I think about apologizing to the Bureau of Land Management for writing this, however, I care about our Wild Horses and their plight to keep their families and run free.
The slow genocide of this species of animal is beyond ethical. It’s criminal! The mismanagement of these wild horses is deplorable! Why does the Bureau of Land Management value our insatiable appetite for beef over hores lives? We know it’s all about the money! To give humans a convenient and cheap way to feed. More and more of us are rethinking the need for beef. Looking more at organic and sustainable livestock rearing. That sounds contradictory I know. But I toured Sustainable and organic livestock and poultry farms throughout the United States. Actively creating a Humane Sustainable Agriculture Program for The Humane Society of the United States in 1988. Witnessing the humane rearing of beef cattle, pigs, goats, chickens, and dairy cows. Instead of our tax dollars subsidizing over 6 million heads of private livestock. why aren’t we subsidizing those farmers who are rearing livestock and poultry sustainably and humanely?
My hope is after reading this you will re-think your eating beef. I’m not saying you have to give it up, but be more mindful about where it comes from. I don’t eat beef anymore…well maybe once or twice a year, but even then, I will only eat it if I know it’s sustainable and Humanely reared and slaughtered. Can you imagine the terror that beef cattle raised in an unsustainable and inhumane facility goes through when at the Slaughterhouse? All that terror goes into the beef!
These numbers are not current and are provided by the Bureau of Land Management. The numbers, as well as numbers obtained through independent investigation. Please understand that population levels in particular are fluid and subject to a significant degree of uncertainty (the same caveat applies to numbers provided by the BLM).
- In the 19th century, more than 2 million wild horses roamed the West (source: J. Frank Dobie, “The Mustangs”, Southern Methodist University Press, Dallas, 1952).
- Today, less than 25,000 wild horses likely remain on public lands.
- Over 6 million heads of private livestock are subsidized grazing on public lands.
- More than 200,000 wild horses and burros have been removed from public lands since 1971. The BLM plans to remove another 6,000 for Fiscal Year 2009.
- The 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act mandate that wild horses and burros be managed on 47 million acres of public lands on 303 herd areas.
- Since 1971, wild horses have been zeroed out from 111 herd areas representing over 19 million acres.
- Wild burros numbered 14,000 at the time of the 1971 Act’s first census. Burros share their habitat with bighorn sheep, a highly-prized game species that now outnumber them at least 16 to 1 on public lands. BLM’s target for nationwide burro population is less than 3,000.
- BLM relies on an annual population increase rate of about 20% to evaluate population levels and justify round-ups, while the National Academy of Sciences estimates that rate to be closer to 10%.
- Wild horses account for less than 0.5% of large grazing animals on public lands.
- 6 states have lost their entire wild horse and burro populations.
- In 70% of the remaining herd areas, BLM’s population targets are set at levels that will not ensure genetic viability.
- The current removal policy is costing over 39 million tax dollars a year.
- According to the USGS, $7.7 million could be saved annually through the use of contraceptive measures alone.
- The removal and processing of a single horse through the adoption pipeline can cost as much as $3,000.
- Over 30,000 wild horses are currently held in government-holding pens. Under the Burns Amendment, about 8,000 of them are threatened with slaughter.
- BLM’s private livestock grazing program encompasses 214 million acres of public lands, costs over $130 million to manage annually, yet only provides 3% of our national beef supply.
- The current fee to graze private cattle on public lands is $1.35 per animal unit month (AUM), the equivalent of $0.06 per acre per year, or about 1/10th of market rates to graze cattle on private lands.
- Private livestock outnumbers wild horses and burros at least 200 to 1 on public lands. (note: some livestock may not be grazed year-round)
- In 2008, less than 5% of BLM’s wild horse and burro program budget was allocated to herd management on the range, with the remaining 95% allocated to captures, holding, and placement.