If you’ve looked at our Facebook page, or any other page that deals with equine advocacy, you most likely have heard that the BLM wants to kill 45,000 mustangs that are currently in holding pens. A number of people have asked about this, so here is the issue in a nutshell.
BLM is a corrupt institution.
First off, it needs to be acknowledged publicly that the BLM is a corrupt institution that supports the cattle ranchers. They have allowed privately-owned cattle to graze on over 80% of federally protected land, and limit the horses’ area to about 18%. Cattle actually OUTNUMBER horses on FEDERAL lands by 50:1. These cattle ranchers graze their cows on these lands because they can pay about $2- $4/acre to graze, whereas it would cost them upward of $14 to graze their cattle on private lands.
The BLM also is in the pocket of big oil companies, which wants to frack on federal lands as well. The horses are currently living on land that they want to frack. Again, these are federally protected lands, but private oil companies are allowed to come in, drive off the wildlife, then frack the lands. All at taxpayer expense.
US Taxpayers fund animal cruelty.
So the BLM, against the advice of the National Academy of Sciences (see report here), Humane Society of the United States, Wild Horse Preservation, Cloud Foundation, Return to Freedom, and pretty much ANY sane group out there, decided about 10 years ago that they would get these horses off of the range so cattle could take their place. They did this through roundups, and these roundups ended up killing a great deal of horses. Those who survived were put into small pens and fed. There was no training, no working with any of these horses. They have no shade or any other way to get away from the elements, whether it be 110+ degrees or a raging snowstorm. In the wild, they would find trees, rocks, etc., but they cannot do that in a flat pen. They are given no medical care. These roundups and keeping these horses cost taxpayers $77 million per year. That’s right, $77 million per year.
BLM ignores science.
The stupid thing is that these roundups did the exact OPPOSITE of what the BLM intended, which is ironic since that is exactly what all of those organizations told them would happen! They did not do anything to stop the mares left in the wild from breeding, so now we actually have MORE horses than when the BLM first started the roundups. For some reason, the BLM REFUSES to actually take advantage of PZP, which is a birth control that they can dart into the mares, which is 80%+ effective, which gets more effective as the mares age, and can actually keep the mares healthier as they live longer (not giving birth every year will do that). It costs $20 per dart. It would cost the BLM almost nothing to use what is widely accepted and used amongst private rescues that care for mustangs. It works. The BLM would rather squander taxpayer dollars.
BLM mismanagement is rampant and unchecked.
Last month, the BLM outlined a plan to sterilize mares in the wild by basically slicing them open and performing hysterectomies in the wild. It would have been more humane, really, to just kill them. They just this week said that they wouldn’t do that, but now have said that they want to kill the 44,000 horses in captivity because they are not adoptable. That in and of itself is laughable, as the BLM does a HORRIBLE job of working to adopt out its horses- only 1,700 horses were adopted last year. There is no market for wild horses- because they’re wild. They should be allowed to stay on the range. You know how much it costs an American taxpayer to keep a wild horse out on the range? Zero.
The BLM has long-standing issues with corruption and how it handles the horses it is supposed to protect. It purposefully tried to railroad Madeline Picken’s mustang sanctuary, while at the same time knowingly selling over 1,800 horses to slaughter. It refuses to abide by any knowledgeable agency and proceeds to creates even more issues.
Perhaps the truth is that the BLM is upset over its lack of budget, and threatening to kill these horses is a desire for increased funds. But who wants to fund a corrupt organization that answers only to cattle ranchers and oil companies? Who do we complain to at the government about corruption, when it’s our government that is corrupt?
How can we stop the BLM from killing wild horses?
Contact Your Representatives: Write, call and tweet your representatives. Tell them that this is unacceptable. Complaining and whining to each other will not change things; speak up to make your government accountable. We suggest writing, calling and tweeting once a week; this will keep the issue relevant and will prevent your representatives from conveniently forgetting that the government institution that was created to help protect our nation’s wildlife is what is actually destroying it.
Please join us in being the voice for the voiceless!
Email the BLM Advisory Panel: Here are the email addresses of those who need to know that you, a taxpayer and horse advocate, will not sit by and watch our Mustangs and burros be destroyed. Take 15 minutes tonight and write to express your outrage (professionally – angry words fall on deaf ears).
Email the BLM Advisory Board ASAP at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Email the bloody-minded Advisory Board INDIVIDUALLY:
June Sewing: email@example.com
Fred Woehl: firstname.lastname@example.org
Robert Cope: email@example.com
Julie Weikle: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jennifer Sall: email@example.com
Sue McDonnell: firstname.lastname@example.org
Steven Yardley: email@example.com
Ben Masters: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please thank Ginger Kathrens (The Cloud Foundation), for being the ONLY vote against killing the horses and for standing strong in the face of such complete and utter disregard for our wild horses and burros: Info@thecloudfoundation.org.
Tell Dean Bolstad (Head of the BLM) what you think: email@example.com
Then call Sally Jewell, Secretary of the Interior and Dean’s boss at (202) 208-3100