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Despite Gov't Shutdown U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Sent Hundreds of Horses to Slaughter Middleman
The Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge in Nevada used the government shutdown as an excuse to cancel public observation of the pens where 413 recently-captured wild horses were being held, but it did not stop Refuge officials from recalling furloughed workers to process and ship as many as 250 wild horses to slaughter middleman Stan Palmer (pictured left) in Mississippi.
These horses were unnecessarily rounded up in September. Sadly, since they live on land managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, they are not protected by the federal law that protects wild horses and burros on Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands.
Our efforts continue to hold Interior Secretary Sally Jewell accountable for dumping these horses into the slaughter pipeline, and to track the fate of the horses so callously sent to Mississippi. For more information please click here ... we will continue to keep you updated on this disturbing and evolving situation. We won't let the Interior Department get away with this and just sweep it under the rug. Stay tuned for future actions on this issue.
AWHPC Protests BLM and Forest Service Anti-Wild Horse Land Use Plans
While the government was shutdown, AWHPC filed two formal appeals of land use plans that, if implemented, will negatively impact wild horses and burros.
On October 7, we submitted a 50-page protest of the BLM's Winnemucca Resource Management Plan, which will impact 20 Herd Management Areas in northwestern Nevada for the next 10 to 20 years. On October 14, we joined with advocate Carla Bowers to file an appeal of the Forest Service's management plan for the Devil's Garden Plateau Wild Horse Territory in California.
Both plans aim to eliminate Congressionally-designated wild horse and burro habitat and reduce the number of wild horses and burros permitted to live on the range. Both appeals highlighted the need for the agencies to end their preferential treatment of livestock at the expense of wild horses and burros. These appeals are a necessary first step before litigation can be initiated to address these ill-conceived and anti-wild horse plans for our public lands.
Navajo Nation President Reverses Position on Horse Slaughter
Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly reversed his position on horse slaughter after reaching an agreement with former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson to suspend wild horse roundups on Navajo lands and seek humane alternatives to slaughter.
In August and September, approximately 1,000 wild horses were rounded up from Navajo land and sold for slaughter, a move that caused widespread public outrage, including from many members of the Navajo tribe itself.
Return to Freedom, AWHPC's founding organization, is playing a key role in bringing humane solutions to the Navajo horse situation, and RTF founder and president Neda DeMayo was recognized in the Navajo Nation press release on this important development. Please read the press release here.
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The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign is dedicated to preserving American wild horses and burros in viable free-roaming herds for generations to come, as part of our national heritage.