Thursday, May 12, 2016

Protected Wild Horses Dying for Ranchers’ Profit - The Daily Beast

Protected Wild Horses Dying for Ranchers’ Profit - The Daily Beast Bookmark and Share

Wild horses, long an inspiring symbol of the American West, are under attack and about to be dragged away by a group of ranchers in Utah.

Earlier this month, U.S. District Court Judge Dee Benson ruled that a case brought by the ranchers seeking to eliminate around 1,350 protected wild mustangs, which they claim have become a nuisance, can go forward.

They allege that the Bureau of Land Management, who is responsible for the land and native horse herds in question, haven’t properly kept the population under control.

Should the suit prevail, the animals will face an uncertain future.

“They round them up with helicopters,” Roy explains. “They drive them into traps. They separate them from their families. You know, wild horses are very social animals, they live in social bands mostly consisting of a stallion, his mares, and their offspring.

They throw them into holding pens, where they’re either put up for adoption if they’re under age ten or, if they’re over age ten, they can be put up for auction for as little as $25 a piece.” (to see BLM auction page:

And, Roy notes, conditions can be less than ideal while the noble creatures await their fate.

“The BLM will say, ‘Oh, we only have a 1 percent death rate from the round up.’ But then they never tell you what happens in the pens in the days and the months after they’re rounded up, and a lot of them die from traumatic injuries,” she says.

The Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act passed by Congress in 1971 declares “wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death.” Wild horses are typically docile animals that pose no threat to humans unless aggressively approached.

Sadly, according to documents obtained by the AWHPC under the Freedom of Information Act, a round-up of wild stallions in Wyoming similar to the one the Utah ranchers seek has thus far led to the death in captivity of some 75 animals, from reasons including “neck, brain, spinal, leg, pelvis sudden injury” (22 deaths) and a variety of other causes, including at least one case of “trauma to penis.”

*Please follow link to read the (heartbreaking & infuriating) full story...