Target: Bureau of Land Management Director Bob Abbey
Goal: End inhumane treatment of feral mustangs
The Bureau of Land Management is responsible for population control of feral mustangs in the United States, but many of their practices are cruel and inhumane. Recently, the BLM pledged to increase the use of fertility drugs instead of controversial round-ups. Though this is a needed step, the BLM has not adhered to a previous promise to increase fertility control. Demand the BLM honor its pledge, and revise its practices.
Wild horses have long been at the mercy of the ranching industry, which has a great deal of say in how they are managed, as mustangs and cattle often share the same habitat. The BLM periodically rounds up mustangs, and attempts to adopt them out, but a vast majority of horses are sentenced to slaughter. Kill buyers will frequent BLM auctions, purchasing horses en masse for reduced prices when no one else bids on them. Others wind up in holding facilities, sometimes without adequate care, and can languish for months as costs skyrocket and deaths increase due to limited space.
Round-ups are also controversial, and for good reason: horses are run at their absolute limit, often over dangerous terrain, and are frequently injured. In some cases, horses are run so hard that their hooves slough off, or pregnant mares suffer miscarriages. Foals, unable to keep up, may fall behind, become separated, or suffer serious injury. When penned, male horses are gelded and given no pain treatment, despite sometimes severe pain. The abuse here is obvious, but the BLM has not taken steps to improve conditions or comfort for captured horses during and after roundups.
The BLM has not kept to its pledge to control fertility through use of drugs, and wild horses suffer the cost. BLM management practices have consistently proven to be cruel and inhumane, and they must change.
Dear Director Bob Abbey,
The BLM is responsible for controlling mustang numbers in a humane way, but many practices have been documented to be cruel and inhumane, resulting in widespread suffering. Those that aren’t adopted are typically sold to slaughterhouses, or placed in facilities that are overcrowded and often inadequate. Round-ups are highly stressful, and may cause miscarriages, deaths, and serious injury among hundreds of horses.
Though an introduced species, mustangs have become a symbol of the United States, and they are deserving of better treatment in the name of management. The BLM has pledged to manage numbers by means of fertility drugs, but has not followed through on this promise.
I ask that the BLM make serious revisions to their management practices, and place the interests and safety of mustangs as a top priority. Horses should not continue to suffer cruel treatment for no justifiable reason. Roundups cannot continue as they have; there is too much suffering inflicted on horses to support these tactics.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Bureau of Land Management via Wikimedia Commons