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Tell Nevada: Wild horses ARE wildlife "“ let them have water!

April 28, 2011 | Free-Living Animals / Take Action / Horses / Miscellaneous

Oppose AB 329

A bill that has reached the Nevada State Senate seeks to re-define the word "wildlife," stripping protections for wild horses and burros, and eliminating any mandate that allows them... water.

Merriam-Webster defines wildlife as follows: living things and especially mammals, birds, and fishes that are neither human nor domesticated.

But Nevada lawmakers have introduced AB 329, which seeks to exclude wild horses and burros from that definition in the context of water resources:

As used in this title, unless the context otherwise requires, "wildlife" means any wild mammal, wild bird, fish, reptile, amphibian, mollusk or crustacean found naturally in a wild state, whether indigenous to Nevada or not and whether raised in captivity or not. The term does not include any wild horse or burro.

The livestock industry would have you believe that there are "too many" wild horses. The fact is, cattle ranches usurp land and water to support more than twenty times as many cattle as there are wild horses.1

Nevada has employed some despicable techniques to get rid of wild horses and protect the profits of cattle ranching. Wild horses have been fenced out of water sources, rounded up via helicopter, killed, and sterilized. The new plan will allow ranchers to legally "thirst" the horses out.

It's time for this self-serving nonsense to stop. Please contact the following office holders and tell them that wild horses and burros must not be excluded from any protections afforded to wildlife. Tell your legislators to oppose AB 329:

Nevada's Governor Sandoval
Contact online
Phone: (775) 684-5670

Members of the Nevada senate:
Individual Senators:
Contact online

AB 329 has been referred to Committee on Natural Resources. Members of that committee are:

Senator Mark Manendo Email (775) 684-6503
Senator David Parks Email (775) 684-6504
Senator John Jay Lee Email (775) 684-1424
Senator Dean Rhoads Email (775) 684-1447
Senator Michael Roberson Email (775) 684-1481

1- Estimate of head of cattle in NV vs. estimate of number of wild horses


Tell NV legislators that you will not go to NV for any reason (VEGAS) until this issue is resolved. We will spend our money where we want to and we will not spend our tourism dollars in a state where OUR wild horses and burros are denied water. Period.

About 200 years ago, 3 million wild horses roamed most of the North American continent, in evident harmony with the rest of the biocommunity. These horses and burros belong on the land; they have an established role in the bio-community of the continent. The states seem to feel (given the weakness of Salazar on federal protections for free-living animals) that they can take control for the convenience of industries. Push back; and let's insist on real change to secure an Interior Department that doesn't champion commerce.

Any person doing this would rightly be charged with felony cruelty to animals. Why aren't these "people"?

How could you not let the horses have water!

I think a petition to boycot Vegas should be started. If you can't take care of the wild horses then "we" can no longer support your industry. I myself will gladly give up the three time a year trips that my husband and I take to Vegas along with about 15 friends of ours. I would rather spend the money on those beautiful innocent animals rather than some overpriced hotel, dinner, and show tickets. Vegas has pretty muched priced themselves out of the middle class anyways. Maybe they are trying to eliminate "us" as well? I've got news for you Nevada without "us" Vegas will surely suffer. There is an entire world full of people that adore animals and would do anything for them, like boycot Vegas until the state can prove that they are capable and willing to care for these creatures that were here long before we were. I'm kind of feeling like Atlantic City anyways this year. By the way why don't you look up the definition of animal cruelty.....I don't think Nevada wants to be the poster child for animal cruelty do they?

I agree with Mary K....The very thought that Nevada would consider that horses and burros are NOT wildlife is OUTRAGEOUS!! I have a ‘thought’ myself. Lets try this … All Nevada Senators and Cattle Ranchers, be taken out to the desert…. NO WATER…NO SHADE and kept from ANY access to the water or shade, for… lets say 3 days!!! All this for the mighty dollar so the ranchers and Senators can buy more stuff!! It all boils down to pure GREED. We need to get back to basics and not worry about our big homes and fancy cars at the expense of other innocent LIVING creatures. Just because they can't speak doesn't mean you can treat them inhumanely!!!

I think it's a "CRIME" what there doing to our horses on that Land that land belongs to the tax payers of the U.S.A. and to take our money and chase those horses to keep them from a drink of water. I would think that they could come up with a better idea to spend money than that, it must be costing each taxpayer per day to use a helicopter. Some times I've got to wonder whats going on!!!!! Jay

Most people do not realize that although there were no horses in North America when Columbus arrived in 1492, Equids (horses) evolved on this continent and that horses and their ancestors had been in our deserts for 50 million years prior to their extirpation contemporaneously with the arrival of humans. When sea levels fell in one of the many ice ages during the Pleistocene epoch, horses made their way to Europe and Africa over the land bridge from America. Those who think that horses are exotics are mistaken: Horses would still have been on this continent in 1492 if humans had not arrived and wiped them out 10-or-12 thousand years earlier. This scientific fact goes unheeded by those who confidently seek to wipe out wild horses and burros in our National Parks. Equids are not the exotics at Big Bend: Humans are the exotics, including the Park managers who have decided these animals do not belong in our deserts.


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