New Bill Could Save Our Wild Horses

New legislation has been introduced in Congress that would prevent the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) from killing horses and burros in Western states.

The bill was introduced by Democratic Reps. Nick Rahall of West Virginia and Raul Grijalva of Arizona.

“Our wild horses are being harmed by antiquated policies,” said Grijalva, chairman of the National Parks, Forests and Public Lands subcommittee. “These policies must be updated to reflect Americans’ desire to see these horses protected.”

The bill would prevent the BLM from killing healthy horses and burros removed from lands, in addition to allowing the BLM to expand public land access and create sanctuaries.

This is certainly a touchy subject. The BLM has tried to hold off on killing horses, which they have the authority to do, because of public outcry.  But the BLM has continued to crap on democracy.

As it stands, the BLM has about 34,000 horses they’re caring for, which costs about $27 million out of their budget of $36 million.  Mind you, these are taxpayer dollars. Taxpayer dollars that are being spent unnecessarily due to special interests, like cattle, oil and hunting.

They’re now saying the just don’t have enough money to keep caring for the ones they’ve rounded up. However, the Wild Horse Preservation Campaign stated that in 2008, less than 5% of BLM’s wild horse and burro program budget was allocated to herd management on the range, with the remaining 95% allocated to captures, holding and placement.

Thanks in no small part to former prez. H-Dub, wild horses are being blamed for causing problems on public lands like overgrazing. Considering there’s eight million cattle, compared to about 20,000 horses, the math just doesn’t add up. Why aren’t cattle removed in times of drought? Why isn’t other wildlife dying for lack of food?

In 1971 the Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act was passed, thanks in no small part to equine heroine Wild Horse Annie, to ensure these horses would have federal protection and a place on our public lands. Too bad all this was all usurped when the Burns Amendment was stealthily added in 2004, with no hearing or public review, which allowed the BLM to start selling older unadoptable horses at auctions to…anyone. 

Needless to say, adoptions have all but dried up. Most people can’t afford to keep the horses they already have.

Considering the BLM also has it’s hand deep in the oil pot, so to speak, as a contributor to America’s energy supply with suspected oil reserves in western states, they have a huge conflict of interest.

None of it makes sense. The BLM isn’t managing these horses. They’re just rounding them up, shoving them in holding pens and waiting for them to die. It’s fiscally, genetically and ethically irresponsible.

The BLM would also like people to believe that there are no alternatives to roundups and slaughter. However, groups like Return to Freedom and the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign are working hard to stop this nonsense. They’re calling for a review of scientific findings that contradict the BLM, a stop on roundups until actual numbers can be assessed, and implementation of in-the-wild management, like hormonal contraception, that would also cost a fraction of what the BLM is now spending. 

I won’t be the first to say these wild horses really are a symbol of both our heritage and our freedom. I hope I won’t be one of the last, because soon we’re only going to have 2 mustangs left in a zoo somewhere, with all the rest of the used to be wild animals. 

 

 

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68 comments

Julie van Niekerk

Humans are the most destructive species on this planet and when things turn sour, they are the first one's to complain. It is time they take responsibility for their own actions. No more talk......

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Past Member
Past Member 8 years ago

I don't look at BLM negatively- they are doing what they feel they can. However, I think alternatives need to be looked at. What about controlling the population by neutering X amount of male horses per year to keep the population down? Then, no need for any euthanasia.

I also hope that this new bill will allow for expansion of land. I think we need to do our best to keep these horses going.

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Zoe Marshall
Zoe Marshall8 years ago

I agree with Juin Lam! People are the real problem! The majority of the human race makes me sick! We need an Economic MELTDOWN!!!!!

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Jiun Lam
Jiun Lam8 years ago

People are idiots! When things go wrong they blame the animals!! In actual fact, People are the problem! Let the beautiful wild horses roam free! Protect them!!! NO MORE KILLING!

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Katharine Welch
Katharine Welch8 years ago

I agree with Louise P. let's start a click to donate program. I personally have rescued two horses from death and they are now wonderful family animals. Slaughter should be out of the question please let the people know what they can do and who to contact to adopt these horses.

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Louise P.
Louise P8 years ago

Why doesn't Care2 start a "Click to Donate" program to help the groups like Return to Freedom and the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign? I'm sure they would have no problem getting sponsors!

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Alexis V. Terrell
Alexis Preisser8 years ago

Frankly I consider the animal as an individual. I don't care about history, or anything else except the fact these animals deserve a life free of fear, abuse,neglect and just plain human greed.

These are living beings, with feelings, a heart and a soul.

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Jan K.
Jan K.8 years ago

I think hormonal is the way to go....a percentage anyway.....these animals are history...they built the west to

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Gwenna C.
Gwenna C8 years ago

A nation may be judged by the way it treats its animals.

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Oliver Something
Oliver Smith8 years ago

Obama's doing great things, but if we don't reform the BLM from the ground up, they will continue to squander what little natural resources we have left for the pockets of the rich. We would be left with no clean water sources, and our public lands would be turned into stripmines and deserts. The genetic losses are unrecoverable. Each species is essential for maintaining the ecological stability, i.e. human hability of land. Without the species, the clean water doesn't flow.

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