An urgent petition is circulating now to put a stop to a federal plan to surgically spay 30-50 wild mares in the White Mountain Herd Management Area (HMA) of Wyoming. Supposedly it’s part of a “research” program to control numbers of wild horses. Public-lands ranchers want more grazing territory – and less competition – for their personal livestock. This risky experiment is also suspected of being a step towards eliminating wild horses altogether on public lands, in favor of private business interests.
Public comments are being accepted until January 14, 2016.
“The proposed action also includes the removal of an estimated 168 wild horses from the Little Colorado HMA, where the remaining horses will then be used as a control group. The entire proposal is part of the BLM’s plan to wipe out wild horses from the Wyoming Checkerboard to appease the Rock Springs Grazing Association, whose members graze livestock on the public lands in numbers that dwarf the wild horse populations there,” states the alert from Wild Horse Preservation in their petition letter.
Wild, free-roaming horses are supposed to be protected under the THE WILD FREE-ROAMING HORSES AND BURROS ACT OF 1971 (PUBLIC LAW 92-195) by the Bureau of Land Management, but the law was crippled when Senator Conrad Burns (R) secretly slipped an amendment into the bill in 2004 which effectively gutted the Act and sparked the cruel and controversial wild horse roundups and penning operations. Right now the number of captured horses is straining capacity of holding facilities, and many animals are killed, maimed, injured or at the very least stressed during the chase. After capture many more either go to so-called ‘kill buyers’ for the slaughter industry, are sold to citizens at ‘adoption’ events or languish (sometimes for the rest of their lives) in miserable, crowded pens, often without sufficient food, water or veterinary attention.
The BLM plan, if allowed to move forward, would proceed without consideration of genetic diversity, or the mental or emotional health of the horses involved. Bearing in mind how strongly social and family-oriented horses are, the trauma to mother/foal bonds or herd hierarchy can result in destabilization and loss of social cohesion; thus, it would be putting the future of wild horses itself at risk as priceless genetics are lost to make way for the invasion of privately-owned and destructive livestock on our rugged, yet fragile, wide open western spaces.
To take action against this ill-conceived sterilization program, visit this link for more information and the petition.