In 1971, the BLM was put in charge of America's wild mustangs and burros. However, they may just be 'managing' them to an extinction. Over the past nine years, over 40% of our mustang population has been removed by the BLM. There are currently more horses in holding pens (over 38,000) than there are in the wild (less than 23,000). Many mustangs on the range are healthy and well-fed, but when they are held, their health drops and many become ill or die. The BLM rounds up the mustangs in a very poor, terrifying way that includes chasing them for many miles in helicopters. The speed that the BLM reaches is a much faster pace than the mustangs are used to; they are forced to run at a dead sprint for hours. This is unfortunate for the foals of the herds who cannot keep up with their family and are left behind. Many horses die on the way to the holding facilities. In the 2009-2010 Calico round-up over 140 mustangs died before they reached the holding pens. Other common results of round-ups are injuries, trauma, and mares spontaniously aborting. Once they are at the site, the herds are separated from one another and crammed together. Stallions forced into tight quarters often fight with one another. Many horses are then sold to kill buyers who send them to slaughter. A common misconception is to believe that wild mustangs are overpopulated; in reality, their numbers are so few, they are beginning to inbreed and their genetic diversity is being threatened. Studies have shown that over 85% of mustangs have a low genetic viability, yet the BLM continues to round them up. The average American taxpayer spends around $67 million on wild mustang and burro round-ups. Taxpayers also pay an excess of $132 million on livestock grazing on public lands annually, but these cattle provide a mere 3% of our beef supply. Some ranchers will argue that mustangs overgraze and trample the land, but in reality, mustangs consume just 5% of the grass on public land.
Six states have lost their wild mustang and burros. If America does not act fast, the U.S. could lose its horses.
For more information, visit thecloudfoundation.org or saveourmustangs.weebly.com