What Cattle Production has to do With the Disappearance of Thousands of Wild Horses
A very good article that speaks to the facts of what is actually going on with the Bureau of Land Management and the wild horses in the West. ~ HfH
From: One Green Planet
The routine roundup of American wild horses is a practice that has a long and corrupt history. From the time the great West was settled, wild horses have posed a threat to agriculture, after all, large herds of horses take up land and they do like to wander into gardens and nibble on crops left out in the open. But like all species, the wild horse plays a significant role in our collective ecosystem and should not be treated as a pest, although our historic interaction with wild horses speaks differently.
In response to the rapid disappearance of wild horses, the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act (WFRHBA) was established in the U.S. in 1971. The WFRHBA designated wild horses and burros as, “living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West,” playing a major role in contributing to” to the diversity of life forms within the Nation and enrich the lives of American people.”
On these grounds, it was decided that the wild horse was to be protected from “capture, branding, harassment, or death.”
Under these provisions, the very nature of Bureau of Land Management roundups is illegal under this act, yet due to a series of reckless amendments by Congress, roundups leading to the harassment, capture, and death of thousands of horses occur every year.
According to In Defense of Animals, “roundups are physically tortuous and indiscriminate as the young, old, and pregnant are forced into a violent stampede over rocky and dangerous terrain.” Chasing groups of horses with low-flying helicopters, young horses run to a point of absolute exhaustion and many die. One particular roundup in the Calico Complex in Nevada left 83 horses dead and caused 30 mares to have spontaneous abortions.
Clearly, this is an inhumane, illegal, and incredibly unnecessary practice, yet every year, the BLM continues to sanction roundups, all for America’s greatest and favorite tradition, beef production.
Have fun while helping the spread the news about Habitat for Horses with our Facebook St Patrick’s Day Horse Photo Contest. Go to https://www.facebook.com/Habitat.for.Horses.org and click on the St Patty’s Day Photo Contest Link to find out more.