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FoA’s Civil Disobedience Action for Wild Horses

September 19, 2014 | wild horses

For Immediate Release
Sept. 19, 2014
Edita Birnkrant, Campaigns Director, Friends of Animals
Mike Harris, Director, FoA’s Wildlife Law Program

FoA’s Civil Disobedience Action for Wild Horses

Monday, Sept 22, 10:30 a.m. Rock Springs, Wyoming—Press Advised to Call for Embargoed Details

In Wyoming 179 wild horses have been ripped from their families and rounded up this week—three have died as a result — due to the Bureau of Land Management’s criminal reign of terror, and hundreds more are set to be brutally removed off the land and imprisoned in barren holding facilities where many are then “adopted” and end up in slaughterhouses.  Friends of Animals has had enough of the agency stealing horses from public lands and will organize a protest/civil disobedience action 10:30 a.m., Monday, Sept. 22, in Rock Springs at a location to be disclosed to media upon request.

Edita Birnkrant, Friends of Animals’ Campaign Director says, “We refuse to allow the BLM to operate without disruption while these sadistic roundups are occurring, so we’re showing up at a location we will disclose early Monday morning to loudly protest and do civil disobedience actions that will make it impossible for BLM staff to ignore. Our actions and resistance will represent the millions of Americans disgusted at the obscene actions the BLM is committing against wild horses, all to benefit cattle ranchers who want all wild horses dead. We will have a bullhorn, lots of surprises in store for the BLM employees committing crimes against wild horses. We’re taking our outrage to the scene of these crimes and to those directly responsible—the BLM.” 

This week also marked the deadline for when U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had to respond to Friends of Animals’ petition to list North American wild horses on public lands as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the best hope for the survival of wild horses in Wyoming and other states since the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act (WHBA), which was passed in 1971, has failed to protect our wild horses.

“In light of BLM’s intention to virtually wipe-out Wyoming’s remaining wild horse population, the time is now for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to respond to our petition to place these animals on the list of endangered or threatened species,” said FoA’s Wildlife Law Program Director Michael Harris.

“With one agency—the BLM—already failing the horses, we ask USFWS to treat the situation in Wyoming as an emergency requiring immediate action. And given the strong evidence that wild horses are a distinct population of a reintroduced North American native species, they clearly deserve our protection.”

While such crimes have been going on for years, the roundups in Wyoming are particularly egregious as they will eliminate almost all wild horses from Wyoming.  The BLM intends to round up 800 horses from the Checkerboard Herd Management Area in Wyoming after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit denied an emergency motion by wild horse advocates to stop the roundups.

“The BLM and cattle and sheep ranchers are responsible for the crimes currently being committed against wild horses,” said Birnkrant. “The BLM has renounced its duty to protect wild horses and burros in favor of acting solely in the interests of those whose hatred and intolerance of wild horses fuels the roundups—ranchers. 

“The heartless roundups occurring right now in Wyoming are ripping families of wild horses apart, terrorizing them with helicopter chases, separating foals from their mothers and imprisoning them in squalid holding facilities where their fates are unknown and where horses can be sent to slaughterhouses,” Birnkrant said. “If FoA doesn’t get a timely response to our Endangered Species Act petition from Sally Jewell, we will immediately pursue our legal options in court. There is no more time left for America’s wild horses.”

For more details about the protest, call Edita Birnkrant at 917.940.2725 or email


Go get'em F0A!! Unfortunately, this is what it takes to get any Government's attention. They have become arrogant, dictators at every level. This is an illegal roundup and removal, and BLM is now responsible for the deaths of 3 horses that should have been protected under the Act. Canadians are with you!!

I truly hope the protest will make a difference! This is so wrong! I feel so sad for these beautiful animals!

I believe in what you are doing. It is the only answer left to us. I have been saying we should consult Capt Paul Watson, Sea Shepherd for strategies and here you are bravely stepping up to the plate. Sending you a donation for now and seriously thinking of joining you next time. Brava!

Yes, we need Wild Equine Shepards! Laws of protection have failed them, the courts have failed them, they have been betrayed way too long.

I concur---go, go, go! I would love to take part, but can only be there in spirit. Horse lovers across the country will be behind you!

Wish I could be there!!! Hate these round-ups. BLM stinks!!!

Go FoA!!!! You don't know how much I & countless others only wish we could be there in person to help this cause & protest! I was "visited" randomly 3 weeks ago by two men, claiming to be from the BLM & DOI, respectivly, they were checking up on people who made various "nasty" remarks, &/or, perceived "threats", on a PUBLIC social networking site, Straight From the Horses Heart. They had copies of everyone's posts & comments, & basically just wanted to know if I was a threat! So I gave them my speech, & I told them, in an ideal world, we wouldn't be having this conversation, &, yes, IF I knew I could get away with things like destroying their helicopters, slashing tires, rounding up the BLM & their contractors, releasing all the captured horses, & so on, I would do it, I would be a threat, lol! They were actually nice & very polite, & I said I'd be happy to talk to them as long as they weren't to arrest me just for posting my right to freedom of speech, verbal or written! So, everyone of us advocates all over, must be getting their attention, they're getting worried. But know, they are reading what we write, probably listening & spying on us too! Sept. 22 is my birthday, & I couldn't ask for a better way to celebrate, I will be there in spirit, just not in person. We all support you & this urgent cause, & rally with you! STOP THE ROUNDUPS! STOP THE WYOMING WIPEOUT!

Those of us who love and value horses are so grateful that you are taking this action. Heartfelt gratitude to all who are doing the courage to save the horses.

Do all you can to protect our wild horses and burros. The round-ups have to stop! There are many natural predators to keep these herds from overpopulating the lands. Take whatever legal actions you can to protect our wild horses and burros from being destroyed.

I wrote this to the Interior Dept. web page with one star review this morning: "There are few publishable words to describe the utter and complete betrayal felt by the majority of American taxpayers toward the entire Interior Dept., but particularly toward Sec. Sally Jewell. She has had a chance to show the country a woman's nurturing side when it comes to Mother Earth and all Her Sentient Beings: our beautiful God given natural resources for all of America to share and enjoy. Instead Sec. Jewell has demonstrated why she got her job and pushed the agenda for special interests; big oil, fracking and the cattle lobby. She has shown to all of us that she got her job because she is simply 'more of the same' wearing a dress! Shame on you, Sally, shame on the BLM, the USFAWS and their henchmen of mayhem and murder, the Catoors, on our wild horses. May our blessed mutangs, wild burros, bison and wolves RIP under the watch of the criminals in the Interior Dept. who spend our tax dollars as they please without without consequence and without regard for the majority of American public." Debra Heverly, MD FACEP


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