac®, GonaConand ZonaSta-H appear to be risky forms of fertility control. Currently the BLM is using these drugs on wild horses and burros on the range. Protect Mustangs is against using pesticides on native wild horses–especially the nonviable herds.

“Why aren’t these drugs FDA approved for domestic horses if they aren’t harmful?” asks Novak. “We are against using these drugs on mares being released back into the wild. It’s dangerous to use these drugs on nonviable herds. If the herd numbers drop then inbreeding occurs and that’s bad.”

In Wild Horses as Native North American Wildlife (Revised January 2010)  J.F.Kirkpatrick Ph.D., and Patricia M. Fazio Ph.D. wrote:

The key element in describing an animal as a native species is (1) where it originated; and (2) whether or not it co‐evolved with its habitat. Clearly, E. 6 caballus did both, here in North American. There might be arguments about “breeds,” but there are no scientific grounds for arguments about “species.”

CONTINUED – To read more at HorseBack Magazine and to comment CLICK HERE

AUTHOR: Jerry Finch
  • judye michaels

    I PRAY it will be so!!!!

    I fear the BLM would rather just “sell off” our nation’s wild horses to one of their “friends” who can “transport them to Mexican rodeos”….. i.e., slaughterhouses!

    April 9, 2013
  • Ranching Cowgirl

    What at risk of not ending up on a plate?


    Smaller Government has to happen soon or we are doomed!

    April 9, 2013
  • Jane Kartes

    At least there is something good to come out of the Sequester! Return the Mustangs to where they should be! We were throwing away billions of dollars for the idiots at the BLM to mis-manage the Mustangs and even allow some of them to go as slaughter! Why do these people still have their jobs! Cut the budget and get rid of them. Set the Mustangs free on the Land as per the Bill of 1971 written by President Nixon!

    April 9, 2013
  • Josephine Carson

    Set them free!! They are not hurting anyone!

    April 9, 2013
  • Daryl

    We all want the slaughter of the horses to stop, now notanother one to go through this horrible end. I would like to think the government would let them go, but I bet they come up with some lame idea about it all. Lets mass pray for them and get this over with .

    April 9, 2013
  • Debra Zitano

    Set Gods beautiful horses free. Don’t you know all believers of Jesus will be riding on horses in the great battle .

    April 9, 2013
  • sherriey

    don’t bet on the gov letting them go….the cattle barons and their $$ will have a say to that and the gov will follow like a beaten dog! its all about money!!!

    April 9, 2013
  • Will this madness never end? Why did they began bothering the horses anyway and whose bright idea was it? Cows are all over the place and I have nothing against any animal but why must the horses suffer for the sake of ranchers and pipelines.Turn the horses loose before Callie Hendeickson gets his/her way and kills them. How will the herds be here years from now if they are sterlized and castrated. This is insane. What can we do???

    April 10, 2013
  • Jackie

    I think they should turn all the horses loose, and then put the cattle into the holding facilities and feed them the hay that would go to the horses. The horses would be freed to live as they should, and the cattle would be in feed lots fed at tax payer expense… a fair trade in my book.

    April 10, 2013
    • Josephine Carson

      I agree with you, Jackie

      April 14, 2013
      • Daryl

        Yes return the horses to the wild and let them alone, BLM has done enough damagae to them for a life time.

        April 14, 2013
  • Denice

    I think the Cattleman’s Association greases the palms of the BLM…the BLM has never been on the up and up…they just want a weekly paycheck and don’t care how they get it. Time to stop eating BEEF for one, Like I and many many others have!!

    April 10, 2013
  • Terri Davis

    Mother Nature has never done to these animals that white man has done ! Tribal leaders don’t let the government do this ,be the voice they need ! Set them free they love there family’s as much as we do stop all horse murder in the US they are not food you run them to death and the ones that do make it you starve them and abuse them stop the curtly now

    April 15, 2013