Capture of 200 horses postponed after massive public outcry

Fillmore, Utah (January 7, 2010). . . . After receiving thousands of protest emails from supporters of In Defense of Animals (IDA), officials in Washington , DC have ordered the Bureau of Land Management to postpone the roundup 200 horses living peacefully in the Confusion Mountains in Utah.

The agency had planned to begin the roundup next week, without public comment and without conducting a current Environmental Assessment (EA) on the impact of the plan to leave just 60-100 horses behind in this 225,000-acre public lands complex.  On its website, the BLM’s Fillmore office warns the public that chasing or catching wild horses that live on BLM lands there is unlawful because “Foals, pregnant mares and older horses are easily hurt when pursued, so please allow them to live a free and un-harassed life.”  Yet the BLM intended traumatize and harass these very horses by helicopter stampedes that run the animals over miles of rough terrain at full gallop speeds, often injuring and/or killing young foals, older horses and pregnant mares.

Yesterday, in an alert to its supporters, IDA exposed the BLM’s plan to evade public scrutiny in its capture of the Confusion horses.  Less than 24 hours later, the BLM has completely reversed course, postponing the roundup until at least July. The agency will now conduct an Environmental Assessment and allow for public comment.

“Clearly, the BLM’s complete about-face on the Utah horse roundup is directly related to the massive public outcry,” said Eric Kleiman, IDA’s director of research, who first uncovered the BLM’s plan to evade public scrutiny of the Utah roundup. “The public is sending a strong message to the Obama Administration that it is time to stop the assault on our nation’s wild horses and burros. The BLM’s mismanaged, wasteful and inhumane wild horse and burro program must be reformed, and the first step is a moratorium on unnecessary and inhumane roundups.”

Meanwhile, the BLM’s assault on the wild horses living in the Calico Mountain Complex in northwestern Nevada continues. As of yesterday, 424 Calico horses had been stampeded by helicopters into capture pens, leaving over 2,000 more of these iconic animals in the BLM’s sights over the next 30 days. At least two Calico horses have died so far and one foal has been orphaned.

A December 23, 2009 decision by federal court Judge Paul Friedman — in a lawsuit brought by IDA, ecologist Craig Downer and renowned children’s author Terri Farley — found that such long-term holding facilities are likely illegal, and suggested that the BLM postpone the Calico roundup.

If the Obama Administration’s BLM continues its current course initially charted by the Bush Administration, it will capture and remove nearly 12,000 wild horses in FY 2010 from their Western ranges and place them in Midwestern holding facilities, where they will join the 35,000 horses already stockpiled at taxpayer expense. At that time, the number of horses in BLM warehouses will far exceed those left on the range.

Wild horses comprise a minute fraction (0.5 percent) of grazing animals on public lands, where they are outnumbered by cattle at least 200 to 1. Currently the BLM manages more than 256 million acres of public lands of which cattle grazing is allowed on 160 million acres; wild horses are only allowed on 26.6 million acres this land, which must be shared with cattle.


Eric Kleiman, IDA Research Director, 717-939-3231, ericsk@idausa.org

Deborah Peterson, ReinFree, 801-580-7441, debpeterson.now@gmail.com

In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization located in San Rafael, Calif. dedicated to protecting animals' rights, welfare, and habitat through education, outreach, and our hands-on rescue facilities in Mumbai, India, Cameroon, Africa, and rural Mississippi. _________________________________________________________________________________

IN DEFENSE OF ANIMALS • 3010 KERNER BLVD. • SAN RAFAEL, CA 94901 • 415-448-0048


  • Suzanne Moore wrote on 7 January, 2010, 20:45

    Well Hallelujah! Great work! We’re with you all the way. Keep it up!

  • elizabeth slagsvol wrote on 8 January, 2010, 8:46

    It’s amazing and wonderful when the collective voice has a positive outcome. Postponement of the BLM Utah roundup is a direct result of exposure by the IDA and proactive work by compassionate people like James Kleinert, (Feature Film, Disappointment Valley). E-Mails, phone calls, attending rallies. Each effort adds up to a total that cannot be ignored. Silence
    is a death sentence for the animals. Great work IDA, thank you!!

  • arlene orlando wrote on 8 January, 2010, 10:28

    The First intelligent ACTION made by the BLM, They Have Betrayed A Nation….. with their lies and Deceit………………..They should be held accountable by the United States for there betrayal…………. They Should be forced to return all wild mustangs back to the land given to them by America………25 million acres………………….no excuses……..

  • Patricia Goldberg wrote on 8 January, 2010, 11:25

    Whoa 111 I was so upset and scared no one was listening.

  • Frank Mancuso wrote on 8 January, 2010, 14:44

    Federal Judge Paul Friedman’s opinion in the Calico Mountain case seemingly needed some guidance from Congress. Well maybe the guidance can be obtained and he can be enlightened by the power of “We The People” in moving Congress based on the “about face” in Utah.

  • T.A. Paxton wrote on 15 January, 2010, 19:13

    They need a serious bombardment of protest. Nothing short of threating to refuse to reelect officials who refuse to act is likely to get a response to the outright lies. We have a right to know what the real motives are. They surely must not think we’ll think it’s worth it or they wouldn’t hide it. I hope this is just the first time the BLM is forced to back down.

  • Denny M wrote on 24 January, 2010, 22:22

    Now is probably the best time to let your representatives know that we expect them to put an end to these roundups. They’re on edge after the Massachusetts rout and will be more willing to listen. Let them know the other issues are important but so is this issue, and this issue is much safer to take a position on as there’s really only one side to this issue. Those who want it stopped. The other side simply doesn’t care one way or the other so it’s a position they can take with little risk but a few cattlemen. Remind them, these are the people’s horses, not the BLM’s or the cattlemen.

  • Deborah Simpson wrote on 5 February, 2010, 12:01

    BLM ( our federal government ) has mismanaged our Horse & Burro program for many years and our government will not stop the brutal round-ups. Ken Salazar proposed slaughter for our horses moving them Eastward bound. How can the American people have faith in our government to protect our horses? we can’t!

  • Debbie Zarr wrote on 22 February, 2010, 14:45

    The results prove each one of us can make a difference.

  • Debbie Zarr wrote on 22 February, 2010, 14:51

    It’s time to fire Ken Salazar and appoint a Secretary who truly loves animals and acts in the best interests of wildlife.

  • Diane L. Rechner wrote on 24 March, 2010, 13:52

    Please get everyone to write your representatives and President Obama regarding firing Ken Salazar and everyone on the BLM staff and replacing them with a staff that truly loves animals and acts in the best interests of wildlife. It makes you wonder who is getting paid off by the cattle ranchers! IMMEDIATELY STOP THE ROUNDUPS AND RESTORE THE HORSES ALREADY ROUNDED UP TO THE PUBLIC LANDS, CLOSE THE FACILITIES. These are HITTLER tactics – rounded up and placed in holding facilties. The Governor of Wyoming just introduced a bill that would allow the slaughtering of horses. Do you see where this is going?Gandhi said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral prograss can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” P:resident Obama, DO THE RIGHT THING!

  • Linda Jo Bain wrote on 8 June, 2010, 15:05

    I cant believe that a man like Salazar is in charge of the BLM to begin with..isnt that a bit like putting the fox in charge of the hen house?? These men have no concept of anything but money its the only thing that means anything to them..How SAD!!

  • Marcia wrote on 18 August, 2010, 15:08

    I hope the protests keep coming until all the rounups stop. I also hope that Mr. Salazar will be gone also. He seems much too involved with cattle interests (family background) to fairly do the job.

  • Anonymous wrote on 1 March, 2012, 18:03

    Mr Salazar is the root of evil. This is wonderful news and I hope Mr. Salazar is gets the boot out of office.

  • alex j wrote on 15 January, 2013, 22:11

    This is certainly is a epidemic and needs to be addressed by our goverment starting with the White House, and we the people as a nation should declair civil outrage.those of us who are informed on this issue, and those of us who need to become infomed on the issue, but of course we all know that nuthing will be done on the goverments part, as their to blame for this …. due to our government officials and the BLM flunkies that are working for them, thats why were having this problem to start with!. The ones calling the shots here have no clue, on whats really happening out there on the range lands and with our wild horses mustangs and burros. They know nothing about these endangered animals in the first place, so thats why they have no compasion , because their all ignorant! . Its all driven by power, control and sheer greed, and of course the almighty dollar.. by big oil exploration, pipelines, and ranchers selling out their land and western hertiage, for what they consider is range management. Our herds have been deminished drastically over the last decade, and this was not due to disease, and or famon. And amazingly enough these animals survived all those years without human intervention and were just fine. hummm? it certainly does raise an eyebrow in my eyes what about yours? . And now with human intervention., thats wanting to sterilize the wild mares, thus to cease the reproduction with the stallions, deminishing the herds for their herd manegment?. what they dont realize is that when they try to intervene with the natural process of that with the stallions, they the stallions will end up rejecting the mares when their not able to reproduce time and time again,, thus being rejected from the herd completely and the process will keep snowballing with each consectuive stallion and or herd. which will lead to possible ailenation, then possible starvation and or death. So you tell me how this human intervention is benefiting these animals, when we have holding pens all thru out nevada, utah, wyoming colorado, animals transported to MEXICO, helicopter jockies that dont give a damn, and BLM employees who have willingly injured and or uthanized these animals and disposed of them in pits dug out on private ranchers land that are in on this crime as well So with that being said, we need to. Stand up for whats right, and these animals, and their constitutional amended land that was granted to them from our forefathers and preserve our Western heritage and become informed citizens of the United states and stand up for whats right and speak out. Dont be an ostriage with you head stuck in the sand, become informed and read up on this issue if you dont know, or dont understand ,the wild horses and all that they stand for and do this for the next generation to pass along and the one after that. as thats really whats important here isnt it?

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