Letter To The Editor: Stop Wild Horse, Burro Slaughter

White Rock

I believe our New Mexico lawmakers are opposed to the round up and slaughter of wild horses and burros, but some in congress are not. I’m not sure with everything that is happening in our nation at this time that people are aware of the urgency of this situation and of the necessity of contacting their representatives on this issue.

In 1971 there was a law enacted to protect wild horses and burros. These animals are symbols of our Western Heritage. Eighty percent of Americans are opposed to the provisions now being proposed  that would allow the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to kill healthy, unadopted wild horses and burros instead of using fertility control as recommended by the National Academy of Sciences. There is a bill that allows kill buyers to purchase animals that have been rounded up and penned to be sent to slaughter or actually to be shot where they roam free today. Congress needs to support the SAFE Act which would ban wild horse and burro slaughter or the transport of horses and burros for slaughter.

There are effective and humane on-the-range management controls for these animals and they are proven to work. Since 1971 wild horses and burros have lost 15.5 million acres of habitat under the management of the BLM. Only 4 percent of the $80.6 million wild horse program dollars have been spent on fertility control compared to 67 percent for the capture, removal, and stockpiling of wild horses. In fact, the BLM has never spent more than 4 percent of its wild horse budget on fertility control.

Lastly and maybe most importantly, wild horses and burros are vastly outnumbered by the privately owned livestock on BLM land, which is about 37 to 1. Wild horses are restricted to just 9.1 percent of BLM lands, which they must share with livestock. Even on this small of BLM land designated as wild horse habitat, the BLM allocates the majority of forage to private livestock, not wild horses.

Please contact your congressional representatives to voice your concern and outrage at this extremely unjust and unfair treatment of our National Western Heritage, wild horses and burros.


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