The US Government Recommended to Slaughter 45,000 Wild Horses to Please the Cattle Industry
The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board recently voted to euthanize 45,000 wild horses currently being kept in holding facilities. The horses were forcibly rounded up and removed from their homes and have been kept captive, awaiting their fate. The BLM spent $49 million in 2015 on care for the horses and may soon be deciding the best choice for their finances is to slaughter them all.
Surprisingly, the round up of wild horses isn’t a new occurence – the BLM has been doing it for 20 years to make space for privately “owned” cattle to graze. They framed the still-wild horse populations boom in reproductive growth as the reason for exterminating the animals in captivity, yet Ginger Kathrens of The Cloud Foundation points out:
“Current management practices of round-up, removal and warehousing … cause compensatory reproduction – an increase in populations as a result of decreased competition for forage.”
In other words, there wouldn’t be a population boom if the government weren’t taking the horses off of their land, causing Mother Nature to compensate. She and others spoke at a meeting for he House Subcommittee on Federal Lands in June. Since the announcement of the recommendation to slaughter, the Humane Society of the United States has released a condemning statement:
“The decision of the BLM advisory board to recommend the destruction of the 45,000 wild horses currently in holding facilities is a complete abdication of responsibility for their care. The agency would not be in this situation but for their long-term mis-management. Alternatives to this proposal have been ignored for over 20 years.”
The HSUS would prefer fertility control measures on wild horses, but the obvious solution is being seriously overlooked. If the US no longer prioritizes land for cattle to graze (and eventually be sent off to slaughter), these horses would not be killed and would, instead, live their lives untouched. Nature has a funny way about keeping populations in check all on its own, without humans stepping in to take charge. The predicament the BLM finds itself in is completely self-made, and the unfortunate casualties of their choices are both wild horses and cattle. Sign a petition to stop the slaughter here.
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