Internal BLM memo discusses wild horses options

So called “mercy killings” and sterilization of wild horses on the range is strictly forbidden by the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, as pointed out in the article below by Cloud Foundation executive director Ginger Kathrens. Yet that is exactly what the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Division Chief Joan Guilfoyle strongly suggests in a 3 page internal memo. Read the memo for yourself here. Ms Guilfoyle claims the lack of budgeted money will cause the department’s insolvency to keep placing more horses in holding pens. So the best alternatives in her mind are to sterilize and euthanize? Thanks must be given to Debbie Coffey, Director of Wild Horse Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation for her research on this. ~ HfH

By: Scott Sonner

Internal US memo shows troubled wild-horse management

A Bureau of Land Management Holding Facility...too many horses so lets sterilize and euthanize the one's out free? Outrageous.

A Bureau of Land Management Holding Facility…too many horses so lets sterilize and euthanize the one’s out free? Outrageous.

The head of the U.S. government’s $70 million wild-horse management program warned last summer that it is headed for financial collapse unless “drastic changes” are made in the decades-old roundup policy she said could be setting U.S. rangeland-improvement goals back 20 years.

In a strongly worded internal memo to an assistant director of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Wild Horse and Burro Division Chief Joan Guilfoyle recommended suspending all roundups until thousands of mustangs currently in federal corrals are sold or adopted.

Guilfoyle also said sterilization should be considered, and she recommended for the first time euthanizing wild horses on the range “as an act of mercy if animals decline to near-death condition as a result of declining water and forage resources.”

Those are among the few realistic alternatives given a crippling combination of congressional budget cuts, spiraling costs, lingering drought, a record 49,000 mustangs in long- and short-term holding, and an on-range population that doubles every four years and is expected to surpass 60,000 in 2015, Guilfoyle said.

It’s “nearing the point of financial insolvency due to undesirable trends in every aspect of the program,” she said in the August memo to Greg Shoop, assistant director for renewable resources and planning.

“Drastic changes in course are mandatory to remain financially solvent and reverse trends” undermining the Bureau of Land Management’s goals, she wrote. “Considering the circumstances, on-range management goals may not be achieved for another 20 years.”

Labeled “Internal Working Document,” the Texas-based Wild Horse Freedom Federation obtained the memo under the Freedom of Information Act and first posted it on its website Wednesday. The Associated Press also independently obtained a copy Wednesday but couldn’t confirm its authenticity until Friday.

Bureau of Land Management spokesman Tom Gorey said it was a “preliminary discussion document” produced in “recognition of the tight fiscal climate” and based on projections Congress would cut more from the agency’s budget than it ended up doing last fall.

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  • ClipClopToday

    The drastic changes that are needed are to clean out the current management.. totally.. and hire a group that knows how to market American Made quality horses! Not this bunch that only knows how to push them as unwanted, non trainable, useless rodent type horses.. The BLM is so very mismanaged but money grubbers who are sinking themselves.

    February 23, 2014
  • Sue

    The ignorance of people saddens me. And to top it all, they are in charge!

    February 23, 2014
  • karen

    Don’t you think for one second that Musteak isn’t going to be in your hamburger once the killing starts. The ranchers have planned that one since the get go and it is just a matter of time. Even HSUS with all their power and millions of dollars cannot find homes for 50,000 wild horses. It’s all about the beef and money. Business as usual. Those wild horses might as well be branded with dollar signs.

    February 23, 2014
  • Outrageous is the word , they are out of their Damn minds Mercy killings??? the only mercy killings that should apply is the for the ones who think that they are truly God Like , let there be no mistake , these people are truly nuts and need help !!!!

    February 23, 2014
  • Callie1983

    Ssdly, this is not new nor is it a surprise. We have known for years that the Wild Horses have been being sent to Mexico; they appear as ‘Geldings’ on the Export report issued weekly by NASS.

    February 23, 2014
  • Thanks for sharing this Jerry, we were rather shocked at the reach that the article had from the Washington Post to the Houston Chronicle…but be advised, this is only one small piece of a very big and ugly puzzle that is the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro program.

    I assure you, there is more to follow!!!

    February 24, 2014