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Leave Wild Horses Untouched

January 08, 2014 | wild horses / Take Action

Did you know that every year the federal government uses low flying helicopters to stampede thousands of wild horses into pens and clear them off public lands so that ranchers can turn a profit?

Friends of Animals is sickened by the Bureau of Land Management’s BLM devastating plan to wipe out nearly half of Wyoming's remaining wild horse population this summer and is asking our supporters to protest  the plan.  A public comment period is open until Jan. 10  prior to the BLM preparing an environmental assessment for the proposed summer 2014 wild horse gather in the Great Divide Basin Herd Management Area HMA.

"Although Congress has recognized that wild horses are an integral part of the natural system of public lands, the Bureau of Land Management BLM continues to use inherently cruel methods to gather and remove thousands of horses from public lands; flying helicopters above herds in extreme weather conditions for miles to drive horses into areas where they are loaded onto trucks for holding centers,” said Mike Harris, director of  Friends of Animals’ Wildlife Law Program. “Our Law Program is making wild horses a priority in 2014. We are currently developing strategies to promote the rights of wild horses to live free on public lands, and to ensure more transparency and accountability for Bureau of Land Management’s activities."

According to the American Wild Horse Preservation, just over two years ago, the BLM captured and removed 1,000 wild horses from Divide Basin. The proposed summer of 2014 roundup will remove another 164 wild horses from the Great Divide Basin HMA. 

The Great Divide Basin HMA is partly located in the checkerboard pattern of mixed public and private land ownership in Sweetwater County and extends from Interstate 80 north to the southeast point of the Wind River Mountains in Fremont County.

The next step in the plan is unnecessary and unjustified as the BLM itself admits that the HMA has an appropriate management level of 415-600 wild horses as identified in the 1997 Green River Resource Management Plan.  Population surveys conducted in May found approximately 439 wild horses. Wild horse populations will increase about 15 percent yearly based on previous fertility control; the current population is estimated at 504 and predicted to be 579 in summer 2014.

The only reason for this roundup is to appease local ranchers who want all wild horses removed from the checkerboard portion of the HMA, an area that comprises nearly half of the HMA.

“The idea that horses have to leave so that cows and sheep can graze is yet another reason why plant-based lifestyles have to flourish,” said Priscilla Feral, president, Friends of Animals.

In 1971, Congress passed the Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act. This law was the first of its kind to protect wild horses and burros. The law stated that “wild horses and burros are living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West,” and that they “enrich the lives of the American people.” In that year the American government set aside 80 million acres as wild horse territory where herds could run free. Unfortunately, over the years, the amount of land set aside for wild horses has been reduced, so that today less than 40 million acres remain. And many of those acres do not offer the kinds of grazing lands that horses need.

You can read our Wildlife Law Program's comments right here


Please leave these iconic creatures in peace.

Please leave animals alone. How would you like it if people did this to you. They did not ask to be here. They are here like us to be taken care of. Suppose these horrible things were done to your child or parent how would this make you feel? Imagine how these precious animals feel.I hope you can take what you are dishing out! You will have to answer for these things in life and it's going to come back 100 times worse on you or your family.

Stop this practice, these majestic animals have done nothing but serve us. If you ever truly looked deep into to a horses eye you would see how strong they are yet how sensitive they can be. These animals have gone to battle with us, have been by our sides when we needed them the most and this is how we treat them, let them be in peace.

“Aren’t humans amazing? They kill wildlife – {horses}, birds, deer, all kinds of cats, coyotes, beavers, groundhogs, mice and foxes by the million in order to protect their domestic animals and their feed. Then they kill domestic animals by the billion and eat them. This in turn kills people by the million, because eating all those animals leads to degenerative – and fatal – health conditions like heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and cancer. So then humans spend billions of dollars torturing and killing millions more animals to look for cures for these diseases. Elsewhere, millions of other human beings are being killed by hunger and malnutrition because food they could eat is being used to fatten domestic animals. Meanwhile, few people recognize the absurdity of humans, who kill so easily and violently, and once a year send out cards praying for “Peace on Earth.”~Revised Preface to Old MacDonald’s Factory Farm by C. David Coates

It is barbaric to rob free & natural roaming wild horse inhabitants of their rightful lands to roam & their right to the life they are given on this earth by the same source your life has been given to you. What if someone decided to round up too many people in an area & do the same thing. But of course people have a voice. This is a cruel & unnecessary practice. The horses should be left alone to fend wild as they always have, without the interference of people so conceited that they think they should have the right to make decisions above their Creator's. The wild horses should have every right to inhabit this Earth just as we do. You should be using your position to preserve their lives on public lands, not to destroy them!

BLM: As an American Citizen, I am disgusted by your policy of horse gathering! I ask that you put the needs of these wild horses above the demand of the private ranchers. They both can co-inhabit the same space peacefully. Please do not let this horrible policy stand. Thank you.

Please leave the wild horses and burros alone. They should be fully protected throughout their range. Let them live their lives and range freely where they have always lived. They deserve respectful treatment from all of us.

it appears cattle ranchers have enough profits to afford lobbyist.
wild horsed, wolves, coyotes must have a voice in how our public lands are shared. i have faith that more natural distribution of public lands is the solution which will benefit even the myopic cattle ranchers.

Please leave the wild horses and burros alone. Let them remain free in their historic rangelands. I strongly object to any cruel government interference. Protection is what they need.

It is clear that this policy is lucrative to someone in government HOWEVER no American citizen wants to think of wild Wyoming horses being herded up off of public land for private profit. Leave these animals alone! I hope for the hire of new and moral federal BLM employees who can manage wildlife in a humane manner and I further hope that those employees responsible for such an abusive and unethical policy go find new employment far from any living entity. VIVA WILD HORSES!!! LEAVE WILD HORSES UNTOUCHED!!!


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