Wild Horse Education

Swasey Day 9 (and a few questions answered about the budget debate)

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Youngsters at temporary holding Day 9

On day 9 BLM began at one trap and moved to the next. The operation is winding down.

BLM captured 27 (11 stallions, 11 mares, 5 foals) wild horses. This brings the total to 594 captured during the Swasey operation to date.

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The budget debate is absolute chaos every year and we understand your confusion.

We wrote an article that tries to explain that process here. 

Please read this article to understand why our messaging on the budget is different than many corporate orgs. Please, take the action at the bottom of this article. 

Yesterday, an amendment made it through the committee to be added to the bill for Interior Department spending on the BLM wild horse and burro program. It has yet to be voted on by the full House (the entire bill). Then the bills goes to the Senate.

The text of the amendment, not our words, included in HR 7608 that passed the rules committee and is heading for a floor vote: “Increases and decreases funds to require the Bureau of Land Management to utilize $11,000,000 of its Wild Horse and Burro Program budget to implement PZP humane, reversible fertility control to manage wild horse populations.” 

This amendment proposes that out of the $42 million over fiscal year 2019 spending, that BLM must use $11 million on PZP. It does not say how, when, or include any actual planning document that requires any other provision or even retreating.

The public confuses the substance (PZP) with the method (darting). They are not the same thing. The bill does not say “$11 million for darting temporary fertility control,” it defines a substance that BLM primarily utilizes in conjunction with a helicopter roundup.

Just as we fight for humane care (we are the only organization to ever take the issue into an actual legal arena) language is really important to create the actual change we seek. There will always be more changes needed, that is how all progress takes place. It is really critical to be “language specific”  when dealing with Congress as well, they make actual law and BLM needs to carry out that law.

But let us try to understand what things really are before we address it.

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If this amendment was adopted last year, after passing the full House and Senate, what would be the difference at Swasey? 

Everything would be the same except BLM would be using PZP (instead of GonaCon) on the wild horses they release after the roundup ends, after reaching their approved stocking level of wild horses (AML).

It would not have stopped the mare from crashing into the panel and breaking her neck; it would not have stopped this roundup. It would not have changed any aspect of management; forage, water, number of wild horses allowed to live out there.

We would still be heading into the years of the most massive helicopter roundups in history with no actual management planning.

PZP is a great tool of management, but it is not management. Used as part of a management plan,  responsibly and honestly, we really like the tool. But “PZP” is not the same as “darting temporary fertility control.”

Note for those following over the years: But that would not make a great meme to get Ten Years to AML over the line, would it? This is one arm of the Ten Years to AML plan openly introduced earlier this year (introduced in 2017 behind closed doors); 50 million in additional funds over the current spending, with 10 million to PZP. This adds the PZP allocation of Ten Years to AML (out of the additional $42 million currently allocated) to the current bill, with no opposition from livestock. Ten Years to AML was the original name for the agreement crafted by a bunch of corporate lobbyists from “big humane” and the cattlemen; later it was called the “Path Forward.” Many of you know it by one name or the other. The lobbyists began parceling out roles in 2016 to push the agenda, and pieces of the agenda, this is one piece of that whole. That is why the press releases from those openly in the “Ten Years to AML bunch” are the same as those that claimed to oppose it right now, they all worked together and got the agenda to the House floor. This was a coordinated, and very expensive, political campaign begun in 2016.

video below of Day 9, trap one. BLM finished at this trap and moved back to the trap used on day 1.

If you support PZP, we like PZP. But if that is what you are pushing, do it with your eyes wide open, honestly. Don’t just react to the messaging from multi-million dollar corporations, that all worked together, that say “Stop the helicopter!” That is not what this is. 

This additional $11 million on PZP wont change much in the reality of wild horses. We are still heading into the the “15-20K” removed a year roundups with  no management planning, sterilization still on the table and PZP will be primarily applied after BLM hits the current AML, after a helicopter roundup.

Please help us continue to push for actual management planning, in a Herd Management Area Plan (HMAP). If we are armed with actual ground data and engage according to the specific language of the law, we have the process to advocate for what kind of fertility control, how and when it is used, forage allocation, critical habitat, genetic equations, all of the things you want to see addressed.

Can you help us push actual management? PZP is a great tool, but it is not management. Why are we giving BLM more money, buying new tools, when we still do not have a blueprint for management?

We now have a fast “click and send” you can shoot off to your legislators: Click HERE.

We know the asking for a management plan gets complicated. But most of you do some of that already, even if you do not know those are the words you need to use. If you want higher forage, water improvements, changes to AML, you are actually asking for the HMAP, management plan, that gives you the chance to create that change.

We have already lost entire herds that never had a management plan. We are heading into the largest years of removals with no management plan. Sterilization is not “off the table” for any herd. 15-20K a year will hit holding facilities and the system will collapse. More wild horses than ever will be in danger of the slaughter pipeline.

Please, take action today. We really are up against massive corporate lobby groups, with less than honest intentions.

Click HERE.

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Categories: Wild Horse Education