☛ Is the BLM planning to kill 45,000 wild horses & burros? 9-15-16
IS THE BLM PLANNING TO KILL 45,000 WILD HORSES & BURROS?
AN ADVISORY BOARD TO BLM HAS RECOMMENDED IT
By Glory Ann Kurtz
Sept. 14, 2016
Horses jammed into pens awaiting their slaughter.
Recently I received a press release regarding the BLM rounding up and removing some 45,000 wild horses from their natural habitat over the last 20 years in the interest of allowing privately owned cattle to graze on the public land due to an unsustainable financial burden of keeping the horses alive in their facilities (which they are bound by law to protect) – $49 million in 2015 alone. Since then, articles have come out on Fox News, CNN and even in the Arizona Republic newspaper.
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) released a statement condemning the decision, saying, “The decision of the BLM advisory board to recommend the destruction of the 45,000 wild horses currently in holding facilities is a complete abdication of responsibility for their care. The agency would not be in this situation but for their long-term mismanagement. Alternatives to this proposal have been ignored for over 20 years. It was suggested that mass equine euthanasia is necessitated by the overcrowding of holding facilities.
The nine-member advisory board is appointed by the Secretaries of the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture. It is made up of veterinarians and representatives of the public, the livestock industry, wildlife managers and horse advocates. The Board recommends action to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management but does not make policy. Horse advocate and documentary filmmaker Ginger Kathrens cast the only vote against the recommendation of slaughtering the horses.
A visit to SNOPES shows that the BLM itself did not vote to slaughter horses and has yet made a decision on the recommendation that they should do so. They won’t meet again until the spring of 2017. The intent behind the vote was to send a strong message to Washington, D.C., (and horse lovers all over the United States) so that this might happen. Dean Bolstad, Division Chief had been alluding to killing the captive wild horses earlier in the meeting.
As a result, a petition has been originated with signers quickly getting close to 75,000 signatures at press time. The petition says:
“The mass killing of 45,000 wild horses and burros could become reality if the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has its way.
On September 9, 2016 the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board recommended killing of captured wild horses and burros as an “emergency” measure. The agency wants to clear the holding pens so that it can round up 40,000 more wild horses and burros from their homes on the range.
Hours before the recommendation, the BLM cancelled cruel sterilization experiments on wild mares amidst growing public outrage and a barrage of lawsuits. Now the agency is focusing on mass killing of these national icons, but can only do so if Congress and the Administration authorize this lethal and heartless plan.
The American people will not stand for this. Tell the Administration and Congress that we want our wild horses and burros protected and preserved on our public lands, not rounded up and killed or sold for brutal slaughter.
This petition will be delivered to:
United States Department of the Interior
U.S. House of Representatives”
Click for petition>>
WHO’S FOR IT AND WHO’S AGAINST?
In June, a meeting for the House Subcommittee on Federal Lands heard from California Congressman Tom McClintock, who argued that wild horses are overpopulated.
Kathrens, director of The Cloud Foundation, explained, “Current management practices of round-up, removal and warehousing … cause compensatory reproduction – an increase in populations as a result of decreased competition for forage.” In other words, there would not be a surge in wild horses if the BLM hadn’t removed most of them from their land in the first place. According to Kathrens, cattle outnumber horses and burros 47 to 1, and livestock (cattle) are allocated 82 percent of the forage.
PREVIOUS ARTICLES ON THIS SUBJECT:
On July 23, 2015, I published factual article written by Rick Dennis in www.allaboutcutting.com that included astounding statistics. Horse Slaughter – Fact & Fiction, not only has economic statistics; it makes one wonder what the real reasons are for getting rid of the wild horses.
An article from the Daily Pitchfork said that 21,000 ranchers who graze their livestock (cattle) on Western rangelands are estimated to have cost the taxpayers $500 million in 2014 – and every year for the past decade and that a number of them are millionaires, billionaires and multi-billion-dollar corporations.
The fee they paid per month for an AUM (animal unit month) in 2014 was $1.35, the lowest price that can legally be charged, as the market prize to graze on private land is $21.60. The majority of this money is spent on range rehabilitation, leaving only approximately $7.9 million going into the U. S. Treasury.
It costs the BLM over $480 million a year to kill predators, $380 per rancher and 10 times that much ($3,809) to get rid of wild horses and burros – with most going to slaughter. In the end, special interest welfare (money going to ranchers, EPA, USDA, Dept of Justice and US Army Corp of Engineers) is estimated between $500 million and $1 billion a year.
In 2014 BLM and United States Forest Service (USFS) permit holders paid an estimated $18.5 million in fees to graze 1.14 million livestock units on the 229 million acres of federal land used for grazing. But only a fraction, between 1/3 and ¼, of that actually went into the Treasury. In other words 2/3 to ¾ of the low fees ranchers pay go back into their pockets. Public land ranchers were paid $376 for what cost taxpayers $6,838 in 2014.
Click for article>>
Another article was published on March 20, 2016 in AllAboutCutting.com, also written by Rick Dennis, entitled “Overbreeding, Over Population, Horse Slaughter: How each affects the Horse Industry.”
Dennis asks if the BLM is breaking the law. “The Wild and Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971” requires protection, management and control of wild, free-roaming horses and burros on public lands.”
Incidentally, the cattle ranchers only contribute approximately 2 percent of the overall beef production in the U.S.A. And how is BLM sidetracking the law? In his opinion, this is done by restricting the available land to wild and free-roaming horses and burros, while at the same time, introducing more cattle to fill the void that was previously available to the endogenous species. In other words, they are creating a mathematical shell game to justify their actions at the public’s expense.
Also, most public land grazers are receiving some type of government subsidy checks from the American Taxpayer. The adverse effect to the economy of the U.S. is that these checks are not limited to individually owned ranches but also include major corporations and millionaires and some from other countries who have tapped into loopholes in the system with their own public land leases. Some of these ranchers have adopted the theory that this use of public land is their individual right as they see fit. In reality, these federally protected lands were set aside for the public taxpayers of the United States and the BLM is the overseer – nothing more.
Another item is predator control, with the BLM spending millions of dollars each year on predator control to safeguard cattle on public lands. One of the adverse effects of predator removal is the non-controlling of wild mustangs and burro populations occurring naturally if left untouched by human hands. Simply put, the BLM has been a significant contributing factor in the removal of mustangs and burros by tampering with the natural balance of nature by caving to the demands of cattle ranchers, the beef industry, as well as lobbyists and special-interest groups. Sound familiar?
Click for full article>>
Also many unscrupulous horse dealers are buying these horses (many from the BLM) at pennies on the dollar and then shipping them to Mexico or Canada, where horse slaughter is legal – as well as to many slaughter houses in the United States that have not been closed down. Personally, I’ve looked in the yellow pages and found some of these slaughter plants listed. Even though they are illegal, they’re not even hiding!
However, one should keep in mind that slaughtered horses are not fit for human consumption because of the vast amount of drugs they have consumed in their lifetime. In fact, many drugs consumed by horses have a label saying that they “cause cancer and are unfit for human consumption.”
IS THE BLM AND USFS VIOLATING THE LAW?
On Jan. 9, 2016, Rick Dennis wrote a letter to the Office of the Inspector General in Washington, D.C., about the BLM and U.S. Forest Service actions regarding “The Wild Free-Roaming Horses ad Burros Act of 1971. On their website, the Office of the Inspector General claims their motto is to help prevent fraud, waste and abuse!
Dennis requested a criminal investigation into the abusive actions of the BLM and US. Forest Service, pertaining to their being in violation of The Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971. Dennis said a criminal investigation is warranted not only to save taxpayers dollars but also for the protection of America’s wild herbivore populations being born an living on public land and the punishment of ay federal employee found violating this law.
“They are violating their own rules,” said Dennis.
When asked if he got a response from his letter, Dennis said, “Yes, they called and said ‘They’d look into it.’ ” Rick suggests that the Inspector General be bombarded with calls, letters and e-mails regarding this matter at: Office of the Inspector General, 717 14th Street, N.W., 5th Floor, Washington, DC 20005. phone 202-727-2540, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click for copy of letter to Inspector General>>
With the poor economy and current overpopulation of horses driving down prices all over the country, it’s becoming more of a problem to find rescue facilities or individuals to take these mustangs. But to take away the sight of wild horses from the public to me is criminal. Many people go on vacation to the Western states just to get a sight of these magnificent animals; to me it’s a big part of our Western Heritage! And since it is public land that they are on, as American taxpayers, we should have the right to see them.
But the saddest fact of this whole situation is even worse – but typical: “It’s politics in motion and is all about the money!”