U.S. Forest Service Condemned for Wild Horse Slaughter Plan

The Forest Service’s plans to sell wild horses without limitation are in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act as well as other federal and state laws.

Front Range Equine Rescue (FRER) and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) have put the U.S. Forest Service on notice regarding the sale without limitation of horses rounded up from California’s Modoc National Forest.

FRER and HSUS sent a strongly worded letter to the Forest Service (under the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture) which reads in part that they:

are writing to put you on notice with respect to violations of federal and state law in connection with the Forest Service’s plan to sell wild horses “without limitation” after it captures them from the Devil’s Garden Plateau Wild Horse Territory, found in the Modoc National Forest in northeastern California. It is commonly understood, and can certainly be proven, that the sale of wild horses without limitation (especially at the announced $1/per horse price) will result in their sale to purchasers who will ship them to Canada or Mexico, where they will be slaughtered for human consumption. 

The Forest Service’s plans to sell wild horses without limitation are in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act, 42 U.S.C. § 4321 et seq. (NEPA), the Council for Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations, 40 C.F.R. parts 1500-1508, the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. § 551, et seq. (APA), California Penal Code section 598c, the spirit of the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 (“Wild Horse Act”), 16 U.S.C. § 1331 et seq., Congressional sentiment, and the desire of the majority of the American people. We hope that after review of this letter, the Forest Service will withdraw its decision to sell any wild horses “without limitation” in connection with this gather. If the Forest Service is not willing to change its decision, we will consider all other legal remedies available to our clients and their supporters, to stop the Forest Service’s actions.

FRER and HSUS have given the Forest Service until October 23 to provide a response.

Front Range Equine Rescue Featured in One Green Planet

In the words of FRER President Hilary Wood, “It is unjustifiable for the BLM to conduct such barbaric sterilization experiments with a host of known risks, including death, on wild horses.”

Continued Advocacy Efforts Are Reaching the Public Eye

Since Front Range Equine Rescue filed a federal lawsuit against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), their continued advocacy efforts have not gone unnoticed. “This Horse Rescue Group Is Fighting Back Against the BLM’s Cruel Wild Horse Sterilization Experiment” by Estelle Rayburn writes on the recent events and proposed plans of the BLM.  While the public has voiced outrage in regard to BLM’s plans to surgically sterilize the wild mares in Oregon, the BLM expects to move forward with their plans.

However, despite the continued pursuit of the surgery, horse defenders such as Front Range Equine Rescue have continued to advocate for the wild mares, filing a lawsuit against the BLM, ” contending that the harm and suffering the animals involved in the cruel experiment would surely endure would be in violation of federal law.” Continuing to pursue these surgeries in a non-sterile environment is dangerous and “violates the BLM’s congressional mandate to care for wild horses at a minimal feasible level.”

Read the Article Here

Read About the Lawsuit Here

 

Front Range Equine Rescue Featured on CNN

Lawsuits Against the BLM Have Caught CNN’s Attention

“Nonprofits sue to stop ‘inhumane’ government project to sterilize 100 wild horses” by Ellie Kaufman features Front Range Equine Rescue as one of the nonprofits leading the lawsuit against the Interior Department Bureau of Land Management. Front Range Equine Rescue has filed a federal lawsuit in Washington D.C., while other nonprofits,such as the American Wild Horse Campaign and the Cloud Foundation have filed a lawsuit in Oregon.

The filed lawsuits are against the proposed surgery called ovariectomy via colpotomy, that the BLM plans to use on 100 horses from the Warm Springs Herd Management Area. The risk y surgery requires a veterinarian to make an incision and to use their hands to feel for the ovaries before using a tool to extract them. Both Front Range Equine Rescue and the American Wild Horse Campaign are advocating for safer ways to manage the population, including the birth control vaccine for horses called Porcine Zona Pellucida (PZP). Despite the previous failed attempts to use this surgery on wild mares, the BLM plans to begin rounding up horses for this surgery in October.

Read the Article Here

Read “Nonprofits sue to stop ‘inhumane’ government project to sterilize 100 wild horses” by Ellie Kaufman

 

Front Range Equine Rescue Files Suit to Stop Surgical Sterilization “Research” on Oregon’s Wild Horses

“It is unjustifiable for the BLM to conduct such barbaric sterilization experiments with a host of known risks, including death, on wild horses,” said Hilary Wood, President of FRER.

Nonprofit Horse Rescue Group Challenges Inhumane Experimental Surgery

WASHINGTON, DC, September 25, 2018 – Front Range Equine Rescue (FRER), a national nonprofit working to end the abuse and neglect of horses through rescue, advocacy, and education, has filed suit against the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management to stop the BLM’s experimental and invasive sterilization of wild mares. The lawsuit was filed yesterday in federal court in Washington D.C.

FRER’s suit contends the BLM’s intention to conduct surgical “experimentation” on wild mares in the Warm Springs Herd Management Area in Eastern Oregon, and then return them to the range without proper oversight, causes harm and suffering in violation of federal law. FRER’s lawsuit also says the plan represents a conflict of interest and is 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.

The sterilizations on wild mares proposed by the BLM was originally to be carried out in collaboration with Colorado State University, which has now withdrawn its involvement. Despite this vote of nonsupport, BLM has stated its intention to move forward, with unidentified veterinarians, to perform a dangerous procedure. BLM will be removing hundreds of horses from the Warm Springs Herd Management Area and identifying selected mares for their experiment. Veterinarians will then slice open the mare’s vagina while she is sedated, but awake and standing, and pulling her ovaries out — a risky and controversial surgical procedure even for tame mares under the best of conditions, let alone captive wild horses in a holding facility. Some of the mares will be in various stages of pregnancy. After a short recovery period, some of the sterilized mares will be returned to the range for monitoring.

“Performing unproven surgeries in a non-sterile environment violates the BLM’s congressional mandate to care for wild horses at a minimal feasible level, especially when responsible alternatives like the PZP contraceptive vaccine already exist to maintain population levels and ensure herd viability,”  said Hilary Wood, President of FRER.

Earlier this year, FRER filed formal comments opposing the “research” that will be done on these conscious, wild mares. 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 overly invasive, and they are unlikely to have applicability for mares on public lands,” said Laureen Bartfield, DVM, who volunteers with the BLM for the administration of noninvasive birth control.

“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.

This is not the first time the BLM has pursued surgical sterilization for wild horses. Most recently, in 2016, FRER filed suit to stop a similar program; one month later, the BLM withdrew its plans.


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CO State University Backs Out of Brutal Wild Horse Sterilizations

“We urge the BLM to use the many available humane alternatives instead of this radical method of population control” -Hilary Wood, President of FRER

BLM’s Plans to Conduct Experimental Sterilization Surgeries on Wild Horses Have Been Disrupted

Late last week Colorado State University (CSU) issued a statement withdrawing from partnering with the BLM to conduct unnecessary and dangerous sterilization research on 100 wild mares in Oregon. Part of their announcement reads:

After careful consideration of multiple factors during the 30-day public comment period for the Warm Springs, Oregon, mare spay project, Colorado State University is withdrawing our partnership on the surgical spaying of mares. The project is led by the Bureau of Land Management and USGS. The decision to withdraw was made with the support of our involved researchers.

Front Range Equine Rescue had submitted comments to the BLM in opposition to the proposed plan. Dozens of other organizations and thousands of equine advocates did the same.

As of this writing, it is unclear whether the BLM will cancel their plans or seek a new partner elsewhere.

Following is some of FRER’s media coverage raising awareness of this issue prior to CSU backing out.

Front Range Equine Rescue Challenges BLM’s Sterilization Experiments

Nonprofit Plans Lawsuit to Stop Inhumane, Unsafe Surgery for “Research”

Front Range Equine Rescue, a national nonprofit working to end the abuse and neglect of horses through rescue, advocacy, and education, announced today it has filed comments to stop the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management from performing dangerous experimental sterilizations on wild horses.

The BLM plans to award a research grant to Colorado State University in Fort Collins to perform experimental sterilization surgeries on pregnant and non-pregnant mares. After capturing the approximately 800 horses living in the Warm Springs herd in southeastern Oregon, 100 mares would be selected for sterilization. After a short post-operative observation period, some mares would be returned to the herd.

FRER has filed formal comments objecting to ovariectomy via colpotomy* – a potentially life-threatening surgery with a high risk of complications including prolonged bleeding, hemorrhaging, infections and sepsis, tissue myopathy, neuropathy, and pain, in addition to premature birth and abortion in pregnant mares. FRER maintains that the harm and suffering caused by these medically irresponsible surgeries violate federal law.

If FRER’s comments are disregarded, the organization plans to file suit against the BLM in federal court.

“Reputable equine veterinarians with wild horse experience object to this cruel and dangerous procedure, performed unvisualized while mares are fully conscious, because of the many serious risks during surgery or after due to complications,” said Hilary Wood, President of FRER. “There are added dangers if sterilized mares have complications after they are back in the wild. We urge the BLM to use the many available humane alternatives instead of this radical method of population control.”

The BLM has proposed permanently sterilizing wild horses several times, most recently in 2016, when it dropped its plans following a lawsuit filed by FRER and comments from more than 20,000 members of the public. In 2011, a federal court halted plans to castrate wild horses on the grounds it would be “extreme and irreversible.” In 2012, the BLM was again forced to defend similar plans in federal court, and abandoned its efforts to castrate some of Nevada’s wild horses.

* Ovariectomy via colpotomy is described by the BLM as “making an incision, approximately 1-3 centimeters long, in the anterior-dorsallateral vagina…The incision would be enlarged with blunt dissection to perforate the peritoneum and allow the surgeon’s hand to enter the abdomen.” The surgeon inserts a snare-like tool, and attempts to remove the ovaries without visualization aids, such as laparoscopy, to avoid damaging other organs or blood vessels. The procedure would be done under local anesthesia, so the mare remains awake and standing. This method of permanent sterilization, already problematic on domesticated horses in sanitary conditions such as an appropriately equipped veterinary hospital, would be performed in the field at BLM’s wild horse warehousing facilities.

Stop BLM’s Barbaric Sterilization Plans for 100 Wild Mares in Oregon

The BLM plans to conduct inhumane and pointless surgical sterilization experiments on 100 wild mares from the Warm Springs herd management area (Oregon) in conjunction with Colorado State University researchers.

In 2016, the BLM attempted cruel and dangerous sterilization experiments on wild mares with Oregon State University.

Public outcry and lawsuits filed by wild horse advocacy groups like FRER helped to stop this horrific plan…but now, the BLM is at it again. With a few changes, their current proposal is similar to the gruesome plan of two years ago, but this time CO State University applied for the research grant money to participate.

Most of the wild mares will be in various stages of pregnancy. They will use a surgical procedure known as ovariectomy by colpotomy which has known high risks of pain, bleeding, infection, abortion of foals and evisceration where the intestines protrude through the surgical incision. Even the National Academy of Sciences has concluded this procedure is “inadvisable for field application”.

The surgery itself is described graphically by BLM as follows: 

The surgical procedure would involve making an incision, approximately 1–3 centimeters long, in the anterior-dorsallateral vagina. Both ovaries are accessed through this one incision. The incision would be enlarged with blunt dissection to perforate the peritoneum and allow the surgeon’s hand to enter the abdomen. . . . The ovary and associated mesovarium are isolated by direct manual palpation and local anesthesia (5 ml 5% bupivacaine and 5 ml 2% lidocaine) is injected into each ovarian pedicle. . . . The ovarian pedicle would be transected with a chain ecraseur.

Given the serious risks to the mares subjected to this experiment, the BLM has not sufficiently justified the need for the research when (in their own assessment) all the experiment “may” do is provide “more details” about a surgical procedure. This amounts to first-line experimentation on the very horses that BLM is required to protect from harm and suffering which goes against the agency’s obligations under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act to protect wild horses from harm and suffering.

The BLM has numerous alternatives for population management of wild horses including PZP (a safe form of birth control which BLM has not widely used).

Comments on the Environmental Assessment are due July 30th. You can submit them directly to the BLM at  [email protected]

New Sale Policy Puts Wild Horses at Risk of Slaughter

Slaughter must be taken 100% off the table! America’s wild horses and burros are national treasures.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Has A New Sale Policy, Take Action Now!

BLM has revised their sale policy to allow agency officials to increase the number of wild horses and burros sold to individuals and organizations from a limit of 4 now to 25.

The prior policy from 2012 limited individuals and organizations to purchase just four horses in a six-month period. This policy emerged after investigations showed that the BLM was selling horses to a known kill buyer who then sent them to slaughter.

This has left the door wide-open for kill buyers to come and fill their trucks with no regard for the lives of America’s wild horses and burros.

The Department of the Interior must act on behalf of the horses immediately when humane options for wild horses and burros exist.

Responsible management means focusing on finding more humane homes for captured horses with more gentling programs to improve adoption rates. Large-scale fertility control on the range using already developed humane, safe methods (PZP) need to be more widely used. The BLM should make better use of the numerous public-private relationship offers to better manage the horses.

No government agency should be allowed to kill them off to manage their budget or correct a poorly run wild horse and burro program.

Contact your elected officials in Congress to stand up to the BLM and Interior Department which oversees the BLM. Tell Congress to ensure wild horse and burro protections remain in place and slaughter is not an option. Locate your Congresspeople via 202-224-3121.

Senate Spares Wild Horses

Keep them free

Your calls, emails and other contact with Senators helped save wild horses and burros!

On June 15, we learned that the Senate Appropriations Committee voted to keep protections to stop plans for mass killing and slaughter of wild horses and burros in the Fiscal Year 2019 Interior Department budget bill.

And just as importantly, they said “NO” to allowing dangerous sterilization procedures.

A reconciliation committee will need to iron out differences between the Senate and House versions of this budget bill before the entire U.S. House and Senate vote on the overall federal budget bill for FY19.

Remember, the House of Representatives committee did not spare wild horses and burros from cruel sterilization plans.

It will be critical for wild horse and burro advocates to contact their elected officials before the final vote on the overall budget bill. It is anticipated this could happen late summer/early fall.

In the meantime, we are deeply grateful to everyone who called, emailed or met with their member(s) of Congress on this critical issue.

Congress Turns Against Wild Horses

This amendment supports sterilization for wild horses and burros using invasive, unsafe and inhumane methods.

Will massive sterilization plans eliminate wild horses and burros from public lands as allocated to them by law?

The U.S. House Appropriations Committee has approved the Stewart Amendment in the Interior Department’s budget bill for Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19). This amendment supports sterilization for wild horses and burros using invasive, unsafe and inhumane methods (i.e., colpotomy and ovariectomy).

Any form of “spaying” a wild horse or burro is cruel, dangerous and even deadly. These animals will be highly traumatized and their health (even lives) endangered if permanent sterilization methods are allowed for their “management” by the BLM.

In 2016, advocates fought off the BLM’s attempt to use these barbaric procedures when proposed experiments were announced for wild mares in Oregon.

The only positive aspect of the current House vote is that the amendment did not call for any killing of wild horses, which is a change from last year’s approach.

The BLM has many humane management options including:

  • strategies to manage the herds through expanded use of PZP, a fertility control vaccine already in use.
  • improving adoptions through gentling programs.
  • public-private partnerships and sanctuary.

These alternatives are safe, effective and can be further expanded upon especially with the House committee having agreed to a $15 million increase for the BLM to manage wild horses and burros.

The Senate Appropriations Committee holds the future of wild horses and burros in their hands.

Please call your Senators and politely urge them to support the humane management of wild horses and burros which does not include permanent sterilization methods for population control.

The names of your Senators and their office phone numbers are available via www.senate.gov and it is critical the final federal budget bill for FY19 does not provide for measures to have non-reproducing herds.

Wild Horses’ Lives Are in the Hands of Congress

Help us keep wild horses and burros protected as Congress reviews the budget for the fiscal year 2019!

Establishing Language that Protects America’s Wild Horses and Burros

The U.S. House Appropriations Committee is considering the Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) budget bill for the Interior Department. This bill includes funding for the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program.

A current draft of the bill protects wild horses and burros from mass killing and slaughter. However, it is expected that Rep. Chris Stewart of Utah will introduce an amendment to remove these protections.

If the House fails to keep protective language within the FY19 Interior Department budget bill, it will be critical that the Senate version provides these protections. And, that the Senate version prevails during a reconciliation of differences between the two bills.

Contact your U.S. House Rep and two Senators through the Capitol operator at 202-224-3121 to keep language which protects America’s wild horses and burros in the Fiscal Year 2019 budget bill.

There is no need for unnecessary roundups to stockpile more horses in holding facilities or seek out untested, dangerous, and even deadly “sterilization” techniques.

The BLM has humane options available, which include:

  • managing horses on the rangelands allocated to them by law.
  • keeping populations in check through the use of PZP (a proven birth control method).
  • improving adoption rates.
  • developing eco-sanctuaries.
  • forming public-private partnerships to monitor the herds.

Wild Horse Woes Begin Again

The Bureau of Land Management just released another disastrous plan to manage America’s treasured wild horses and burros.

Just this week the BLM released their latest agenda to destroy America’s wild horse and burro herds by decimating their populations on our Western taxpayer funded public lands. The agency failed to include the many humane and politically viable management choices requested by Congress. Instead they produced an outrageous plan which ignores massive public support for the horses, recommendations by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report which BLM itself had commissioned as well as a Unified Statement with humane and common sense recommendations supported by over 100 equine welfare and advocacy organizations.

The plan would cut wild horse and burro populations to an AML of 27,000, the number that existed in 1971 when Congress unanimously passed protections for wild horses and burros because they were “fast disappearing.” The unscientific AMLs listed are pathetically low in most Western states. For example in New Mexico, the BLM wants an AML of just 83 horses when the state has more than 14 million acres of BLM-managed public land.

The NAS report even stated the BLM’s AML levels are “not transparent to stakeholders, supported by scientific information, or amenable to adaptation with new information and environmental and social change.”

To achieve their manage-to-extinction goal, the BLM has proposed a variety of cruel, unscientific and completely unacceptable methods including:

Removing more than 50,000 wild horses and burros from the range;
The mass killing or sale for slaughter of up to 100,000 mustangs and burros, including those currently in holding facilities and those to be removed from the public lands;
Mass sterilization of wild horses and burros left on the range — an option previously rejected by the NAS due to suggested dangerous sterilization methods.
BLM’s decades long mismanagement of the Wild Horse and Burro program led to their budget problems in the first place. Yet they continue proposing more abusive plans, including mass roundups and slaughter to hide years of incompetence while catering to powerful and wealthy special interests which are against the wild horses and burros.

Legislation-wise nothing new should happen until October 2018 when the FY2019 federal budget could be voted on. In the meantime, the BLM continues to promote their “overpopulation” and “dire situation” propaganda to lawmakers. Lawmakers need to be educated now that cries of overpopulation are wrong when speaking about wild horses and burros. Livestock dominate and destroy our public lands outnumbering horses at times by 50:1. Many wild horse herds are not large enough to be considered genetically viable.

Estimates of up to 75,000 wild horses and burros on public lands are nothing compared to the millions of head of private (and corporate) livestock damaging and overgrazing our public lands.

It should be noted that wild horses and burros in holding cost about $50 million annually while livestock grazing on public lands costs taxpayers $144 million with a net loss of at least $123 million per year according to the Government Accountability Office.

Congress Leadership Needs to Hear from You on Behalf of Wild Horses!

To avoid a government shutdown, Congress is poised to vote on the FY2018 budget bill by midnight Friday.

The good news is that the current Omnibus spending bill uses the Senate’s version of the Agriculture Department and Interior Department budget bills which (1) prevent funding for horse meat inspections, and (2) keeps language to protect wild horses and burros from unlimited sale, mass killing or slaughter.

But it is not a done deal until the final vote by Congress!

Call now to urge Congressional leaders to keep America’s horses safe by ensuring the final Omnibus budget bill does not allow for funding of horse meat inspectors and keeps protections for wild horses and burros against any unlimited sale or slaughter.

Contact your own elected officials to ensure they will not vote for any budget bill allowing funding for horse slaughter or the mass killing, unlimited sale and slaughter of wild horses and burros. Find your Reps and Senators via Capital switchboard 202-224-3121.

America’s horses are NOT raised as a food animal. They are not regulated as a food animal. There are many humane alternatives in place for both domestic and wild horses. We stand by our horses!

Wild Horse Woes Continue in 2018

Keep Dirty Politics Out of Wild Horse and Burro Lives!

In 2017, the BLM’s war against wild horses and burros escalated further with the current administration proposed “cut and kill” policy to manage wild horses and burros of the West.

With overcrowded government holding facilities and plans to decrease the BLM’s budget, opponents of wild horses increased political pressure to allow unlimited sale, mass killing and slaughter of at least 44,000 wild horses.

The U.S. House of Representatives approved this measure in its version of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s proposed budget bill. The U.S. Senate did not include approval in its version of the same budget bill. Both bills must be reconciled before a new FY2018 federal budget can pass.

At this time, the FY18 budget bill has been delayed numerous times for a final vote. But the current administration’s suggested budget bill for Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) would allow the destruction of wild horses.

The BLM claims its holding facilities are beyond capacity and its largest expense is to feed captive horses. Ironically it continues to remove horses (and burros) to the tune of millions of dollars in taxpayer money keeping its cycle of budget crisis going.

Winter roundups to date have resulted in dozens of injured horses with at least 13 deaths by early February. Witnesses to brutal winter roundups have documented horses in very good body condition which contradicts the BLM’s ongoing excuse of “starving on the range” as a reason for roundups.

It is up to the American public to stand up for wild horse and burro protections allocated to the horses by law. Congress needs to hear from voters that they oppose any legislation which allows unlimited sale, mass killing or slaughter of these national treasures, our icons of the West.

The BLM’s budget should focus on appropriate management on the range strategies, increased public-private partnerships, expanded safe/effective population control (PZP use) and gentling programs to help increase adoption rates and success for captured horses.

Wild Horse Crisis – How Will It End?

We are at a crossroads for saving America’s wild horses and burros.

We stand by our flag. We stand by our horses.

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?

Yes.

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.

BLM Advisory Board Majority Condemns Wild Horses and Burros

Last week’s meeting of the BLM’s National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board resulted in the following recommendations:

  1. phase out all wild horses and burros in long-term holding facilities within 3 years;
  2. 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);
  3. 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.
Wild horses (and burros) in holding pens will be brutally killed if Congress does not stop proposals to murder them to balance the BLM’s budget.

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 protected]
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).

Committee members can be reached via https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/about/members?inf_contact_key=0d8c756daa927097ab1844b3ca80559460643499280535dd5dfec446d917d3aa

 

Wild Horse Crisis Update

Senate Appropriations Committee Takes Up Interior Department Budget Bill

Wild Horse and Burro Lives Are On the Line!

We are NOT food.

Overview:
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.

Current Status:
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.

Find out who your elected officials are at www.senate.gov or reach them through the U.S. Capitol operator, 202-224-3121.

Continue to speak up for horses to your House Rep via www.house.gov or through the Capitol operator, 202-224-3121.

Wild Horse Crisis Continues

We The People Must Stand Up To Save Them

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.”

Read more here from The Hill.

House Rules Committee Refuses to Allow Amendments to Stop Horse Slaughter and to Protect Wild Horses from Mass Killing

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.

America’s Horses Need You!

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).

Where Have All the Wild Horses Gone?

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.

Click here to review the White Paper details — pay close attention to affidavits by Debbie Coffey and R.T. Fitch of WHFF.

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.