On March 3, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will testify before the House Natural Resources Committee. He plans to ask for a $12 million budget increase for the wild horse and burro program, for a whopping $75 million to be spent on animal cruelty in the next fiscal year.
The Bureau of Land Management has finally responded to intense public pressure with a plan to reform the wild horse and burro program, including a greater emphasis on population control through fertility programs. The agency is also contracting with the National Academy of Sciences to advise how the BLM should proceed and says it will hold a series of public meetings to keep the dialogue open.
These are all good steps, but the BLM plans to continue their wild horse roundups. According to their proposal, another 15,000 wild horses will be removed from public lands and sent to government holding facilities by the end of 2012. Even with increased adoptions, the number of wild horses being held captive by the government could surpass 50,000 by the end of next year ... far more than the number of horses left on the range.
In FY 2010, the BLM received a budget increase that went toward rounding up horses and warehousing them in government holding facilities. Tell the House not to make that same mistake. They should not only reject Salazar's request for a budget increase, but continue to support Rep. Burton's amendment for a $2 million budget cut.
The BLM needs to reform their wild horse program without wasting any more taxpayer dollars on inhumane roundups and keeping mustangs captive.