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Friends of Animals on HLN's Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell: Legal Action for Wild Horses and Burros

May 26, 2011 | Free-Living Animals / Horses
wild horse

Nevada wants to declare wild horses and burros aren't "wildlife" "“ which would deny them precious public water. After an outcry, the ugly proposal's been delayed. What next? Lee Hall, Friends of Animals' Legal Affairs VP, appeared on HLN with Jane Velez-Mitchell, to challenge the assault on free-roaming horses and burros. See the video coverage. Did you know? The Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971 directs the Secretary of Interior to designate and maintain public range-lands as a sanctuary for the protection and preservation of these animals in a manner designed to achieve and maintain a thriving natural ecological balance on public lands. So why have hundreds of thousands of wild horses and burros have been removed since 1973? Ranchers are now leasing most of the land managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the US Forest service. For this, and other special benefits for ranchers, taxpayers pay some $128 million a year.

When the BLM rounded up horses by the hundreds in the Calico Mountains of Nevada, 70 died. Foals and pregnant mares were stampeded in extreme heat. Roundups through rough terrain are torture: they drive some horses to their deaths.

On Their Own Terms
by Lee Hall

Some survivors have met their ends in slaughterhouses; but most wait in limbo to be adopted. Friends of Animals is filing a legal challenge to these affronts to the freedom of the mustangs of North America. This year, Friends of Animals will be working with the Environmental Law Clinic at the University of Denver to end roundups of free-roaming horses and burros forever. This effort will be highlighted on Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell on HLN (formerly known as CNN Headline News channel) on Friday, May 27, 7pm ET/ 4pm PT. After you watch the interview on Jane's show about the wild horses, please send your comments to HLN/CNN about what you thought of the piece, that you are interested to see more animal-related stories from Jane's show in the future. These comments allow Jane to keep doing these pieces; Jane is an animal activist and vegan journalist, she is one of the very few voices on national mainstream television that covers these types of issues regularly, and she is a strong champion for animals. To send your comments after viewing the show, either fill out the comment form or email your comments to Jane Velez-Mitchell.

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Thanks Jane for speaking up for our wild horses and burros. You were the first to show the helicopter roundups on TV and we think you are awesome. The bill AB329 is dead in the water, and if it resurfaces its ugly head, we will drown it again in the tide of public opinion. YOU ARE INVITED TO FREEDOM FESTIVAL FOR WILD HORSES AND BURROS. See our (community) FB page for details.

So glad Friends of Animals is taking on injustice to wild horses and burros. There should be a revised ROAM bill put back in the H of R now. I used to work for F of A.

I have been disgusted that the current " unacceptable Management of Horses and All Wilds" by the BLM. Still the Next roundup is planned for July! All Wilds were protected till a unscrupulous legislator pass some bogus law to weaken the Federal Protection of Our Lands and this abuse on the Wilds. Helicopter round ups in terrible heat, animals run to death or till hooves fall off! The horrible conditions, pens with no shade , or protection. Families separated, nursing foals left to die! The scheming been going on for years to kill the Wilds and steal their/our land! Stop them!!

I am still suffering post traumatic stress & depression from the Calico roundups. I visited the Calico horses at BLM's facility in Fallon, Nevada, on 12 consecutive tours documenting them with photography. The images on my SD cards, are also etched into my heart. Many thanks to Jane for speaking out for the horses many times, and now to "Friends of Animals" on-board for them in a big way. The wild horses & burros need all the help they can get. Also, it was not the entire state that wanted to declassify wild horses & burros as wildlife, but mostly the powerful Nevadan ranchers & hunters, who got this bill introduced by an assemblyman & passed in assembly. Thank God it crashed in the Senate Natural resources Committee. Thanks so much to every single advocate that spoke or acted in their behalf.

While making the film Wild Horses In Winds of Change, I became depressed because it seemed like there was a flip side to every solution for the wild horses and burros. If they are declared officially "wild" many in the DOW are positioned to sell hunting licenses. Water rights prevail in the west and as the water table and aquifers are drained, I do worry there won't be enough left for wildlife, including horses and burros. I chose to make a statement against cattle grazing on public lands because it's an impact we can change. For hundreds of years cattleman have been able to welfare ranch and receive lucrative government subsidies for doing so. Although many things impact resources, cattle can be grazed on private land. I've recently had conversation with a number of Europeans traveling in the states who are grossed out at the gigantic portions of beef they are served. One said, "it was like they were serving me half a cow." This over-consumption of beef, is a direct result of keeping the prices down due to Gov't - subsidies and cheap grazing permits. It's bad for human health and horrid for our planet. If people want to eat and raise cows, it needs to be on a much smaller scale. The era for public range grazing needs to end.

They did the same thing with Indians.

Thank you so much for helping to raise awareness on this horrible, shameful issue !!!! we have signed so many petitions, made phone calls, wrote letters, faxed. we keep getting brushed off !--and this needs to stop !

Unfortunately, the horses that belong to all Americans are caught in the cross hairs of Nevada's land use grab. Nothing will change as long as Harry Reid is Senate Majority Leader. Getting rid of Nevada's wild horses is his deal, and it began when he asked Conrad Burns to help him with his Nevada problem. It turns out that the Nevada problem was the wild horses that graze Nevada's public lands.The solution was the Burns amendment which gave the BLM the ability to sell wild horses and burros without limitation and also to sell them for slaughter. Reid's from a family of miners and Salazar is from a family of ranchers. The horses do not have a chance without intervention by the President or the judiciary. The President needs Reid's help to block the Republican agenda, so It is unlikely that he will cross Senator Reid. If America decides to elect enough Republicans to the Senate, Harry Reid will be replaced, or if some perceptive Democrats in the Senate realize how much damage his leadership is costing our country both fiscally and environmentally, they could elect another leader at any time.

A heartfelt thanks to everyone who has taken a stand to protect America's wild horses and burros. These majestic creatures deserve to roam free.

Thank you Jane for all you are doing to help the burro and mustang. We need people, such as yourself, to get the word out. So many people still do not have a clue as to what is going on with the BLM.


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