After the proposal to experiment on sterilizing wild mares at the Burns BLM Facility in Oregon, I wondered how the situation facing our wild horses could be come more dire. Now there is news about the Bureau of Land Management’s Budget Proposal for 2017. In this proposal, there is a clause that would remove the protection for wild horses from being sent to slaughter.
Here is Section 110 of the President’s Interior Budget Request:
TRANSFER OF EXCESS ANIMALS
SEC. 110. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary of the Interior may transfer excess wild horses or burros that have been removed from the public lands to other Federal, State, and local government agencies for use as work animals: Provided, That the Secretary may make any such transfer immediately upon request of such Federal, State, or local government agency: Provided further, That any excess animal transferred under this provision shall lose its status as a wild free-roaming horse or burro as defined in the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.
You can look at the whole document here:
This extremely disturbing proposed change to the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act puts thousands of our wild horses held captive in Short and Long Term Holding by the BLM at risk of getting sent to slaughter. The BLM may say that this is to expedite the transfer of horses to other agencies that might have jobs for the horses, but in actual fact, stripping the protection of the Act from the horses makes them a target for slaughter, with no over site, and no responsibility taken by the BLM. Remember the 1794 wild horses sold under the sale Authority Act, without limitation, to Tom Davis that ended up at slaughter?
Given that state and local authorities in many states have repeatedly called for the slaughter of wild horses in holding facilities, it is easy to see that once transferred to the states and other agencies, they will in fact be sold for slaughter. This becomes a convenient way for the BLM to get rid of some of its “wild horse problem” – those pesky “excess horses” whose care absorbs so much of the BLM’s budget.
But the American people do not want the slaughter of our wild horses – the vast majority would like to see wild horses remain wild and free on our public lands, and managed on the range, not rounded up with helicopters, warehoused in holding facilities, and secretly shipped off to slaughter.
Another section of this budget includes the BLM’s “Budget in Brief” which indicates a priority for the BLM in the coming year will be to continue to carry out dangerous and cruel experimental sterilization methods on our wild horses.
“The BLM will also continue expanding the use of contraceptives and the application of spay and neuter to begin to reduce program costs and help address the unsustainable proliferation of wild horses and burros on public lands.”
You can read the whole document here:
The American public would like to see wild horses managed humanely, not experimented upon and sterilized.
As far as “unsustainable proliferation of wild horses” – the simple facts are that wild horses are in only 12 percent of our public lands, and there are currently more wild horses that are captive in holding facilities than on the range. Their numbers are completely dwarfed by the vast amounts of livestock that graze on these same public lands.
The news is not good, but at least now we have the ulterior motives of the BLM laid out in the budget: Opening the door to slaughtering wild horses, sterilizing herds of wild horses without regard to their sustainability, welfare, and continued presence on our public lands.
DO NOT EAT HORSES!!!!!! DO NOT SLAUGHTER HORSES
!!!!!!! LOVE THEM AND ALL ANIMALS!!!!!
Thanks for the heads up – have contacted both Senators & my Representative from NY, plus VP Biden. It seems so little of an effort – but its what I can do. Hopefully more people will do the same.
Carol, I actually did receive a reply from someone at Oregon State University! Not really satisfactory one but at least she did reply.
“Hello, Ms. Frazier,
I agree with you that the safety and humane treatment of all animals in this research study is important. I assure you that the care and humane treatment of these animals will be fully monitored by a team of university veterinary doctors, whose sole job is to provide for and protect the safety of these animals. These safety experts are not engaged in the actual research funded by the BLM, but only ensure humane treatment, safety and proper care.
I appreciate that you have concerns about how the BLM manages wild horses and burros living on open ranges. As a public university, it is not our role to enter that debate by providing our opinion, but to provide research-based information for use by the BLM and the public.”
Cynthia Sagers, PhD
Vice President for Research
A312 Kerr Administration Building
Oregon State University
Corvallis, Oregon 97330-2140
541.737.0664 fax: 541.737.9041
so is this just “proposed by BLM“ in a budget request?? or is it a “done thing“!?! I wasn’t sure since you wrote “Here is Section 110 of the President’s Interior Budget Request:”…
They are working on it in the Appropriations Committees in House and Senate – it will not be approved until May or so.
How some people treat these horses makes me SICK! I may not actually be a “teenager” yet, but I’ve been reading this website and I love the way that you write about this Ms. Walker. People should not be treating these living, breathing animals the way that they do. The answer to their problem is not killing these horses. It makes me sick when I hear about the euthanized horses. I really want to know more about these beautiful horses and I’ve read a lot of what you write on this website and in various books. I’ve read Wild at Heart and Marguerite Henry’s Wild Mustang book and I like learning more about this because it makes me want to know more and find different ways that people can help. I’ve drawn pictures and posted them online on my friend’s DeviantArt account. (Akicherryuchiha, in a folder called Carolnes drawings. If you get a chance, could you please look at them and maybe read the comment I left?) I left comments to people about it and I’m encouraging others to make pictures and learn about it. I got my friend (he’s not super interested in horses) to really care about this. I might never 100% understand this, but if I could learn more about it to help me understand this more. I would be really happy to know that I can at least help in some way, even a small way. I’m only 13 and most other people in my grade wouldn’t take the time to write this, but i know how important this is for many people in the country. Thanks for reading if you ever get a chance. 🙂 (I’ve never written a comment on a website, but when I first got hooked on this subject, it’s been building up and now, I finally have the courage I needed to write what I wanted to write)