URGE U.S. GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS TO:
1) Suspend all BLM wild horse/burro capture and confinement operations.
2) Move the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act (H.R. 503/ S. 727) out of
committee for Congress to vote on it.
- Office of the Secretary of the Interior
Assistant Secretary Anne Castle
- Environmental & Natural Resources Division
- Secretary of the Interior
- Attorney General U.S. Department of Justice
- U.S. House of Representatives
- U.S. Senate
- President of the United States
People view America's horses as symbols of the rugged West. Wild horses embody our spirit of freedom. Domestic horses are our loyal companions.
The U.S. government, however, is ambivalent about horse protection. As of 9/18/10, the Bureau of Land Management had captured 1779 wild horses/burros in a Twin Peaks roundup that began 8/11/10. BLM intends to return just 450 horses and 72 burros to the wild near Susanville, CA. Also on 9/18/10: In Nevada, 175 captured wild horses went on sale to killer-buyers.
BLM's 2010 plan to remove 12,000 wild horses and burros is widely opposed. Moreover, the taxpayer-subsidized agency has shunned public viewing of its gather and confinement processes. Its definition of "sustainable" numbers is controversial. One tally is clear: Some 36,000+ horses languish in holding compounds funded on the taxpayer's dime.
Recently, BLM agreed to back Madeleine Pickens' Wild Horse Eco-Sanctuary. Ms. Pickens hopes to transfer all horses/burros from government holding to her no-kill refuge. With this in mind, I ask regulators to apply a moratorium on wild horse and burro captures. These roundups -- notorious for rushing terrified horses by helicopter, breaking apart family herds, causing equine death and injury -- need to end.
To further safeguard horses, I urge Congress to move the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act (H.R. 503/ S. 727) out of committee, with a favorable report to the House and Senate. This bill -- which amends title 18, U.S. Code -- would ban possession, transport, purchase, sale, delivery or receipt of a horse or horseflesh for human consumption.
In 2007 state courts closed the last equine processors in Texas and Illinois. Still, lack of a federal law lets hundreds of thousands of horses annually go to slaughter in Canada and Mexico. Furthermore, no national policy means states without restrictions may vote to renew horse slaughter.
Slaughter is excruciating for these excitable animals. Captive bolt pistols often don't render long-necked horses insensible. Investigative footage in Mexico has shown alert horses stabbed repeatedly around the withers. When a horse finally falls, he is merely paralyzed as workers slit his throat.
Slaughter should never substitute for rescue, adoption or humane euthanasia. A surplus of domestic horses is due to overbreeding in industries such as Premarin and Prempro; carriage horses; riding stables, etc. Rather than allow people to use sale-for-slaughter as a dumping ground for unwanted horses, regulatory agencies ought to monitor and limit breeding.
Please stop BLM wild horse/burro captures and move the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act (H.R. 503/ S. 727) to House and Senate floors for a vote.
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