Citizen’s Pledge To Protect Wild Horses From Abuse
(RENO) Citizens from around the world are signing a pledge to take action to create a humane care policy for wild horses and burros managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
Over the last few years the BLM wild horse and burro program has been under intense public scrutiny. The program has been deemed a fiscal failure and unsustainable. Range management practices that favor private profiteers on public land have reached a “boiling point” as drought conditions begin to force issues to a breaking point. More wild horses are held in captivity than exist on the wild.
All of the issues apparent in this program have created an intense public debate, except one. One issue most people appear to agree on is that our wild horses and burros must be treated humanely.
“BLM will tell you that they have a ‘policy’ for humane handling and that they follow it,” stated Laura Leigh, President and founder of Wild Horse Education (WHE), “But that is far from the truth. After court orders created an undeniable issue with handling, BLM began issuing ‘memos’ that give authority to determine what is right into the very hands that perpetrate the wrong. It’s insane.”
The need for a policy has been clearly demonstrated. In 2011 Leigh’s documentation gained the first Order from the court in the history of the Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act to conduct. The conduct alleged in Leigh’s Complaint was admitted to by the BLM in the “Triple B Review.” Another roundup in June of 2012 faced a court order to conduct that involved running newborn foals during “foaling season.” And yet again in January of 2013 BLM faced more court orders against conduct that involved running horses into barbed wire, repetitive use of an electric prod or “hotshot,” and running foals to exhaustion.
Two of these court orders were gained after BLM issued it’s memo on conduct that BLM calls an “Interim Memorandum,” or “IM.” BLM asserts that the “IM” is a policy. The document simply notes certain issues and then places the authority to determine what is right into the hands of the people performing the actions.
“We have had a huge start in this campaign with simply a call on Facebook,” stated Laura Leigh, President and founder of Wild Horse Education,“Thousands of people have already said they have had enough and every day more sign on.”
Issues involving the care and handling of wild horses and burros extend beyond capture. Currently BLM does not have a policy for humane care at holding facilities. Assertions that humane care are an objective exist as the agency fails to even erect shelters at their facilities. Shelters are a requirement for adoption of a BLM wild horse or burro.
Wild Horse Education will use the list as an “action call” list as documents need comment and to present to officials in ongoing discussions on humane care and BLM activities.
To “Take the Pledge” go to: http://wildhorseeducation.org/whe-pledge/
Wild Horse Education Website: http://wildhorseeducation.org