BLM Releases Plan to Gut Wild Horse & Burro Herds

The BLM wants an Appropriate Management Level (AML) of 26,715 which mirrors the “drastically low” number of wild horses on the range when Congress unanimously passed the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act to protect them.

America’s Mustangs Face Roundups, Mass Sterilization and Killing to Cut Population and Destroy Herds

Wording from the BLM’s plan to drastically cut wild horse and burro populations provides clear evidence of their “manage to extinction” goal:

Option I: This option focuses on achieving national AML in 8 years, while reducing off-range holding costs dramatically over the first 4 years… this would require making use of all legal authorities contained in the Act (especially sale without limitation and euthanasia of unadopted or unsold animals), including use of contraceptives and limited sterilization techniques.

Option II: This option focuses on achieving national AML in 10 years using contraceptive fertility control treatments… and minimal permanent sterilization of mares or stallions.

Option III: This option focuses on achieving national AML in 6 years using an aggressive removal operation in conjunction with sterilization of 3,000 mares and stallions gathered annually… animals that are gathered and not sterilized would be moved to off-range facilities.

Option IV: This option would achieve national AML in 2030 by using an aggressive effort to gather, sterilize and return wild horses and burros to the range… off-range populations would begin to decrease almost immediately through natural mortality and efforts for private care placement… Fertility control treatments would focus on permanent sterilization through FY24 when more than 80 percent of the animals on the range would be permanently sterilized.

While the plan mentions increasing adoptions via a financial incentive, it also states that the BLM should have authority to “sell without limitation all excess wild horses and burros and euthanize horses for which an adoption demand does not exist.” Proposals also include lowering sale-eligibility from over age 10 to over 5 years of age; reduce the one year period to gain title from an adoption to six months and allow adopters to obtain more than 4 animals in a year.

The administration’s budget for Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) does not include protections for wild horses and burros. In a few short months Congress will need to review and vote on that budget.

It will be up to wild horse advocates and the general public to fight on behalf of protecting America’s fast dwindling wild horse and burro herds. Let Congress know that tax dollars should not be wasted on inhumane proposals to kill off wild horses and the 1971 Act should not be amended to allow for their unlimited sale, mass killing, permanent sterilization or slaughter. Reach Congress at 202-224-3121.