We are at a crossroads for saving America’s wild horses and burros.
The American people must decide whether lethal management destroys tens of thousands of wild horses or humane solutions are properly funded and implemented.
For decades the BLM has chosen a “manage to extinction” policy for its Wild Horse and Burro Program. Millions of taxpayer dollars have been spent on annual roundups and warehousing of the mustangs (and burros). Powerful and wealthy special interests (livestock, oil & gas, mining) have relentlessly pursued the elimination of the American mustang.
Terror, injuries, and death have resulted from roundups as well as the destruction of tightly bonded family bands. Too many herds have fallen below genetic diversity threatening their viable existence.
Can it all be turned around?
But not without tremendous public pressure and support.
Humane solutions are readily available. Many have already been proven safe and successful, but remain ignored or underutilized.
They include but are not limited to, PZP darting for population control, eco-sanctuaries, management on the range, public-private partnerships and more gentling/training programs to increase adoption rates.
Where do we stand now?
The 2018 fiscal year (FY18) budget is being marked up now. The House of Representatives and the Senate each have versions of budget bills submitted by government agencies for 2018.
The Department of Interior’s budget funds the BLM and its wild horse program. Currently, the House version of this bill has no language to protect wild horses and burros from unlimited sale, mass killing or slaughter.
A majority of the BLM’s wild horse and burro advisory board recently recommended “lethal options” to kill off tens of thousands of wild horses and burros including a proposal to send thousands of them to Russia as prey for tigers.
The Senate Appropriations Committee is poised to vote on their version of this bill which needs language to protect the horses.
We cannot let the BLM kill their way out of a self-inflicted budget crisis.
At least 80% of the public stands by wild horses and their protection. Too many are still unaware of this critical issue.
Don’t let time run out for America’s living symbols of our freedom.
Contact members of the Senate Appropriations Committee and urge them to vote on behalf of protecting wild horses and burros from unlimited sale, mass killing or slaughter when they review the FY2018 Interior Department budget bill. Tell them you do not want your taxpayer dollars spent to kill innocent horses when humane and financially responsible options exist.
Last week’s meeting of the BLM’s National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board resulted in the following recommendations:
phase out all wild horses and burros in long-term holding facilities within 3 years;
achieve an on-the-range population goal of 26,715 wild horses and burros within 3 years (meaning tens of thousands would have to be killed);
allow international adoptions and sales (which have never been allowed). Several board members repeatedly referenced a proposal to ship 20,000+ wild horses to Russia to serve as prey for big cats. U.S. taxpayers would fund the cost to ship the horses to Russia.
If Congress allows the BLM to follow through on the board’s recommendations, the government could be killing off at least 90,000 healthy animals.
This isn’t the first time a majority of the BLM’s advisory board has made irresponsible and inhumane recommendations. We must ensure it is the last!
It is not too late to send your own written comments pertaining to the October 18-19, 2017 Advisory Board meeting.
Our tax dollars should never support the mass killing (or any inhumane killing) of America’s wild horses and burros!
The BLM needs to manage budget cuts with practical, humane solutions which include alternatives such as:
Management on the range utilizing the millions of acres of public lands allocated to them by law;
Reintroducing captured horses to previously zeroed out areas;
Moratorium on further roundups and allocate funds to humane, safe population control (PZP which has a proven success rate and has been under-utilized by the BLM);
Allocate more funds to gentling/training programs to increase adoption rates;
Increase the number of public-private partnerships based on successful models already working.
Mail comments to the National Wild Horse and Burro Program,WO-260, Attention: Ramona DeLorme, 1340 Financial Boulevard, Reno, NV 89502-7147.
You can also email to: email@example.com.
Please include “Advisory Board Comment” in the subject line of the email.
Continue to speak up for wild horses and burros to Congress.
Contact the Senate Appropriations Committee members to oppose any language in the FY2018 Interior Department’s budget bill which would allow unlimited sale, killing or slaughter of wild horses and burros.
The markup on this bill is coming anytime now (it has been postponed several times already).
Senate Appropriations Committee Takes Up Interior Department Budget Bill
Wild Horse and Burro Lives Are On the Line!
The federal government’s fiscal year runs October 1 to September 30. Each year an omnibus budget bill is developed, reviewed, edited, and voted on to fund the government. A new approved budget is often delayed meaning the prior year’s bill often carries over into a new fiscal year.
Government agencies submit their appropriations budget bills to make up the omnibus package.
The 2018 Fiscal Year (FY18) budget is currently in the reconciliation phase with final voting expected in early December.
Horses and the Budget:
The U.S. Department of Agriculture appropriations bill determines whether funding for horsemeat inspections (i.e., horse slaughter) is allowed or not.
The Interior Department’s budget bill is where funding is allocated for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to manage programs like the Wild Horse and Burro Program.
The House of Representatives Appropriations failed America’s horses not once, but twice, when (1) failing to vote “NO” on funding for horsemeat inspections by USDA and (2) by not including an amendment to stop the killing and sale to slaughter of America’s wild horses and burros.
Note: The House Rules committee also refused to allow the introduction of amendments to the House Appropriations bills which would protect wild horses and burros from killing and slaughter (Titus-King-Polis amendment) and to prevent funding for horsemeat inspections (Buchanan-Roybal/Allard amendment).
Fortunately, the Senate Appropriations Committee had already voted “YES” on the Udall-Graham amendment to prevent tax dollars from being used for horsemeat inspections (no horse slaughter).
At this time it is critical that the Senate Appropriations Committee allows an amendment to include language in the budget bill to protect wild horses and burros from unlimited sale, killing and slaughter because the House version has stripped away these protections.
It is also critical that the Senate’s version of the Agriculture Appropriations bill which includes language not to allow funds for horsemeat inspections remains in the final budget bill.
The reconciliation process involves keeping the House and Senate versions of budget bills which are in agreement, but it must reconcile the differences. Right now, the fate of America’s horses depends on the U.S. Senate as the budget heads into its final version.
What You Need To Do To Save Horses Now:
Call, write and/or email your U.S. Senators. If your elected official is on the Senate Appropriations Committee, he or she needs to hear from you asap.
With all of the crises in this country and desperate need to use taxpayer dollars wisely, the idea of butchering America’s horses is not only cruel and appalling but clearly a fraudulent waste of tax money.
This article from The Hill states that the special interests lobbyists, many of whom are millionaire cattle ranchers, are pushing to slaughter America’s wild horses. The goal of the horse slaughter lobby is to clear public lands of wild horses and replace them with cattle.
“Thanks to the greed of tiny but powerful industry lobby, congressional Republicans are about to legalize the slaughter of America’s wild horses – and commit political suicide in the process. Polls show that 80 percent of men, 90 percent of women and 86 percent of Trump supporters oppose horse slaughter. With nine Republican House seats up for grabs according to the Cook Report, opposition should be a no brainer. But this hasn’t stopped Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke from leading the charge, while House Republicans have already passed legislation that would legalize an inhumane practice that has been outlawed for fifty years.
The push to slaughter wild horses is coming from a narrow – but powerful – special interest lobby in the D.C. swamp made up of millionaire and billionaire cattle ranchers on America’s federal lands. Public-lands ranchers make up just 2 percent of U.S. cattle operators, represent just 0.06 percent of total employment in 11 western states and produce only 3 percent of American beef.”
On September 5 and 6, the U.S. House of Representatives’ Rules Committee rejected bi-partisan amendments which would have stopped the use of tax dollars to (1) fund horsemeat inspectors and (2) protect wild horses and burros from being killed or sent to slaughter.
It was clear the votes were there on the House floor to have passed these amendments if the Rules Committee had allowed the introduction of these amendments to the FY2018 appropriations budget bill.
While this is a shameful act displaying “dirty politics” at its worst, it is not the end of the issue.
The Senate version of the appropriations budget bill contains language to prevent any funding for horsemeat inspections. However, the Senate has not yet taken up the issue for wild horses.
Our tax dollars should be used to help disaster victims (hurricanes, wildfires), veterans, health care, infrastructure, the opioid crisis and more — NOT to brutally kill America’s wild and domestic horses to please a profit-driven livestock/agriculture industry or oil/gas interests wanting to take over our public lands!
Tens of thousands of horses’ lives depend on us to speak for them today.
Contact your two Senators and House Rep through the U.S. Capitol operator, 202-224-3121. Tell them politely, but firmly, that you oppose the use of tax dollars to slaughter America’s domestic or wild horses. Tell them to support language in the FY2018 appropriations budget which prevents funding for horsemeat inspections and language which does not allow the mass killing or sale to slaughter of wild horses.
There are numerous humane and successful alternatives for domestic and wild horses other than slaughter.
America’s horses are not raised or regulated as a food animal. They are unfit for human consumption. That includes captured wild horses which have received medications or other treatments which contain substances banned for use in food animals (wormer, vaccines, oral or topical medications).
We commend Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF) for their multi-year investigation into the BLM’s short- and long-term holding facilities.
The link below reveals details of wild horse (and burro) records which tell a chilling truth for those in captivity. In short, the numbers claimed to be in holding do not match up with those viewed and recorded, at times less than half for some locations.
And be sure to download the Exhibit section where Exhibits 9 and 10 reveal the disturbing details of mortality at two facilities, including deaths due to broken necks, gelding complications, respiratory issues, strangles, and more.
America’s wild horses and burros do not belong in captivity. They can be successfully managed on the range where millions of acres have been allocated for their use by law (1971 Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act).
The current government intends to destroy what’s left of wild horse (and burro) herds in captivity and on the range through a horrific proposal in the Interior Department FY2018 budget bill. The plan is to allow unlimited sale (to slaughter) and killing of the animals as a way to balance the BLM’s budget.
Congress needs to hear from everyone now to stop this reckless and inhumane plan.
Tell your elected officials (2 U.S. Senators and 1 U.S. House Rep) to vote “no” on the Interior Department’s appropriations bill for 2018 if it contains language to allow unlimited sale, slaughter and/or killing of wild horses and burros.
Reach them via the U.S. Capitol operator at 202-224-3121.
The 1971 Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act allocated 242 million acres for use by wild horse (and burro) herds. Over the years, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has reduced their land use to 27 million acres. The BLM has catered to special interests like the livestock industry which has depleted and overgrazed public lands with a million cattle and tens of thousands of sheep. For decades they’ve lied and used wild horses as scapegoats for issues of range degradation and over grazing.
In a nutshell, the current administration intends to allow the mass killing of wild horses so that the BLM can balance its budget. There are numerous humane solutions to managing the Wild Horse and Burro Program and bringing fiscal responsibility to the budget. To date, “cut and kill” remains their primary solution.
Taxpayers should be outraged at this horrific use of tax dollars. We stand by America’s flag and don’t burn it. We stand by our wild horses and burros — living symbols of our history — we don’t murder them!
The current administration’s budget for the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Wild Horse and Burro program proposes a “cut and kill” agenda.
The federal budget looks to cut $10M from the BLM’s budget. Other decreases in spending would occur from reducing roundups and population control measures, but also from gutting wild horse numbers by allowing their sale for slaughter.
Act now before it’s too late to stop this inhumane and reckless attempt at budget management. Practical solutions already exist to responsibly protect and care for wild horses such as management on the range, use of PZP for population control, gentling/training programs to improve adoption rates, eco-tourism and sanctuaries.
Contact your Congressional representatives today to voice opposition to the cruel and irresponsible treatment of America’s wild horses. America’s mustangs are not numbers on paper, but are living symbols of our history! www.house.gov and www.senate.gov
Voice your opposition to Ryan Zinke, head of the Interior Department which oversees the BLM: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wild horses, often called “Icons of the West”, deserve to be treasured as a vital part of American history!
However, wild horses are now part of a “cut and kill” budget plan in a feeble attempt to solve decades of mismanagement by a government program set up to protect them. The budget proposes “humane euthanasia and unrestricted sale of certain excess animals” to help control rising costs of long-term holding corrals and other expenses.
The proposed budget will save $10 million annually but at the cost of thousands of innocent horses’ lives.
Have your members of Congress signed on as co-sponsors for ending horse slaughter?
Check this link below to give your member a thank you or urge them to sign on to end this brutal industry!
H.R. 113 – Safeguard American Food Exports Act of 2017 is an attempt by members of the House of Representatives to “…amend the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to deem equine (horses and other members of the Equidae family) parts to be an unsafe food additive or animal drug. The bill prohibits the knowing sale or transport of equines or equine parts for human consumption.”
If this passes it will mean great things for horse advocates in the United States!
2017 does not bode well for America’s horses, domestic or wild.
Their friends in Congress will be less than ever. We expect a full on assault for the return of horse slaughter and also the final decimation of wild horses and burros on public lands and in government holding facilities.
We know that those who truly care about the welfare of horses in this country come from all political views. It will be imperative for everyone to put strong pressure on elected officials to keep in place the defunding of horse slaughter inspections while pushing for federal legislation to ban horse slaughter, and to change the current, ineffective management of wild horses and burros to a plan which truly protects them on our taxpayer funded public lands and provides humane solutions for those in captivity.
With your help, we will escalate the fight for America’s horses!
You can help save abused horses like Sammie (pictured) with a tax deductible contribution to Front Range Equine Rescue by clicking here.
U.S. Government’s Horrific Treatment of America’s Wild Horses Isn’t Just Inhumane—It’s Against the Law
Earlier this month, the federal Bureau of Land Management decided to withdraw its plan to perform sterilization experiments on 225 wild mares, rather than face multiple lawsuits. On the heels of this victory came a shocking announcement: The BLM Advisory Board recommended killing approximately 45,000 wild horses now held captive in government corrals.
Public outrage and the outpouring of opposition were immediate and overwhelming. After just a few days, a BLM spokesperson stated the agency would continue its current practices and not euthanize the horses as recommended. (Being all too familiar with BLM’s double-talk, we must add the caveat “for now” to that statement.) Click here to read more from Hilary’s article on AlterNet.
We are well aware of BLM “double-speak” and like all advocates are remaining vigilant and prepared!
Sept 14 (Reuters) – The U.S. government said on Wednesday it has no plans to euthanize a large share of the more than 45,000 wild horses and burros removed from lands mostly in the U.S. West, after an advisory panel’s proposal to kill some of the animals sparked outrage.
U.S. Bureau of Land Management officials said they struggle to find people to adopt the growing number of wild horses and burros, which costs the agency millions annually to maintain in corrals and pasturelands.
The National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board on Friday recommended the bureau consider euthanizing the animals that cannot be adopted, or selling them to companies that might slaughter them.
On Friday we learned that the BLM decided to withdraw its decision to partner with Oregon State University to perform unsafe sterilization experiments on 225 wild mares in Oregon. [Read More at the Denver Post]
On the heels of this victory came another announcement. The BLM Advisory Board voted on a proposal to “euthanize” wild horses in holding facilities. This means the mass murder of approximately 44,000 innocent horses!
Front Range Equine Rescue is wholly committed to doing its part to save these horses. I know you will join with us to escalate our fight like never before!
Nonprofit Horse Rescue Group Challenged Inhumane Experimental Surgery
HINES, Ore., September 9, 2016 – Front Range Equine Rescue (FRER), a national nonprofit working to end the abuse and neglect of horses through rescue, advocacy and education, announced today, just six weeks after a lawsuit filed by FRER, that U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management has withdrawn its program to perform experimental sterilization of wild mares in Oregon. The BLM’s decision was formally vacated by the Interior Board of Land Appeals this morning.
FRER’s suit contended that the BLM’s intention to conduct surgical experiments on 225 wild horses, many in various stages of pregnancy, and potentially thousands of more horses over time, causes harm and suffering in violation of federal law.
The sterilizations on wild mares proposed by the BLM, to be carried out in collaboration with Oregon State University, included three untested, dangerous, and potentially fatal procedures.
“We are relieved that the BLM has withdrawn its decision, both for the targeted 225 horses and for the future of wild horse management, said Hilary Wood, President of FRER. “FRER remains committed to ensuring the BLM uses humane and reasonable efforts to protect the herds while considering all interests in the process.”
On July 25, Front Range Equine Rescue filed a lawsuit against the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) proposed sterilization experiments on 225 wild mares in Oregon (many in various stages of pregnancy). The BLM admits these experiments are dangerous and potentially fatal. Expected outcomes include infection, hemorrhaging, aborted foals, colic signs, and death.
Soon after the filing, FRER was informed by the BLM that the start date for the experiments has been postponed until mid-November.
We thank all of our supporters for contributing to this critical legal effort on behalf of these innocent wild mares. We also thank the AWHPC for its tireless work on this issue and their support of FRER’s effort:
BREAKING GOOD NEWS:
The BLM has agreed to delay the mare sterilization experiments in response to a lawsuit filed by Front Range Equine Rescue. The agency has pushed back the start date from October 1 to November 16 to allow time for a court hearing on the case. Everyone send good luck and energy to Front Range for success in shutting down these cruel BLM experiments! – AWHPC
Near the end of July, we filed a lawsuit against the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) plan to conduct barbaric sterilization experiments on 225 wild mares in partnership with Oregon State University (OSU).
Our case challenges the shocking decision by the agency (BLM) responsible for caring for America’s wild horses, to perform dangerous and untested surgical sterilization procedures on captive wild mare, many of them in varying stages of pregnancy. This radical departure from the bounds of science and humane treatment is unauthorized, uncalled for, and illegal.
Despite strong opposition, the Bureau of Land Management, (BLM), intends to move forward with gruesome and dangerous sterilization experiments on wild mares.
The proposed research procedures are risky-to-deadly and to move forward is irresponsible, unethical and inhumane.
Thanks to caring and compassionate donors like you, Front Range Equine Rescue is able to initiate legal action against the BLM’s plan.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Front Range Equine Rescue Files Suit to Stop Surgical Sterilization ‘Research’ on Oregon’s Wild Horses
Nonprofit Horse Rescue Group Challenges Inhumane Experimental Surgery
HINES, Ore., July 26, 2016 – Front Range Equine Rescue (FRER), a national nonprofit working to end the abuse and neglect of horses through rescue, advocacy and education, announced today it is suing the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management to stop the BLM’s experimental sterilization of wild mares in Oregon. The lawsuit was filed late yesterday in federal court in Washington D.C.
FRER’s suit contends the BLM’s intention to conduct surgical experiments on 225 wild horses, many in various stages of pregnancy, and potentially thousands more horses over time, causes harm and suffering in violation of federal law.
The sterilizations on wild mares proposed by the BLM, to be carried out in collaboration with Oregon State University, include three untested, dangerous procedures:
Slicing open the mare’s vagina while sedated, but awake and standing, and blindly pulling out her ovaries – a risky and controversial surgical procedure even for tame mares under the best of conditions, let alone captive wild horses in a holding facility
Burning and then cutting the sedated, but conscious horses’ fallopian tubes, a procedure that is surgically untested on horses
Using a laser, inserted through the vagina, to scar and seal the ovaries – another surgery that has never been studied in horses
“It is unjustifiable for the BLM to conduct such barbaric sterilization experiments with a host of known risks, including death, on captive wild horses,” said Hilary Wood, President of FRER. “Performing unproven surgeries in a holding pen, let alone on the open range, is contrary to the BLM’s congressional mandate to care for wild horses, especially when responsible alternatives like the PZP contraceptive vaccine already exist to maintain population levels and ensure herd viability.”
Earlier this year, FRER filed formal comments opposing the “research” that will be done on conscious animals in long-term holding. These comments – and comments submitted by more than 20,000 members of the public – were disregarded, prompting FRER to file its suit.
“These sterilization procedures are not documented, practiced, or analyzed in non-surgical settings; they are overly invasive, and they are unlikely to have applicability for mares on public lands,” said Laureen Bartfield, DVM, an expert in population control of wild horses and the social structure of herds. “Two of the three procedures have virtually never been performed on horses, and the unvisualized removal of the ovaries, while documented in the literature, is disfavored by reputable veterinarians. The BLM’s plan is not just clinically ill-advised, it constitutes animal cruelty on a large scale.”
The plans for eventual widespread sterilization of horses on the range will also run up an estimated cost to the taxpayers in the millions – and the first of the funds could be handed to OSU in the form of a BLM grant. This first group of mares to go under the knife are in BLM custody in the Hines Corral in Eastern Oregon.
FRER’s lawsuit says the experimental sterilizations represent a conflict of interest, and are not in the best interests of wild horses, but rather in the BLM’s own best interest by reducing their management load without considering their mandate to properly manage the horses.
This is not the first time the BLM has pursued surgical sterilization for wild horses. In 2011, a federal court found the bureau’s plans to castrate wild horses captured in Wyoming was of an “extreme and irreversible nature.” In 2012, the BLM was again forced to defend similar plans in federal court, and abandoned its efforts to castrate Nevada’s wild horses.
The grim reality facing these innocent wild mares includes
Invasive surgery performed in a non-sterile environment
No known studies on domestic mares for the tubal ligation procedure
No known studies on domestic or wild mares for the Hysteroscopically-guided laser ablation procedure
Procedures to be performed on wild mares in varying stages of pregnancy
Infection, hemorrhaging, colic signs, aborted foals, potential for abnormalities in foals born, and death “If any gestational group in any procedure meets a major complication rate greater than 20 percent” then the procedure will be stopped
Major complications leading to death or the need for euthanasia are “expected” to be less than 2 percent (225 mares are slated for the research; 25 in a control group; 200 divided up for the three procedures)
Wild mares will be frightened as they are separated from their herd mates They will be even more terrified when driven into a confined chute to be sedated and restrained for the surgery
Ovarian function plays a significant role in the endocrine (hormonal) system. To destroy this biological function will damage behavior and health of surviving mares
I thank everyone who was able to contribute to allow us to initiate this lawsuit. Legal action is expensive and can be lengthy. We need funds for the next phases of our lawsuit against the BLM.
Please give to help the fight to spare the wild mares!
I need your help NOW to move ahead with the next phase of our legal effort to stop this waste of taxpayer funded research and blatant cruelty to innocent wild mares.
The time to act is NOW. I can only do this with your help.
“I cannot thank everyone enough for donating to launch this lawsuit. Now we need to raise $7,500 to cover the next steps to help these wild horses. We truly value your loyal support of our work. Working together we have changed many horses’ lives for the better!”