Today is the 42nd Anniversary of The Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act. This Act was passed by Congress and signed into law on December 15, 1971 by President Nixon. The purpose of the Act was to protect our “fast disappearing” wild horses and burros on public land from capture, branding harassment and death.
Today there is still no humane care policy (the “IM” on the Bureau of Land Management, or BLM, website is not a policy). What BLM claims as a policy carries no specific parameters within the document except not to hit a horse with a chopper (and that took a Preliminary Injunction to get, we have two other legal cases that address these issues in a broader spectrum that are ACTIVE).
Today we still have issues with access to witness what happens (that case is now in Circuit court Mediation).
Roundups occur on holidays and even on the anniversary of the Act.
Last year we had the Owyhee Complex fiasco take a “Christmas Break.” That roundup saw horses run through barbed wire, foals run to exhaustion and animals repeatedly shocked with a cattle prod. The roundup garnered BLM a lawsuit to inhumane treatment and unlawful removals (the case is still active).
On the 40th Anniversary of the Act in 2011 Laura Leigh (founder of WHE) was at the Calico Complex roundup. She was there with Elyse Gardner and after a day of documenting the roundup they lit candles on the range. We want to take you back with us to that day…. Read here (second post) http://wheblog.wordpress.com/2012/11/09/december-2011-highlights/
On December 7, 2011 BLM issued a report on Triple B (Third post at this link: http://wheblog.wordpress.com/2012/11/09/december-2011-highlights/ that came after legal action brought by Leigh gained the first TRO (and later Preliminary Injunction) to inhumane conduct. The case is still active and BLM presented the report and “IM” to the court as if it were “policy.” However the court accepted an amended complaint to include the Jackson Mountain roundup that shows this is not a policy… (that case is still active and has survived two Motions to dismiss from BLM. Every time we enter into Discovery where we ask for death and injury statistics to be provided to the court, BLM files another Motion to Dismiss).
Today horses sit in extreme weather in BLM holding facilities with insufficient shelter and wind breaks.
Our weather person, Cathy Ceci, has prepared this chart of weather conditions at BLM holding facilities.
It is astounding that BLM will not accept the responsibility to simply create a standard of handling and enforce it. The most basic premise of the Act was protection. Domestic animals, even those headed to slaughter, have some form of handling standard (even if it’s not enforced). Why, after 42 years, is there no humane care specifics for this symbol of American Freedom?
We remain committed to continue to fight until a sane, humane handling policy is actually created and enforced on the ground.
~~~ We need your support to keep up the fight. http://wildhorseeducation.org/donate
Categories: Wild Horse Education