We set a goal of getting 5,000 signatures in five days on last week's petition calling for the BLM's Southeast Oregon Resource Advisory Council (RAC) to recommend humane reforms to the agency's wild horse program. Thanks to your help, we got over 11,000 signatures in four days, letting us make a strong showing of public support for Oregon's wild horses! The signatures and AWHPC's comments were presented at the meeting by Marika Ruppe, pictured at left delivering our petition to Julie Wiekel, DVM, the RAC's wild horse and burro representative.
Dr. Wiekel is pushing the BLM to spay mares on the range, something AWHPC adamantly opposes and the National Academy of Sciences recommends against, but said she is committed to working with wild horse advocates to find common ground. We will take her up on that promise! Overall, Marika, on behalf of AWHPC, was able to make a strong case against the scapegoating of wild horses for range damage caused by livestock overgrazing and -- thanks to your signatures -- in favor of the public's well-documented and strong desire to Keep Wild Horses Wild. Read more here.
Private Roundup Targets Up to 3,000 Unprotected NV Wild Horses
We have just learned that a privately funded helicopter roundup is underway in northeastern Nevada on public/private checkerboard lands. The horses are being rounded up under state feral/estray livestock laws that govern wild horses in Nevada in areas that are not federally protected (under BLM or Forest Service jurisdiction). It’s reported that the horses being rounded up originated from breeding stock from the Dann ranch, which was at the center of a decades-long dispute over Shoshone tribal versus federal lands. It is also reported that that the Dann family is behind the roundup.
The Barrick Gold Corporation owns land in the area and there has been speculation that the company was involved in the roundup. However, Barrick officials reached yesterday by AWHPC confirm the company has not requested the roundup, is not working toward the removal of any horses, and is not funding this operation. It appears that hundreds of captured horses are being taken directly to a kill buyer’s feedlot in northwestern Nevada. We have been told that the BLM Elko District is allowing horses to be removed from the public portions of the checkerboard under Nevada feral/estray laws. These horses will comprise a portion of the more than 140,000 American horses sent to Canada and Mexico for slaughter each year. This situation underscores the reason why our borders must be closed to this cruel industry. Tragically, we know of no legal options at this point to intercede on behalf of these wild horses. We will keep you posted on this developing situation.