Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Wild Horse Welfare -- catchy rhetoric, but wrong
The House passed the ROAM bill and now that it's headed for the Senate, opponents are calling it "wild horse welfare," ignoring the fact that it will save money and bring BLM back into line with public wishes and fiscal responsibility.
A month ago I attended the the national Wild Horse and Burro advisory board meeting in Sacramento, CA.
Meeting minutes won't be available to the public until September, but these details are from my notes:
- BLM continues to say wild horses reproduce at a rate of 20% per year and "Because horses and burros are an introduced species, they have few natural enemies..." In fact, wild horses' population boom is relatively recent, because natural predators and their territories have been reduced by man.
- In place of contraception, BLM is considering upsetting the gender ratio in wild horse herds to 70% stallions. Not only would many stallions be injured in fights, the mares might not survive. If that's a population reduction plan, it's certainly an inefficient one.
-Despite BLM staff protests that the U.S. can't afford wild horses, the BLM's wild horse program turned down Federal stimulus funds
-BLM continues to "zero out" historic grazing ares (HMA/ herd management areas), forcing wild horses to crowd contiguous rangelands, then complains of over-grazing
- Asked why BLM places thousands of captive wild horses with the costliest independent contractors instead of volunteer sanctuaries or less expensive land owners, BLM staff offered no explanation except they wanted to "keep" the expensive contractors
-BLM hasn't made an "annual report" to Congress since 2004, but estimates one should be ready in 2011
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Terri Farley @ 8:14 AM
Hi, It is sooo ridiculous for the BLM to increase the ratio of stallions to mares. An easy solution, which I know from personal experience, is to set up temporary holding pens and geld more of the stallions. We have stallions that were gelded late in life at the Wild Horse Sanctuary and they still live a natural life. They will hang out in bachelor bands. Also, there is a birth control that can be injected into the mare's necks, and it is relatively simple considering the options. More stallions mean more fights and serious injury. At the sanctuary, we adopt out only the babies and let the older ones live out their lives in peace. If BLM used birth control, and only brought in "adoptable" YOUNG horses, there would be no need for slaughter and the numbers would not be increasing so quickly. The Wild Horse Sanctuary is self supporting and has NO help from the government. We need more places like that. It is supported by overnight trail rides and people who want to sponsor a wild horse. There are ways that DO NOT INCLUDE SENSELESS MURDER AND SLAUGHTER OF OUR BEAUTIFUL MUSTANGS. Palomino
I attended a BLM Wild Horse and Burro roundup. I adopted a wild horse and named him. His name was Boomer. But I knew that he loved being free so I painted a blue stripe on his back and set him free. I still see him and he still comes to me. Wild horses are amazing. I think I should do that again actually.