In Defense of Animals has slammed the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Wild Horse and Burro advisory board for recommending the mass killing of over 44,000 wild horses currently in holding facilities across the U.S. The grim plan would be the biggest horse slaughter in history and wipe out more than half of all wild horses remaining in the U.S. American taxpayers are expected to foot the bill for what amounts to a wild horse genocide.
The shootings would likely take place in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming, where rounded-up horses are currently stockpiled at holding facilities.
“This is the final straw – the public will not accept the government’s relentless persecution wild horses anymore,” said In Defense of Animals’ President Dr. Marilyn Kroplick. “We call on the government to immediately halt the mass horse slaughter plans and revoke the BLM’s right to manage public lands on the basis of the agency’s gross ineptitude, squandering of public funds, and failure to meet the basic requirements of the wild horse protection Act.”
The BLM budget has climbed to a staggering $77 million while wild horse numbers have plummeted. Fewer than 50,000 mustangs now remain in the wild, following the removal of around 270,000 mustangs from private land since 1971. With wild horse populations critically low, the planned slaughter amounts to a genocide.
Six states have entirely lost their wild horse populations. Wild horses and burros relegated primarily to government-designated Herd Management Areas in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming.
The BLM continues to persecute wild horses through continued round-ups to remove horses from the range so that public lands can be used by meat ranchers. The number of cows and sheep now allowed on public lands leaves wild horses outnumbered by over 30 to one, causing great damage to the natural environment.
Wild horses are federally protected under the 1971 Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act which declares that wild horses are living symbols of the American west. The Act is designed to protect, manage and control of these wild horses, yet the BLM has offered no protection and constant mismanagement.
“The BLM’s proposal flies in the face of every single protection mustangs are afforded under the Act and is a gross travesty of justice for these horses who have been ripped from their homes, torn from their families and placed in pens for their lifetimes, only to now receive a death sentence,” said Dr. Kroplick.
Members of the public are being urged to urgently express their concerns to Sally Jewell, Secretary of the Interior on 202-208-3100, and urge the BLM advisory board to reconsider its proposed slaughter by writing to them at firstname.lastname@example.org