Removing wild horses from the definition of wildlife is a political maneuveur to deny the wild horses access to water. An argument of the oppostion is that wild horses are not wild but ferral. However, recent scientific evidence proves that wild horses are indiginious to North America.
As Anne Novak, Executive Director of Protect Mustangs points out, "most zoologists are familiar with the work of PhD.s J.F. Kirkpatrick and P.M. Fazio and the revised January 2010 paper Wild Horses as Native North American Wildlife. The Science and Conservation Center, ZooMontana, Billings.
Their scientific paper states, “Thus, based on a great deal of paleontological data, the origin of E. caballus is thought to be about two million years ago, and it originated in North America.”
Also the paper cites, “The fact that horses were domesticated before they were reintroduced matters little from a biological viewpoint. They are the same species that originated here, and whether or not they were domesticated is quite irrelevant."
So, indeed, wild horses are wild. The current Nevada definition of wildlife states "'Wildlife' means any wild mammal, wild bird, fish, reptile, amphibian, mollusk or crustacean found naturally in a wild state, whether indigenous to Nevada or not and whether raised in captivity or not." No other species is singled out for exclusion, why should wild horses be?
In the 76th legislature, Nevada Assembly Bill 329 attempted to remove wild horses from the definition of wildlife. Even though Nevada voters overwhelmingly sided with the wild horses and the bill did not pass, it appears as though the argument will be pushed again during the 77th legislative session.
Las Vegas news station KTNV Channel 13 reported that the bill "...would have prevented the state engineer from approving water rights for wild horses in Nevada" and "would deny the animals access to water prevent water rights being issued if someone were to establish a wild horse sanctuary to promote eco-tourism"
If you agree that wild horses should remain in Nevada's definition of wildlife, and that they should never be denied access to water, please sign the petition.
The purpose of removing a species from the definition of "wildlife" is to deny them any protections or rights that they enjoy as such, including access to water. In the 76th legislature, Assembly Bill 329 attempted to removed wild horses from the definition of wildlife. Even though public comment overwhelmingly sided with the wild horses and the bill did not pass, it appears as though the argument will be pushed again during the 77th legislative session.
Nevada voters stand united to protect the rights of our wild ones. There are less than 30,000 wild horses left in the wild.