Keep up the Momentum: Call for a Moratorium on Gathers

helicopter running down wild horses© by Laura Allen, Executive Director, Animal Law Coalition 

The wild horses and burros can be saved. There has to be a better way to manage these animals other than by hiring criminals to run them down with helicopters and penning some for life and sending others to slaughter. The Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act requires them to be protected in their herd areas where they were living in 1971. And that is what the federal government should do. 

As the budgeting process in Congress is underway, it is important now more than ever for you to call on President Obama and Vice Presiden Biden (Phone: 202-456-1111 or 202-456-9000; Switchboard: 202-456-1414) to put a moratorium on the wild horse and burro roundups until there can be an investigation or hearing on BLM’s management of these animals and a better course of action set.

FY11 DOI Budget hearings are going on now in the Senate and House Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Interior & Environment.
Call on your Representative and also members of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies, (Find their contact info here; just click on their names) to de-fund the wild horse and burro roundups for FY 2011 and also continue the prohbition on slaughter or other commercial use of wild horses and burros or the killing of healthy horses.

Call on your U.S. senators and also members of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies (Click on their names for contact info) to do the same.

Thousands including celebrities like Sheryl Crow have joined the call for a moratorium on these cruel BLM roundups and removals of wild horses and burros.

Go here and here for the latest on BLM’s management of the wild horses and burros and the roundups including questions raised last month by a federal judge on BLM’s policy of rounding up and holding wild horses and burros in long term facilities.

Read Animal Law Coalition’s reports below for more information on efforts to stop the roundups and removals and convince Congress to conduct an investigation or hold a hearing on BLM’s management of the wild horses and burros program and make decisions about their future.

Update Nov. 2, 2009: A Congressional staff member has confirmed to Animal Law Coalition that there is a plan by some members of Congress to call on BLM to stop all gathers or removals of wild horses and burros until Congress takes action on the controversial issues surrounding the wild horses and burros. 

A Congressional staff member told Animal Law Coalition, "It is my understanding that BLM has 11 more roundups planned for 2009 and is expecting to remove more than 6,000 horses.  This is unacceptable especially in light of the fact that these roundups are not based on science."  

Original report: It’s time for a public Congressional hearing and investigation of BLM’s management of America’s wild horses and burros including the new plan recently announced by DOI and BLM.

In the meantime and pending decisions about the course of the wild horse and burro program, there should be a moratorium on gathers.

On October 7, 2009 Dept. of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Bureau of Land Management Director Bob Abbey announced a new 3 part plan for managing America’s wild horses and burros in the future. But, other than a press release and a letter to Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), the specifics of the plan have not been made public. As Mr. Abbey said in the press conference held on Oct. 7, 2009, there are "thousands" of wild horse and burro enthusiasts who care about the fate of these animals. There are also innumerable experts and citizens concerned about BLM’s management of these American icons.

There should be a public hearing and investigation held by Congress regarding BLM’s management of America’s wild horses and burros particularly before yet another plan essentially approved only by BLM and DOI is put in place. There should be a moratorium on all gathers until Congress has completed public hearings and an investigation and reached a decision about the appropriate management of these animals consistent with the laws that protect them. These are after all America’s wild horses and burros.

The Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act (WFRHBA) directs BLM to manage America’s wild horses and burros to "maintain free roaming behavior".  All management activities by law are to be at the "minimal feasible level". Under WFRHBA America’s wild horses and burros are entitled to humane treatment and to remain free from "capture, …harassment, or death".

helicopter running down wild horsesBut, instead, the BLM largely manages these animals by running them down with helicopters and gathering or removing them from public lands to holding facilities, separating families, injuring and even killing horses in the process. A terrifying ordeal that leaves wild horses and burros in holding pens where few are adopted, many are sold for slaughter and still more languish, their spirits and bodies broken. The operation of holding facilities will consume about 70% of the total 2009 budget for these animals.   

Surely, that is contrary, to say the least, to the directive of the WFRHBA. Indeed, U.S. District Court Judge Rosemary Collyer found in her August 5, 2009 opinion: "It would be anomalous to infer that by authorizing the custodian of the wild-free roaming horses and burros to manage them, Congress intended to permit the animals’ custodian to subvert the primary policy of the statute by capturing and removing from the wild the very animals that congress sought to protect from being removed from the wild." Colorado Wild Horse and Burro Coalition, Inc. v. Salazar, No. 06-1609 (D.D.C 2009)

Mr. Salazar insists that "arid western lands and watersheds" can’t support the few wild horses that remain "without significant damage to the environment" and "degrading public lands".  These are reasons typically stated by BLM in its environmental assessments and environmental impact statements to support removals of wild horses and burros from herd areas. And, just as typically, there are no specifics to support these claims. For more examples….

Indeed, Mr. Salazar and BLM do not mention the thousands of cattle grazing and drinking and fouling water on these lands, BLM’s land sales, development, increasing recreational use, and mining as well diversion of water from herd areas. Wildlife ecologists say if public lands are "degraded", something that is disputed, these factors are far more to blame. In fact, citizens living in the areas where there are wild horses and burros, including small ranchers, contradict BLM’s assessments the range is "degraded" or lacks sufficient water for these few remaining animals.   

Note that in 1990 BLM claimed the range was the best it had been in the last century. Yet, since then, there has been an increase in the numbers of wild horses and burros removed from the range. There is also no question BLM has routinely renewed grazing permits, finding the range satisfactory for grazing cattle and at the same time, issue environmental assessments that claim the very same range cannot support the few wild horses and burros that remain. BLM has also relied on outdated or what can only be called completely false assessments in its apparent zeal to justify removal of wild horses and burros.   

Shouldn’t Congress at least have a hearing or investigate whether BLM’s claims are true? Shouldn’t Congress consider whether BLM should even continue as the manager of the wild horses and burros program? An agency that has turned the WFRHBA on its head and instead of managing to maintain free roaming behavior, does so by removing and penning wild horses and burros. 

It is also questionable whether BLM really has the authority, as it claims, to manage America’s wild horses and burros in all respects pursuant to a multiple use concept. Though WFRHBA mentions "multiple-use relationship" in connection with specified ranges, it is very clear that the directive is to manage these animals otherwise only to "maintain a thriving natural ecological balance on the public lands" and "protect the natural ecological balance of all wildlife species which inhabit such lands, particularly endangered wildlife species".

wild horsesIn effect, WFRHBA authorizes only limited interference with wild horses and burros in herd areas where they were living in 1971. Nothing about removing wild horses and burros from herd areas where they lived in 1971 to allow multiple use such as cattle grazing, recreation for off road vehicles, mining or development. Also, protecting the ecological balance of all wildlife has never meant rounding up and removing whole species. Especially when there is a law that explicitly protects their right to exist in historic herd areas.

Even designated ranges managed under a multiple use concept are to be "devoted principally" to wild horses and burros. The wild horses and burros on these lands are not to be eliminated for cattle or mining or recreation or even secondary to these other uses.   

Despite the limited authority to interfere with wild horses and burros under WFRHBA, the BLM has decided, however, the multiple public use concept applies to all herd areas as well as ranges. BLM even issued a regulation that effectively rewrites WFRHBA to say the "objectives of these regulations are management of wild horses and burros as an integral part of the natural system of the public lands under the principle of multiple use". 43 CFR § 4700.0-2 Yet, the WFRHBA says only that wild horses and burros "are to be considered in the area where presently found, as an integral part of the natural system of the public lands". 16 U.S.C. §1331.

The BLM has also authorized itself to divide herd areas into "herd management areas", something not authorized by WFRHBA and which has meant the loss of 21 million acres of historic herd areas. 43 CFR 4710.3-1. In this way, with no statutory authority at all, BLM has limited wild horses and burros’ access to thousands of acres that were historically their herd areas. This is done without thought about the horses’ seasonal migration patterns or available resources. The BLM then removes wild horses and burros from the artificially created "herd management areas" on the basis there is insufficient forage, water or habitat! BLM also targets them for removal if they cross the artificial boundaries into their original herd areas.

While BLM has authorized itself to create divide herd areas into Herd Management Areas, its own regulations provide that "management of wild horses and burros shall be undertaken with the objective of limiting the animals’ distribution to herd areas, 43 C.F.R. § 4710.4."Herd area" is defined by regulation as "the geographic area identified as having been used by a herd as its habitat in 1971," 43 C.F.R. §4710.4.

Another example of BLM’s erosion of the WFRHBA protections is the rewording of the WFRHBA mandate "[a]ll management activities shall be at the minimal feasible level". BLM’s regulation says "[m]anagement shall be at the minimum level necessary to attain the objectives identified in approved land use plans and herd management area plans." 43 CFR 4710.4, 16 U.S.C. §1333. Two very different laws. So if a land use plan authorizes a land giveaway or increased recreation or mining, "management…at a minimum level" can mean round up and removal, according to the BLM.

The Federal Land Policy Management Act requires management of public lands under concepts of multiple use and sustained yield. 43 U.S.C. §§ 1701, et seq.  But the multiple use concept does not trump the WFRHBA protections for wild horses.  In fact, the statute makes clear that the protections under WFRHBA take precedence. FLPMA, 43 U.S.C. § 1732 (a) Yet, despite this, BLM has issued a regulation that provides "[w]ild horses and burros shall be considered comparably with other resource values in the formulation of land use plans." 43 C.F.R. §4700.0-6(b).

The BLM’s land use plans make clear that contrary to WFRHBA, it does not decide to remove wild horses and burros only to maintain a "thriving natural ecological balance to the range, and protect the range from the deterioration associated with overpopulation". Nor are the protected wild horse ranges "devoted principally" to the use of wild horses and burros. Instead, the BLM clearly embraces the multiple use concept for all lands designated for wild horses and burros.  Indeed, the plan seems to be to eliminate or zero out the wild horses and burros in favor of increased development and recreational use, mining, and cattle.  

Surely, BLM’s fast and loose interpretation of the WFRHBA is more than sufficient for Congress to take a look, hold a public hearing and investigate before America’s icon is lost forever.

wild horses in NVIt should be noted that BLM has also virtually ignored the directive in the WFRHBA to "maintain a current inventory of wild free-roaming horses and burros on given areas of the public lands". 16 U.S.C. §1333(b). According to WFRHBA, the inventory is critical in determining appropriate management levels or AML and whether there is indeed an overpopulation or excess horses and burros. Yet, BLM has gathered and removed thousands of horses without the important information necessary to determine if the removal is legal. It’s time to take a look, an independent census and standardize AML determinations.

It is important for Congress to open up for public review the work of an agency that has operated largely in secret, offering the public generally pre-determined courses of action, making a joke out of the public comment process. It is also time BLM or whatever agency that is put in charge of the wild horses and burros took seriously the WFRHBA mandate requiring consultation not with special interests but also a range of independent experts recommended by the National Academy of Sciences, the states and those with  "scientific expertise and special knowledge of wild horse and burro protection…[and] wildlife management". 16 U.S.C. §1333(b).

Congress should hold public hearings and investigate Secretary Salazar’s plan in particular. There are innumerable experts outside of the BLM who should have an opportunity to weigh in on how BLM continues to manage America’s wild horses and burros.

Secretary Salazar delivered the following 3 part proposal to Sen. Reid: 1. BLM will work with non-profits and the "thousands" of wild horse enthusiasts to create sanctuaries and preserves in the Midwest or east. In fact, BLM appears to have already decided on seven preserves. It is not known who is involved in these transactions or how BLM decided on these preserves. Surely, the public is entitled to know how this happened. Mr. Salazar says tourism would be encouraged and could provide a source of revenue.  But the mandate of the WFRHBA is to avoid such zoo-like settings for these American icons. The idea, the law, in fact, is that these animals are to remain free to roam on the public lands where they were living in 1971 when the Act went into effect.

2.  Mr. Salazar will designate more ranges for wild horses. He cited the Pryor Mountain herd, recently rounded up and decimated, as an example of a range under BLM protection. 

wild horses3.  This is one of the most troubling aspects of Mr. Salazar and Mr. Abbey’s plan. They say BLM will work to restore the "sustainability" of herds and public lands. BLM will continue to round up and remove horses but step up "fertility control", monitor sex ratios, and introduce non-reproducing herds.  More like BLM will work toward the extinction of herds.  The obvious concern is how a herd that is non-reproducing or sterilized can remain self-sustaining, genetically viable, as mandated by law. There are serious questions here about BLM’s determination of sex ratios. These proposals will have a very negative effect on herds and herd behavior. This plan euphemistically referred to as "restoring sustainability" during the press conference, is, in fact, the opposite, a plan to exterminate the wild horses and burros and in doing so, create great chaos and suffering in the herds. In effect, this plan raises real concerns about compliance with WFRHBA’s mandate that BLM should manage these animals to maintain "free-roaming behavior" and a "thriving natural ecological balance" in herd areas.

There are also growing concerns about the effectiveness and use of the contraceptive, PZP, particularly in view of its effect on herd behavior and dangerous side effects such as out of season foals.  

These plans likely stem from BLM’s secret discussions that began in July, 2008 about ways to eliminate wild horses through unlimited slaughter, killing, manipulation of sex ratios, sterilization of mares, creation of gelding herds and the like. It is telling that here there is no promise in this plan to stop the slaughter of these wild animals or killing of healthy animals. There is no promise to stop the round ups, the decimation of herds, the brutal treatment of America’s wild horses and burros in holding facilities.

Go here for more on BLM’s 2008 discussions about its plans for the wild horses and burros.

During its discussions in the past year BLM considered ways to keep the public away from round ups and the killing of healthy horses and burros and planned to brand protests as "eco-terrorism".  This was all to be done in secret. If Congress does not hold a hearing, investigate this plan and this agency, BLM will have succeeded.

14 thoughts on “Keep up the Momentum: Call for a Moratorium on Gathers”

  1. A complete investigation of every aspect of the BLM down to an audit of all funds, the contractors that have become rich off of the oft repeated horrors of roundups, the long-term penning of once wild horses, and the disparity of the BLM numbers in their own published reports is the only chance the horses have of ever knowing peace and safety. We must continue to make the calls for ROAM and against slaughter but we must press for a complete investigation and overhaul of the manner the BLM conducts the “business” of horses.

  2. Today President Black Eagle meets with his generals. One year ago I was fortunate to be with them at conference at Southern Methodist University.
    Basically the traditions of the military stay the same. Force , culture and cooperation become the missions.
    We need to do the same, each non profit would align their mission.Groups or individual would do the same.
    The missions become social justice, ecology/environment and economy.
    History cannot be denied and we are at that time and place.
    Read Matt Dillon

    Read R.T. Fitch

    Don Coyhis
    100 native nations by 2010

    I have observed from recent contact with mustangs they know what they have to do. They are willing to do what ever it takes witness Felio at the Navy -SMU “Salute to the Mustangs”

    Can we be as noble as Cloud turning into the helicopter with the smell of fires all around him?

    Rally around the Friday following Thanksgiving of each year as Native American Heritage Day

    Wild Horses and Burros this is your time.


  4. An investigation into the BLM is long over due! They’ve been getting away with dastardly deeds to our wild horses and burros for far too long. They sell OUR horses to slaughter, gather when there is no need claiming anything from over population to they are doing the horses a favor because there is no forage and will starve, and all of this without benefit of a real range assessment done by and OUTSIDE SOURCE. Those within the bureau cannot be trusted as the blood money they make from selling our horses as estrays or under the Burns Amendment is their motivation.

    I agree on a moritorium and an aerial census done by 2-3 non affiliated with any governmental agency or slaughter faction. I’ve been tracking these horses for over 25 years now…and we are going to be lucky to have 5,000 free roaming.

    Those areas where the horses have the legal right to be and horses have been zero’d out,need to have those horses in captivity returned to their rightful ranges.

    In short the American people WANT our wild horses in the wild, not in holding pens at the tax payer expense! We’re tired of being pushed, pulled and run over by out of control government, and we’re sick of them destroying our wildlife and eco-systems so the rich can get richer! Enough

  5. Stop the wild horse and burros round-ups and removals!

    As an American citizen/taxpayer, I am outraged and appalled by the unconscionable caving in to special interests demonstrated by the gathers of OUR wild horses and burros, who are American icons and part of our heritage. The WFRHBA requires them to be protected in their herd areas where they were living in 1971 and that is what the BLM should do. BLM has operated in secret, without oversight and/or appropriate disclosures to the public. This must end.

    The Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act (WFRHBA) directs BLM to manage America’s wild horses and burros to “maintain free roaming behavior”. All management activities by law are to be at the “minimal feasible level”. Under WFRHBA America’s wild horses and burros are entitled to humane treatment and to remain free from “capture, …harassment, or death”. As we all know, this has not been the case, as many are living in captivity or have been sold off for slaughter.

    There needs to be a public hearing and investigation held by Congress regarding BLM’s management of America’s wild horses and burros particularly before yet another plan essentially approved only by BLM and DOI is put in place. There should be a moratorium on all gathers until Congress has completed public hearings and an investigation and reached a decision about the appropriate management of these animals consistent with the laws that protect them. These are after all America’s wild horses and burros.

    Thank you for your immediate attention to this matter,

    WHEATON, IL 60189

  6. Obviously another, more accountable and law abiding group needs to be in charge. The trouble is WHO? Salazar is head of the Department of Interior and agrees with the BLM. So clearly the troubles within the BLM originate from the top-even above them.
    I’m so glad the demand for a moratorium has so much support in spite of attempts by certain government agencies to just brush it off.It’s not just about horses and we need to emphasize that when we try and tell people. It’s about accountability. If people don’t agree with the law they can try and change it. Instead the people against wild horses subvert the law and use their position as a government agency to do it. Who says this kind of thing will stop with horses if allowed to continue without a fight?

  7. URGENT! 11-3-2009
    TO Committee on Natural Resources
    1324 Longworth House Office Building
    Washington, D.C. 20515
    (202) 225-6065 Fax: (202) 225-1931

    I totally, support and agree with the ALC and the congressional staff member (thank you), but instead of “calling on”, I “demand” BLM STOP all gathers/removals ASAP, including any further destruction (killing, whether directly or indirectly) of any wild horse/burro until Congress takes action for “we the people” on these controversial (corporate special interests) issues surrounding America’s wild horses/burros, whether free-roaming or in captivity via BLM. Betty Kelly Carson City NV 89704

    WASHINGTON, (ALC) – A Congressional staff member has confirmed to Animal Law Coalition that the House Natural Resources Committee is calling on BLM to stop all gathers or removals of wild horses and burros until Congress…

    ADDENDUM: 11-3-2009 Betty’s special edited comment re:
    The Nov. 3-4-5, 2009 Reno/Sparks Conference on Wild & Feral Horse and Burro Management and Policy. (Nevada Section of the Society for Range Management: In cooperation with the SRM Center for Professional Education and Development.)

    11-3-2009 All anybody with half a brain must do, is look at the speakers and who they represent…it’s all an ongoing political setup against America’s wild horses/burros.

    The U.S. DOJ must extend their investigation of former DOI director, Gayle Norton, to include the entire BLM agency and any of its wild horse/burro ancillary organizations, facilities & boards, all the way to the top. The BLM (aka public Lands Livestock and Mining, etc. Corporations) has two parallel sets of laws, (1) those that BLM has criminally created to destroy our wild horses/burros and appease corporate special interests and (2) those that ARE the TRUE LAWS that are put on the back forty and ignored!!!!
    Betty Kelly (25 Lewers Creek Road, Carson City NV 89704-long time wild horse advocate.
    Consider this photo (sorry it didn’t come thru) a formal reporting to the U.S. Committee on Natural Resources of very suspicious BLM activity. THANK YOU.

    Betty Kelly
    Carson City NV 89704

  8. I was at the BLM meeting in September and you talk about a group of disfunctional group of custodians of our horses. It was a charade – if you did not know any better you would think that the horses were the bad guys and the BLM were the good guys. They are very proud of their accomplishments.

    I recently came across the GAO report issued in 2008 After brief review of this report which appears to be quite critical of the BLM why did they receive a 30% increase in their budget…and now Salazar wants to spend more money to buy more land – what is wrong with this picture….

    It is just so important that a moratoruim be enacted so that an investigative study can be done and solutions can be found.

    It is time for the Wild Horse and Burro to have their day. They have paid their dues.

  9. Dear Friends of Horses and Burros,
    I am convinced that the ROAM legislation will never leave the Energy and Natural Resources committee in the U.S. Senate, and that all the letter writing and petition signing is being ignored by our elected representatives, for whatever reason. My two senators have not bothered to answer my personal letters, nor has the President. I would expect no help from Senator Lugar, and help from Senator Bayh is questionable. I would not be so impatient if I did not know that every day that passes can lead to another removal of the horses and burros from their ranges, with the resulting traumatizing, injury and death that too often follows. I believe we should go with the legislation we have, the 1971 “Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act”. I encourage you to think in terms of a law suit against the U.S. Department of the Interior/BLM, to force compliance with the law we have. Many horses and burros can be driven from their ranges and even euthanized by the BLM by the time any action is taken by the present Congress, paralyzed as it is by the thousands of lobbyists who descend upon Washington daily with their boat loads of cash to buy whatever they wish. I encourage you to think in the terms of a law suit – to discuss and debate it among yourselves in your various horse organizations. I live east of the Mississippi – you are at ground zero and in the best position to make the best decisions for the horses and burros. I want to give you something to think about, because the clock is ticking and we, the people are all that stands between the wild horses and burros and an unthinkable end.

    Such a law suit should demand, in the name of compliance with the 1971 “Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act”:

    1. Immediate ending of all round ups of wild horses and burros, the Property of the People of the United States of America, by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

    2. Prompt restoration of wild horses and burros held in confinement by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to their former ranges, as defined in the 1971 “Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act.”, on the U.S. Public Lands, which are the Holdings of the People of the United States of America..

    3. Prompt elimination of all impediments to the wild free roaming nature of the above mentioned wild horses and burros, such as fences, gates, holding areas, etc.

    4. Judicial investigation of U.S. Bureau of Land Management personnel in regard to the legality of their present and past management of the above mentioned wild horses and burros.

    5. Suggestions by the Court of proper policies which should be followed by the U.S. Department of the Interior/Bureau of Land Management in regard to the correct and legal implementation of the 1971″Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act”.

    The law suit would NOT include a demand for:

    Any type of monetary damages, such as punitive damages or cost of litigation, levied against the U.S. Department of the Interior and/or the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, seeing that such a judgment would only take money out of the pockets of the citizens of this country, and thus be counter productive.

    It has been said that the debate surrounding the passage of the 1971 “Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act” resulted in more mail being sent to our federal government than any other issue in our nation’s history. With that in mind, it would appear that the People of the United States would be ready and willing to contribute the funds to carry out this litigation (and civic minded lawyers might well be ready to help, “pro bono publico”). The true and just purpose of such litigation would be three-fold:

    1. To return the wild horses and burros of the West to their original ranges, as defined by the 1971 “Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act” and assure them protection on those ranges in perpetuity.

    2. To define legally the term “multiple use” on the U. S. Public Lands in regard to its present application to the assigned ranges of the wild horses and burros, with the express purpose of determining if the 1971 “Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act” allows land to be taken from the wild horses and burros for some other use, as is being done presently by the U.S.Bureau of Land Management.

    3. To serve as a strong reminder to special interests and Corporate America that the governance of the United States of America is the exclusive right of the People of the United States, through their elected representatives in Congress and the President, that the People of the United States own this country, own all that is public in this country, including the wild horses and burros and the U.S Public Lands, and the will of the People of the United States, as reflected in such legislation as the 1971 “Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act”, is the law of the land and therefore must be enforced by the U. S. Department of the Interior and its Bureau of Land Management without question, debate or delay.

    Submitted by:
    Sandra E. Miller
    17311 Willowbrook Drive
    South Bend, Indiana 46635

  10. Sandra, I agree. There are so many problems with ROAM that I’m no longer sure I want it passed anyway. The 1971 law is on the books and the BLM shouldn’t be able to disregard the law of the land any more than I could get away with such a thing.

    We DO need to get rid of the Burns Amendment though. Since it violates the spirit and intent of the original bill, we might go after it that way. As you say, we don’t have time for Congress’s foolishness.

  11. Allowing use of TAXPAYER MONEY to conduct ANIMAL ABUSE, as is clearly seen happening in the Wild Horse & Burro round ups, and foreseen in the future plans of the BLM, yells, “The MORAL COMPASS of the government is severely off course and needs to be examined.” When this type of conduct is allowed, applauded in any way, there is only one step that remains. Nip it in the bud before the cancer spreads, causing more injury and death. A higher law needs to step into this situation. One that has authority over the abusers. One who has its moral compass in tact. The fact people can involve themselves in these acts and carry them out, shows a total lack of Compassion for the lives of these Sentient Beings. Their Natural Life Cycle is being disregarded. Future plans warn of it totally disappearing over time. Yes, Nature’s creations, who used to be Natural Wild Horses and Burros will no longer exist. If any remain, they will be a mutated version of the original, Man’s creation. Beings who were once supplied by Nature, their Natural Caregiver from birth to death, now find themselves dependent on man and his choices. If man was Spiritually evolved, I would applaud the interference. But as has been demonstrated here, this is far from the case.

    Someone has to be the voice and action for them, as some of the Compassionate, Animal Protection Groups are doing. And as Wild Horse Annie became, acting out of compassion, because of seeing the beat up, bloodied, abused horses in the truck that day. Personally, I feel because we are not talking about a greedy, self serving corporation here, but a government, who is SUPPOSED TO BE the representation of the people, all animal, environmental groups and taxpayers alike, should be OUTRAGED over this, rallying to this cause non-stop to have these round ups stopped immediately. I would question and take a careful look at reasons why any are not. These actions set an example for other governments or levels of the same government to freely use taxpayer money for such unabated, despicable ventures. And evidence shows what people do to animals, they eventually do to people. What message does this behavior send to the children of the United States about the treatment of animals and the treatment of people?

    “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” Mahatma Gandi

    “True environmentalism is not about saving the Earth, it is about saving life as we know it, and human life is just one of the species of “life as we know it”, on this planet alone.Something like 180 species a day become extinct.” Jon Peniel

    “It‘s so unbelievable. A bodhisattva has this feeling for every sentient being. Bodhichitta is similar to fall in love. You feel every sentient being like a part of you. You are in love of every sentient being and you work for their happiness…” Donrub Kelsang

    “You already possess everything necessary to become great. Only when the last tree has withered, the last fish has been caught, and the last river has been poisoned, will you realize you cannot eat money.” Cree Indian

    “A human being is a part of a whole, called by us _universe_, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest… a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” Albert Einstein

    Let us remember, because we are One, what we do to another, we do to ourselves, The Golden Rule. Unless someone steps in to bring an end to this out of control behavior, a lawsuit seems the only avenue remaining. In addition to the original 1971 Act, before the additions in 1976 (helicopters), 1978 (defining excess animals), 2004 (the Burns Amendment), but including clauses protecting the Wild Horse & Burro from the slaughter, sale and trafficking for Meat consumption, suggestions for the lawsuit include:

    1) The round ups be immediately stopped
    2) The horses and burros be returned to the land where Nature saw fit to birth them
    3) And this land is to be legally protected as Wild Horse & Burro Land
    4) No domestic animals are permitted on the protected Wild Horse & Burro Land
    5) A documented Natural Life Cycle on the Wild Horse & Burro be created by Ginger Kathrens and assistants and the U.S. government supply money for this task
    6) The United States government will in no form interfere with this Natural Life Cycle of the Wild Horse and Burro
    7) The Wild Horses and Burros will live out their lives according to this Natural Life Cycle, as Nature sees fit
    8) An emergency fund be set aside each year by the U.S. government that Wild Horse & Burro groups can access should emergencies arise where they need to assist the Wild Horse & Burros
    9) Offence of this law is to be defined as a criminal offence and will carry a prison term

    Suggestion for the name of the Law. ‘Universal Law of Creation’, as explained in the book ‘The Children of the Law of One & The Lost Teachings of Atlantis’ by Jon Peniel. Never again will it be said the law that protects the Wild Horse and Burros is not based on Science. For here is revealed the explanation of all Creation from a scientific understanding. Albert Einstein, one of the great scientists of our time clearly understood the workings of this law, as you will see explained in this book.

    The horses and burros don’t have a lot of time left!

  12. i am in Vermont far from the herds but am deeply disgusted by the current situation. Here in the east we are not as aware of the problem until it is too late. I think we will need a well organized grass roots effort to stop the BLM and Department of Interior. We are going to need money for court battles and lobbying. Also we need publicity, especially aimed at the general american population. Does anyone have connection to DAY TIME TALK SHOWS that will talk about our cause??? please anyone in New england area who agrees and wants to work on starting a group effort in Vermont please email me. I am feeling quite helpless that our government is not listening… Any legislation on this can easily be lost now because there is so much attention on the economy, health care and the wars. It seems however that we elected officials because we thought that they could multi task. WELL THIS TASK OF SAVING OUR WILD HORSES MUST BE COMPLETED OR THEY LOOSE MY VOTE!

  13. MorganLvr:
    As I understand the Burns Amendment, it applies to horses over ten years old and those who have not been adopted after three attempts. Is there more to it than that? I think that would be disastrous IF we were just going to allow the BLM to proceed with what they have been doing for a number of years. It would be the final act of this sickening scenario – everyone dies! However, I do not believe ANYTHING they have been doing is legal, under the 1971 Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act, so why would the court allow the BLM to apply this amendment to horses who were not removed legally to begin with? (and I am NOT a lawyer – I’m just trying to think about it logically). It seems to me that the first thing the BLM should be ordered to do is to return the wild horses and burros to their original legal ranges under the 1971 law. There are legal reasons for removing them from their original 1971 areas, and if some ARE removed legally, then the Burns amendment would apply to them at that time. You see – I want to BLM to be forced back to square one to do everything legally. What the BLM has in their holding pens today is the natural consequence of listening to special interests rather than enforcing the law – thousands and thousands of our horses and burros! Also, I think the climate surrounding this whole matter is now very different than in 1971, when, as I recall, the WFRHB Act was passed unanimously by both Houses of Congress. This is not going to happen in the US Senate today (which is full of Corporatists who listen intently to special interests rather than to their constituents). Even Rep.Raul Grijalva can’t help but be tainted by “the way things are” in 2009, and his legislation is bound to reflect this, as much as he is trying to help the wild horses and burros. What is happening on our Public Lands is being determined by special interests and Corporate America. If that had been true in 1971, do you think Congress would ever have given the horses and burros an acre of ground to run free on in the first place? I don’t think so! But, they did it in the 1971 law, so I think we should hold on to that law with both hands, all of us together, and force it to be obeyed. I don’t know how to do that without a law suit. When you get right down to the foundation of the matter, this is really a case of we, the people vs. Corporate America.

    I am east of the Mississippi, but my sister has lived in Tucson since 1974. We work on political matters together on the Internet and by phone. She sent my “Dear Friends of Horses and Burros” to Raul Grijalva, who is her Representative. No reply yet. She knows Raul personally and intends to go to some fund raisers for him during his Christmas break, I believe it is. She will bring up the matter of the wild horses and burros to him then. We are sick about all of this but did not know about it until quite recently. We will do everything we can for the wild horses and burros by inspiring other citizens to get involved.

  14. You are killing are heritage. why do you do this? We can never get this back do you under stand. Is your heritage different then mine.Horse made this country and you are killing them.

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