Herds of wild horses running free across sweeping swaths of green and sage dappled land under an open sky are living symbols of the United States historic and pioneer spirit of the West. Their resilience and fight for freedom are the very moral bedrock on which this country has been built.
Wild horse protections unraveled
In 1971 Congress established the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burro Act (WFRHBA) which made it a federal crime for anyone to harass or kill wild horses or burros on federal land.
Yet with every passing year the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the agency tasked with protecting America’s last remaining wild horses, continues to use low flying helicopters to brutally stampede, capture, and remove wild horses and burros by the thousands from Western public lands. These brutal round ups cost US taxpayers millions of taxpayer dollars annually.
Families are forever ripped apart; babies often separated from their mothers, and generations of horses eradicated from their lands. The other unlucky ones are stockpiled in government holding facilities.
Those not adopted or auctioned are sentenced to a lifetime in long-term holding facilities. Many end up in the slaughter pipeline. A notorious kill buyer, Tom Davis sold 1,800 wild horses to slaughter just last year.
BLM is scapegoating wild horses for a bigger payday at a great Cost!
The BLM’s actions are not only the result of a long history of failed policies and land allocation issues, but also trace back to wealthy cattle ranchers who pay the BLM bargain prices for grazing permits on federal lands.
For every wild horse killed, a fee-paying cow is put in its place. Plain and simple, money talks and wild horses die.
Despite the FACTS, wild horses are falsely condemned
The BLM’s policies are fueled by misinformation. They have long ignored the scientific research and proven methods of long term sustainable and humane population control.
Here are some of the FALSE CLAIMS and the ACTUAL FACTS to refute them:
False Claim: Wild Horses are overrunning and ruining the range.
Fact: Over 80% of federal lands are NOT occupied by wild horses. More than 75% of federal lands is allocated to livestock, not wild horses.
False Claim: Wild horse populations are three times over the number that the land can sustain.
Fact: The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) states: "How Appropriate Management Levels (AML) are established, monitored, and adjusted by the BLM is not supported by scientific information, or amenable to adaptation with new information and environmental and social change. NAS could not identify a science-based rationale used by BLM to allocate forage and habitat resources to various uses within the constraints of protecting rangeland health and listed species and given the multiple-use mandate."
False Claim: Americans don’t care about wild horses and burros, and the only solution is slaughter.
Fact: Polls show 80% of Americansoppose horse slaughter, and nearly 3 in 4 Americans support protecting wild horses on our public lands.
False Claim: Wild horses are a feral, invasive, non-native species that don’t deserve to be on our federal lands.
Fact: Wild horses evolved on this continent. Their disappearance less than 10,000 years ago is a mere blip on the evolutionary scale of time. They migrated across the land bridge to Asia, where they thrived, were domesticated and eventually reintroduced to the Americas by the Portuguese and Spanish in the 1500s.
Solutions are possible
- Use proven PZP fertility control vaccine to reduce population growth rates.
- Create public-private partnerships to implement humane management programs.
- Adjust the artificially low and unscientific Appropriate Management Levels (AML) to accommodate current populations levels and allow for the preservation of wild horses and burros in genetically viable herds.
- Develop mechanisms to compensate ranchers for reduced use or non-use of public grazing allotments in Herd Management Areas (HMA). Compensating ranchers will be far cheaper than continuing to roundup, remove and stockpile wild horses in holding facilities.
The Pegasus Foundation supports the ongoing efforts of so many activists and wild horse conservation and advocacy groups.
Please visit these websites. They tirelessly fight to protect America’s wild horses and burros.
Watch this video to find out more about the BLM’s roundups:
TAKE ACTION TO HELP AMERICA’s LAST REMAINING ICONS!