The Fiscal Year 2018 Proposed Budget includes language that will send tens of thousands of wild horses into the direct ands of kill buyers and into the slaughter trade. This move is part of a larger agenda that takes aim at the entire wild horse and burro program and our domestic horses nationwide.
This budget would make the things that happened in the “Salazar/Tom Davis” story legal; where a family friend of the former Secretary of Interior Salazar was sold more than 1700 wild horses for about $5.00 each, the tax payer paid the shipping tab, the horses went to a gruesome death at the slaughter plant and Davis made a massive profit. The cost breakdown is staggering. The public shouldered the burden of overhead to the tune of over $200,000. and the killer pocketed equal profits.
Wild horses are protected symbol of the spirit of the West and integral to our American heritage and landscape. Born free, in some of the most rugged places in our nation, they thrive. On the range they are given the short end of any “multiple use” and scapegoated for vast destruction of our rangeland. A thin wild horse removed from a range where millions of European cattle bash the range to dust subsidized to the tune of more than $125 million dollars a year, is somehow responsible for the shape it is in and removed “for it’s own good.”
This is one more outrage no matter how you look at it. We all get really frustrated because the layers of corruption run so deep and the myth of “fair management” in any form is wrapped in decades of political spin.
The wild ones need us all to focus and act this week.
Wild horse organizations from across the country stand united in asking all of you to pick up the phone and call your legislators… and keep it simple.
Use your voice.
Authenticity of voice is crucial. If you care but are confused, say so. If you are nervous talking to a Senator, say so.
Your call can be as simple as; “I live in your district and have never called your office before and I’m nervous. But there is an issue that I really care about. The proposed budget strips $10 million from the BLM wild horse program and proposes to send wild horses in holding to slaughter. As an American that is simply not ok with me.”
If your legislator (likely an aide) says; “But we have thousands of wild horses starving and we need to do something.”
Do not loose your cool here, stay calm. You can reply in several ways depending on your comfort level.
Potential 1, if you find yourself getting upset or feeling overly flustered: “I believe you are mistaken. Can I have an email to send you addition information?” This response allows you to take the conversation into a place where you can collect your thoughts. In an email you can add attachments from orgs with data, not aggregation.
Potential 2, if you feel informed and calm: “Can you provide me with a source for your information? I’d like to look at it and I have additional concerns.” Then you can talk about industries, like livestock, that are intensely subsidized and lose the tax payer over $150 million a year in revenue that is not reflected in the simplistic receipt count but reflected in cost receipt comparison. You can express concern that not one of those subsidies is addressed in the budget. You can then ask for an email to send documentation that counters any claim of wild horses being responsible for degradation and not simply scapegoated for it.
Always remove yourself from the conversation if you find your frustration with the conversation mounting.
Keep your calls as brief and polite as possible.
Always ask for an email to send information to. We all have that moment where we say “I wish I said this or that.” Sending a follow up email allows you to continue the conversation.
The most important thing you can do for our wild ones is call, be calm and authentic.
Making your call, (an example video at the bottom of this page).
Find your Representatives: https://www.govtrack.us/
FOCUS: Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/subcommittees/interior-environment-and-related-agencies
Some info to help with your calls. Info on livestock, intimidation and the wild horse program.
Main website: http://WildHorseEducation.org
This video is long but it walks someone through making a first call to their Senator.
Categories: Wild Horse Education