U.S. Gov't Inhumane Wild Horse Management Policy Draws Outrage as Experts and Advocates Converge at Public Hearing Monday
In Defense of Animals to Call For Moratorium on Roundups and Humane Plan For 33,000 Wild Horses Currently in Gov’t Holding Facilities
Washington, DC — September 25, 2009 — On Monday, the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will discuss the government’s management of wild horses on public lands and hear outraged horse experts and advocates from around the country calling for change in the agency’s inhumane practices.
When: Monday, September 28, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. with public testimony starting at 3 pm.
What: Public meeting of BLM’s National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board
Where: Hyatt Arlington, Virginia (1325 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington)
In Defense of Animals (IDA), an international animal protection organization, will speak at the hearing regarding the latest travesties against wild horses and call for:
- a moratorium on government roundups of wild horses,
- a requirement for formal humane, horse-advocate observers on any future roundups;
- a humane plan for the 33,000 wild horses the government currently keeps in holding facilities costing taxpayers $100,000 per day and tens of millions annually.
The Advisory Board meeting comes in the wake of controversy over the roundup and auction of the Pryor Mountain horse herds, including family members of Cloud, the near mythic stallion featured in the PBS Nature series “Cloud: Stallion of the Rockies.” The horses were rounded up earlier this month from their federally “protected” range on the Wyoming/Montana border.
An IDA observer documented the roundup, in which horses, including young foals, were injured and chased by helicopter to the point of lameness. Older, unadoptable horses were also captured and will be placed up for auction.
“Just two weeks ago, the majestic horses of Pryor Mountain were living wild and free with their families,” said Elliot Katz, DVM, IDA president. “Now those families have been shattered forever, and 57 of these beloved horses are imprisoned in BLM holding pens, awaiting an uncertain future. If the world’s most famous herd cannot be saved, then the future looks bleak for the wild mustangs that are part of our nation’s heritage.”
The BLM plans to round up thousands more mustangs to appease special interests like ranchers, who graze millions of cattle on public lands. By contrast, fewer than 30,000 horses remain free.
IDA is also calling for passage of the Restoring Our American Mustangs Act (ROAM) to protect wild horses. This summer the ROAM Act was passed by the House of Representatives and Introduced in the Senate by Robert C. Byrd (D-WV) where t is pending in the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
IN DEFENSE OF ANIMALS • 3010 KERNER BLVD. • SAN RAFAEL, CA 94901 • 415-448-0048
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