Washington, DC (September 14, 2016)... In response to the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM's) statement today that it is rejecting a national advisory board recommendation to kill up to 45,000 wild horses and burros, the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC) issued the following statement:
The BLM has come to the right decision in rejecting a recommendation for the mass killing of up to 45,000 captured wild horses and burros. However, the public will be watching carefully and will not be fooled. Actions speak louder than words, and every action this agency takes is geared toward one outcome: lifting the ban on killing or selling these national icons for slaughter.
By manipulating the information presented to the advisory board and claiming ‘emergency’ conditions on and off the range, the BLM literally orchestrated the lethal recommendation it is now publicly backing away from.
If there is any ‘emergency,’ it is one of the BLM’s own making. The BLM has failed to adequately reduce or eliminate private livestock grazing despite record drought conditions, and stubbornly refused to implement large-scale humane birth control programs for wild horse and burro population control, as recommended in 2013 by the National Academy of Sciences.
The BLM’s intention is best exemplified by the agency’s illegal sale of 1,800 wild horses to a known kill buyer (all horses were slaughtered in Mexico) and its subsequent promotion and financial rewarding of the BLM employee who oversaw these illegal transactions.
The BLM’s support for horse slaughter is evident in the agency’s pursuit of budget language that would strip wild horses and burros of their protected status and immediately transfer them to states and local governments that want them slaughtered.
The BLM is on a collision course with disaster as long as it continues this gross mismanagement of wild horses and burros and the public lands on which they live.
The American public has demonstrated time and time again its support for protection and humane management of wild horses and burros on our public lands and opposition to horse slaughter. The will of the American people should prevail in the management of our public lands and true reform of this broken federal program is long overdue.
The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign is a national wild horse advocacy organization whose grassroots mission is endorsed by a coalition of more than 60 horse advocacy, public interest, and conservation organizations. AWHPC is dedicated to preserving the American wild horse in viable, free-roaming herds for generations to come, as part of our national heritage.