Update – will go to full Committee
The Appropriations Committee will be voting by the end of June, possibly as early as next week in Washington D.C. on the BLM’s Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Request.
We need you to send your comments in opposition to the Administration’s BLM policy changes affecting the Wild Horse and Burro Program. They want to do this through the Appropriations Bill.
The BLM is calling for changes to the Wild Horse and Burro program that will set a dangerous precedent for many years to come.
BLM’s proposal would allow for unlimited transfers of wild horses to other Federal, State and local government agencies for use as work animals. The transfer of wild horses under the provision would be unlimited, would be subject to immediate transfer of ownership (instead of a one-year wait required by the 1971 Act) and the horses would lose their status as a wild free-roaming horse or burro as defined by the Act.
There is grave concern from the American public that without protections, these horses may be sold to slaughter and that this could be a convenient way to get rid of the horses and burros.
The proposal also indicates the BLM’s plans to use permanent and dangerous sterilization techniques to control populations of free-roaming horses and burros.
However, there is no overpopulation of wild horses and burros on our public land. Most herds, 78%, have numbers below the level necessary to sustain genetic viability which is 150 adults. Wild horses and burros have lost 22 million acres where they were originally found at the time the 1971 Act. Livestock grazing outnumbers wild horses in all of the Herd Management Areas where they are supposed to be managed as the “principle species” by 100 – 1.
Protection of our wild horses and burros is Federal, and their care and management should never be transferred to state and local governments, many of whom have been aggressively calling for the elimination of wild horses from their states. Wild horses and burros are vulnerable to ending up at slaughter under this misguided plan.
The sterilization research that is being performed on wild mares is so dangerous that it would be unsafe even being performed in a sterile environment on domestic mares, let alone on wild mares in a filthy holding facility or out in the field. Sterilization is a permanent solution, and will lead the end of wild horses on our public lands. This is truly management to extinction.
If the BLM is concerned about the growing numbers of wild horses in holding facilities, then they need to STOP rounding them up and not proceed with the roundups of thousands more wild horses in Wyoming this fall of 2016. Our wild horses need to managed on the range, not rounded up and removed and warehoused at greater and greater taxpayer expense.
Please call and email and fax your comments to these Committee members, and please pass this along: