For the past few years, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has conducted ever-increasing helicopter roundups which cruelly capture and then remove tens of thousands of wild horses and burros from taxpayer-funded public lands. The horses are federally protected under the 1971 Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act which has been gutted with amendments over several decades to lessen wild horse and burro protections.
Helicopter roundups mean that wild horses including foals are literally running for their lives, too often being chased to extreme exhaustion. Foals can end up abandoned and left hungry without their mothers when left alone on the range. Traumatized and terrified some horses suffer from broken limbs, necks, or backs during the chase or once caught in the trap pens.
This gruesome reality is not only cruel and unnecessary, but unscientific and fiscally irresponsible. Regardless of protections, wild horses by the truckload are ending up in the slaughter pipeline.
Wild horses and burros are falsely blamed for environmental degradation, which is well documented to be caused in large part by massive numbers of commercial livestock (cattle and sheep) which the BLM allows to graze on a significant portion of the land it’s charged with managing out West.
A recent wild horse roundup in an area known as the Wyoming Checkerboard ended with a host of animal welfare violations that must be thoroughly investigated and exposed. An overhaul of the Wild Horse and Burro program is long past due.
Contact your U.S. House Rep at www.house.gov and your two U.S. Senators at www.senate.gov to strongly encourage them to hold the BLM accountable for its mismanagement of wild horses and burros on taxpayer-funded public lands out West.