Outrage over advisory board proposing to sterilize wild mustangs
Call for Congressional investigation into conflict of interest on anti-wild horse advisory board catering to livestock and extractive industries
Photo by Laura Leigh, Horseback Magazine
WASHINGTON (Protect Mustangs)–Protect Mustangs strongly opposes the Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board’s proposal to spay wild mustangs due to health risks including death and because no accurate independent headcount has been provided to prove alleged overpopulation is an issue despite multiple requests for such evidence.
“This cruel plan could kill many federally protected wild horses,” explains Anne Novak executive director for Protect Mustangs. “We oppose spaying wild mares in the field because it’s a high risk procedure. The BLM is charged with protecting wild horses not putting their lives in jeopardy. ”
Protect Mustangs is also calling for an independent audit to determine the number of mustangs in the wild and in holding facilities.
“Show us an independent headcount and then let’s talk about overpopulation–if it’s a realistic concern,” continues Novak. “Right now we see the BLM inflating the population numbers to justify rampant million dollar roundups, money dumped into fertility research and funds spent to warehouse 50,000 captive wild horses. Today maybe 17,000 are left in all ten western states. This could be the end for America’s indigenous free roaming wild horse.”
“We are concerned the anti-mustang advisory board is spreading disinformation about reproduction rates,” says Novak. “Life is harsh on the range. Wild horses don’t reproduce like rabbits and many foals die before they are two. Saying the herds double every 5 years is an invented distortion to push through radical policy endangering mustangs.”
Monday during the Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board meeting in Salt Lake, the Salazar Plan was pushed into the final phase to wipe out American wild horses living on public land. The Board, stacked to favor the livestock and extractive industries–profiting off public land–recommended spaying wild horses to control an alleged but not proven overpopulation on the range.
Members of the public and wild horse advocates are outraged over the proposal which has at least a 10% death rate and a pandora’s box full of complications.
“It’s a lot more complicated and the potential for complications and side effects is much greater,” said the BLM’s vet, Dr. Al Kane USDA-APHIS, during a report to the Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board in 2011. “The potential effects on herd behavior or individual mare behavior are an issue.”
Protect Mustangs urges members of the public to contact their elected officials in Congress to request:
• An investigation into conflict of interest rampant amongst Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board members.
• An independent audit to determine the number of mustangs in the wild and in holding.
• They come to the aid of federally protected wild horses who are at risk of being abused by the agency charged with their care.
“The public loves American wild horses,” says Kerry Becklund, director of outreach for Protect Mustangs. “We want the BLM and their biased Advisory Board to back off and quit trying to wipe them out.