Altogether the team made 11 recommendations to change BLM wild horse roundup procedures.
Abbey said he is “instituting a proactive process for conducting internal reviews of many aspects of the program to ensure that we are moving toward the ‘new normal’ of wild horse and burro management.”
Wild horse protection organizations had mixed responses to the BLM review.
“This review is a first step in addressing the cruelty that is pervasive in the BLM’s wild horse and burro program, and we commend the BLM review team for its honesty,” said Suzanne Roy, director of the Americas Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, a coalition of more than 40 groups that includes the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Anne Novak, founder of the California-based advocacy group Protect Mustangs questioned BLM’s definition of inhumane?”
Laura Leigh, from the Wild Horse Freedom Federation said, “This is just words, not action. They say, ‘We found this wrong, but we did nothing wrong,’ which is typical BLM contradictory speech.”
The government’s wild horse program began in 1971 as a way to “protect wild horse herds and the rangelands that support them.” Animal rights advocates have long complained that the roundups are cruel because they traumatize the horses and many are injured or killed.
About 33,000 wild horses live in 10 Western states and half of those are located in Nevada. Another 40,000 have been rounded up and live in government owned facilities.
Photo from 29604926@NO8EdThomes via flickr.
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