America’s wild horses and burros are under siege. When once over a million roamed tens of millions of acres of public lands, now less than 26,000 roam on a fraction of the land they once occupied.
The biggest threats to our wild horses and burros are the most familiar.
In the West, privately owned cattle and sheep graze our public lands, paying a pittance to the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for the privilege of doing so. The Cattlemen and several multimillion dollar corporations have been scapegoating wild horses and burros for decades, while their cattle decimate the range. When the number of privately owned cattle grazing our public lands outnumbers wild horses and burros at least 7:1, it is very easy to determine what is causing serious impact, yet the wild horses and burros are blamed.
Many multi-national and international corporations involved in and gas drilling and mineral mining have been buying up our public lands. Our public lands are not only being stolen from us, they are being polluted and stripped of our wild horses and burros.
More than 50,000 wild horses and burros are warehoused by the BLM at a huge cost to the taxpayer. Many of these warehouses are located on private land, so the public cannot see the conditions or numbers of horses and burros. The BLM has created a “crisis” putting every one of those animals at risk, and they are manipulating Congressmen and Senators with data that lacks all scientific merit. Of course, there are several elected officials in Congress who will benefit nicely from the destruction of the wild horses and burros, and they are hard at work. The most recent assault involves a field spaying experiment, where mares will be subjected to a surgical procedure that, under the best of circumstances in a hospital setting, is dangerous. Mares will suffer; some will certainly die a gruesome death. These actions are routinely referred to by wild horse and burros advocates as “managing to extinction”.
Wild horses in Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina are also targeted. These horses are in the way of developers scooping up beachfront property for building vacation homes and commercial buildings. Coupled with suspect multi-agency Government management (driving some of the herds to a genetic crisis), public servants (firefighters) who take horses from the herds to auction them off to the highest bidders, plus tourists who refuse to mind the laws established to protect humans and horses, these seaside icons are threatened at every turn.
If we don’t collectively speak up for our wild horses and burros, it is a guarantee we will soon only see them in the history books.
There are numerous resources online, and groups whose life’s work is data collection and investigation, all in an effort to protect the few wild horses and burros that exist. Dominion Equine Welfare finds the following links to be the most accurate when it comes to statistics, historical information, education and calls to action.
American Wild Horse Preservation: http://www.wildhorsepreservation.org/
Wild Horse Education: https://wildhorseeducation.org/
The Cloud Foundation: http://www.thecloudfoundation.org/
Corolla Wild Horse Fund: http://www.corollawildhorses.com/
Chincoteague Pony Rescue: http://www.chincoteagueponyrescue.org/