Monday: Thousands Urge BLM Advisory Board to Halt Wild Horse Roundups
Lawsuit aims to stop removal of 2,500 wild horses in northwestern Nevada
Reno, NV (December 5, 2009) – On Monday, December 7, In Defense of Animals (IDA), horse advocacy organizations and private citizens will gather in Reno, Nevada to urge the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board to recommend an immediate moratorium on all wild horse and burro roundups and a shifting of resources away from the inhumane roundup, removal and stockpiling of horses toward maintaining free-roaming wild horses on their federally-protected Western ranges.
The meeting will take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m PST at the John Ascuaga’s Nugget, 1100 Nugget Avenue, Sparks, Nevada 89431 (hotel phone: 1-800-648-1177). Public comment is scheduled for 3 p.m.
More than 1,000 public comments have been submitted for the meeting; and over 150 horse advocacy and animal welfare organizations, joined by celebrities Sheryl Crow, Viggo Mortenson, Ed Harris, Lily Tomlin and others, signed a statement demanding a halt to the BLM’s wild horse roundups.
Although the BLM is already warehousing 33,000 wild horses in government holding facilities, it intends to round up and remove 12,000 wild horses and burros from their Western ranges each year for the next three years.
On November 23, the law firm Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney filed suit to stop the largest of these roundups — the scheduled removal of 2,500 horses from the Calico Mountain in northwestern Nevada . The BLM received over 10,000 public comments in opposition to its Calico Complex Capture Plan. Due to the lawsuit, which was filed pro bono on behalf of IDA and ecologist Craig Downer, the Calico roundup was postponed until the end of December, pending the outcome of a hearing in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia , scheduled for December 16.
“The BLM’s wild horse roundups, which use helicopters to stampede horses, terrorizing, traumatizing, injuring and killing them in the process, are entirely illegal,” said William Spriggs, Esq., lead counsel on the law suit. “The cruel roundups and mass stockpiling of wild horses and burros in holding facilities must stop and the Obama Administration must craft a new policy that protects these animals and upholds the will of Congress and the public’s desire to preserve this important part of our national heritage.”
In October of this year, Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar announced his proposal for reform of the National Wild Horse and Burro program. IDA will urge the Advisory Board to recommend:
- Rejection of Secretary Salazar’s proposal to purchase private land in the mid-West and East to house horses removed from their Western ranges. This approach is not fiscally responsible, given that the BLM already manages more than 26 million acres of public land specifically designated by Congress as wild horse habitat. That habitat, unique to the West, is necessary for the horses’ survival.
- Elimination or restriction of livestock grazing in Herd Management Areas in order to allow wild horses and burros to remain in their designated ranges.
- An end to the BLM’s stockpiling of wild horses as a management method and creation of viable sanctuaries in the west or designated range areas to house the 33,000 horses currently in government holding facilities.
Since 1971, the BLM has removed over 270,000 horses from their Western home ranges and taken away nearly 20 million acres of Congressionally-designated wild horse habitat. Only an estimated 37,000 wild horses and burros remain on public lands in the West. By contrast, millions of cattle graze our public lands.
Contacts: Suzanne Roy, 919-697-9389
IN DEFENSE OF ANIMALS • 3010 KERNER BLVD. • SAN RAFAEL, CA 94901 • 415-448-0048
One Comment on “Monday: Thousands Urge BLM Advisory Board to Halt Wild Horse Roundups”
Write a Comment
Gravatars are small images that can show your personality. You can get your gravatar for free today!