Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Some Horse Advocates Buck at New Plan to Save Wild Mustangs
gvw_ap_news
By Associated Press
Published 5 years ago on
April 25, 2019

Share

RENO, Nev. — Animal welfare groups have reached a milestone agreement with ranching interests they say would save wild mustangs from slaughter but the compromise has opened a nasty split among horse protection advocates.

“The groups promoting this plan have been co-opted into supporting the livestock industry’s agenda for wild horses by the BLM’s vague promise to utilize undefined ‘population growth suppression’ methods. By mandating the removal of a startling 15,000 to 20,000 wild horses a year, the plan will result in the reduction of America’s wild herds to extinction levels.” — American Wild Horse Campaign and Friends of Animals
The Humane Society of the United States and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals say their proposal backed by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the American Farm Bureau Federation would eliminate the threat of slaughter for thousands of free-roaming horses primarily by spending millions of dollars on expanding fertility controls on the range.
As part of the deal presented to the Bureau of Land Management, they’re willing to drop long-held opposition to controversial roundups of the horses — fighting words for the largest mustang advocacy groups that have been in court for years defending the animals’ ability to forage with cattle and sheep in 10 western states.
The unprecedented alliance unveiled this week has ignited fierce opposition from the American Wild Horse Campaign and Friends of Animals, which currently is leading a legal challenge to Forest Service efforts that could for the first time make mustangs recently rounded up along the California-Nevada border available for purchase for slaughter.
“The groups promoting this plan have been co-opted into supporting the livestock industry’s agenda for wild horses by the BLM’s vague promise to utilize undefined ‘population growth suppression’ methods,” including surgical sterilization, the Campaign said. “By mandating the removal of a startling 15,000 to 20,000 wild horses a year, the plan will result in the reduction of America’s wild herds to extinction levels.”
“It’s a sellout,” added Laura Leigh, who has monitored roundups for nearly 20 years and heads the Nevada-based Wild Horse Education.

A Bold Approach That No One Has Taken so Far

Nancy Perry, ASPCA’s senior vice president, acknowledges they’re in “frightening territory” with a “bold approach that no one has taken so far.”

“After years of all of us being in our bunkers on this issue, this proposal represents some real common ground among stakeholders that have never appeared on the same document before.” — Ethan Lane, senior executive director of federal lands for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and its Public Lands Council
“Not every advocate wants to engage with or work with those that they have been in battle with over the years,” she told The Associated Press. “But BLM’s current polices are ineffective. If they continue on the road they’re on now, it means disaster.”
In addition to the cattlemen’s powerful lobbying arm, the package has the support of the Society for Range Management, Utah’s governor and rural county commissions in Utah and Nevada.
“After years of all of us being in our bunkers on this issue, this proposal represents some real common ground among stakeholders that have never appeared on the same document before,” said Ethan Lane, senior executive director of federal lands for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and its Public Lands Council.
“The Humane Society and ASPCA have a view that what my members do to put food on their tables is inherently bad. For us to be able to come together and find some common ground on this is significant,” he said.
Others who’ve bought in include the American Mustang Foundation and the California-based Return to Freedom Wild Horse Conservation.
“We need to work together with other stakeholders who have diverse interests,” Return to Freedom President Neda DeMayo said.

83,000 Wild Horses and Burros Were Roaming Public Rangelands Last Year

Rebecca Goldrick of the APSCA said they’re seeking a $50 million increase in BLM’s $80 million annual horse budget but that it ultimately would save money as herds shrink.
BLM estimated 83,000 wild horses and burros were roaming public rangelands last year, more than three times what the agency says the land can support. Another 50,000 that have been removed from the range in recent years were in holding facilities at an annual cost of about $50 million.
BLM spokesman Derrick Henry said the development was encouraging.
“We welcome their ideas and support, and are committed to working together with the public to identify an effective and sustainable strategy for addressing chronic overpopulation,” he said.
Horse advocates have argued the animals must be permitted to roam the range in federally protected management areas established under the Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971. They say BLM’s population quotas are often outdated and lack scientific data to support roundups to cull herd sizes.
The new proposal advocates roundups in densely populated areas that cannot sustain large numbers of animals. It also would move horses currently in short-term holding pens to larger “cost effective, humane” pastures with a “free-roaming environment,” and provide new handling and training of horses they say would boost adoption rates.
“Most importantly,” the proposal said, “a fundamental aspect of the proposal is that it will prohibit the killing of healthy wild horses and burros or their sale to slaughter.”

DON'T MISS

Ex-Rivals Line Up to Make Trump’s Case at Convention

DON'T MISS

John Deere Reverses its Support of Pride Events

DON'T MISS

Republican Convention Turns to Immigration and the Border, Central Issues for Trump’s Campaign

DON'T MISS

Power Restored at Overcrowded California Prison Amid Heat Wave

DON'T MISS

Elon Musk Says He Will Move SpaceX, X HQ From California to Texas

DON'T MISS

California Seizes Over 5,200 Pounds of Illegal Cannabis at State Parks, One in Tulare County

DON'T MISS

Fresno State Weighs in on City’s Industrial Battle: Be Wary of University’s Data

DON'T MISS

July Could Be A Weather Record-Breaking Month. Please Pass The Ice.

DON'T MISS

GV Wire Honored With 5 Reporting Awards in CNPA Competition

DON'T MISS

Your Fresno Address Will Determine If a Yes Vote for a School Bond Raises Your Taxes

UP NEXT

JD Vance on the Issues, From Abortion to the Middle East

UP NEXT

Man Dies After Rescuing His 2 Children in Mississippi River

UP NEXT

Biden Says It Was a Mistake to Say He Wanted to Put Trump in a ‘Bull’s-Eye’

UP NEXT

Trump Receives Enough Delegate Votes to Officially be Republicans’ Nominee

UP NEXT

What to Know About the Attempt on Trump’s Life and Its Aftermath

UP NEXT

GOP Convention Protests on Despite Shooting at Trump Rally

UP NEXT

US Journalist Masha Gessen Is Convicted in Absentia in Russia for Criticizing the Military

UP NEXT

What We Know About the Trump Rally Shooting Victims So Far

UP NEXT

Federal Judge Dismisses Trump Classified Documents Case Over Prosecutor Appointment Concerns

UP NEXT

In Primetime Address, Biden Says Country Must Not Go Down Road of Political Violence

Power Restored at Overcrowded California Prison Amid Heat Wave

14 hours ago

Elon Musk Says He Will Move SpaceX, X HQ From California to Texas

15 hours ago

California Seizes Over 5,200 Pounds of Illegal Cannabis at State Parks, One in Tulare County

15 hours ago

Fresno State Weighs in on City’s Industrial Battle: Be Wary of University’s Data

15 hours ago

July Could Be A Weather Record-Breaking Month. Please Pass The Ice.

15 hours ago

GV Wire Honored With 5 Reporting Awards in CNPA Competition

16 hours ago

Your Fresno Address Will Determine If a Yes Vote for a School Bond Raises Your Taxes

18 hours ago

What Polls Tell Us About Biden’s Chances

18 hours ago

A Prison Union Is Spending Big on Gavin Newsom. Is It an ‘800 Pound Gorilla’ or a Threatened Species?

18 hours ago

Local Dems Outshine GOP in Latest Congressional Fundraising

18 hours ago

Ex-Rivals Line Up to Make Trump’s Case at Convention

A parade of vanquished foes who previously criticized Donald Trump are speaking on the second night of the Republican National Convention on...

12 hours ago

12 hours ago

Ex-Rivals Line Up to Make Trump’s Case at Convention

13 hours ago

John Deere Reverses its Support of Pride Events

13 hours ago

Republican Convention Turns to Immigration and the Border, Central Issues for Trump’s Campaign

14 hours ago

Power Restored at Overcrowded California Prison Amid Heat Wave

15 hours ago

Elon Musk Says He Will Move SpaceX, X HQ From California to Texas

15 hours ago

California Seizes Over 5,200 Pounds of Illegal Cannabis at State Parks, One in Tulare County

15 hours ago

Fresno State Weighs in on City’s Industrial Battle: Be Wary of University’s Data

15 hours ago

July Could Be A Weather Record-Breaking Month. Please Pass The Ice.

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend