☛ BLM won’t kill 45,000 horses & burros 9-18-16
BLM RESPONDS TO AAC ARTICLE AND PETITION REGARDING KILLING 45,000 HORSES AND BURROS
AMERICAN WILD HORSE PRESERVATION CAMPAIGN SAYS BLM HAS RELEASED STATEMENT THAT THEY ARE REJECTIING ADVISORY BOARD RCOMMENDATION
By Glory Ann Kurtz
Sept. 18, 2016
Wild horses being rounded up by helicopter.
Just hours after my article was published on Sept. 15, the BLM is having second thoughts about the wild horse population on public lands and has said they “won’t kill wild horses.”
Also, the morning after my previous article was published, Rick Dennis, who wrote a lot of the articles published again yesterday, had a phone call from the BLM this morning in response to the article. They are listening.
Following is a response from the BLM published by Reuters.
THE U. S. GOVERNMENT SAYS IT DOES NOT PLAN TO KILL WILD HORSES
The US government said on Wednesday (Sept. 14) it has no plans to euthanize a large share of the more than 45,000 wild horses and burros removed from lands mostly in the U.S. West, after an advisory panel’s proposal to kill some of the animals sparked outrage.
U.S. Bureau of Land Management officials said they struggle to find people to adopt the growing number of wild horses and burros, which costs the agency millions annually to maintain in corrals and pasturelands.
The National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board on Friday recommended the bureau consider euthanizing the animals that cannot be adopted, or selling them to companies that might slaughter them.
But Tom Gorey, spokesman for the bureau, said in an email that the agency will “continue its current policy of carrying for unadopted or unsold wild horses and burros” and will “not sell or send any animals to slaughter.”
The bureau is expected to formally respond to the panel at its meeting within months.
The panel’s recommendation created an uproar among animal rights activists and highlighted the challenges ahead for the U.S. government as it seeks to control the population of wild horses and burros.
Gillian Lyons, wild horse and burro program manager for Humane Society of the United States, said members of the public were quick to criticize the idea of killing the wild animals.
“It’s something the American public just doesn’t know about, you don’t think of wild horses being held in facilities all across the United States,” Lyons said.
She added that the bureau has a responsibility to the animals because it captured them.
Even after decades of round-ups of wild horses and burros, 67,000 of these animals roam the United States, mostly in Nevada and California, according to government estimates.
Without natural predators, they have proliferated far beyond the roughly 27,000 animals the U.S. government says would be a population low enough to prevent overgrazing and preserve land for other animals. The bureau spends nearly $50 million a year in upkeep for captured horses and burros, Gorey said.
The Humane Society alleges the bureau spends so much paying private contractors to hold the animals that it cannot afford to expand its program to administer birth control to the animals on the range, which it contends would be more effective for population control than round-ups.
But the bureau counters fertility control is difficult in part because the birth control drug wears off in less than two years.
(Posted by Reuters, reported by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; editing by Marguerita Choy)
Some of the facts in the above response from the BLM don’t make sense, with of them being that they claim above, “Without natural predators, they have proliferated far beyond the roughly 27,000 animals the U.S. government says would be a population low enough to prevent overgrazing and preserve land for other animals.”
The BLM is the government agency that spent over $80 million a year to kill the predators, 10 times more than what they spent to get rid of wild horses and burros. If they left the predators alone, nature would take its course and keep the horse population sustainable – as well as the cattle population.
An article published by The Daily Pitchfork entitled “Sustainable Cowboys or Welfare Ranchers of the American West,” contains many more interesting statistics, including the fact that 21,000 ranchers who graze their livestock on Western rangelands are estimated to have cost the taxpayers $500 million in 2014 – and every year for the past decade and that a large number of them are millionaires, billionaires and multi-billion-dollar corporations.
The fee that livestock operators paid a month for an AUM (animal unit month) in 2014 was $1.35 – the lowest price that can legally be charged. The market price to graze on private land is $21.60. Fees set by other federal agencies and individual states on public property are also significantly higher. The majority of this money is spent on range rehabilitation, leaving only approximately $7.9 million going into the Treasury.
It also costs the BLM over $80 million a year to kill predators, that’s $380 per rancher and 10 times that much ($3,809) to get rid of wild horses and burros – with most of them 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 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 last year.
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