End Inhumane Management of Wild Horses


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

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  1. Barbara Warner says:

    The mustangs are not feral–they are wild horses. Please correct this. Also fertility control is not needed as the NAS study found no evidence of an over-population. Most herds are not sustainable so there is no excess.
    I cannot sign this.

    • Sherry Goodyear says:

      Totally agree. These horses may have become feral 500 years ago, but I think they qualify as “wild” by now. There are so few wild horses out there due to the BLM’s vicious culling practices. Ranchers just can’t stand them, I will never understand their way of thinking, and I come from that type of background. I love wild horses.

  2. Stan Benton says:

    I signed, although reluctantly. I doubt that we will be able to maintain wild horse herds. While we’re at it, we need to get these sleazy ranchers from using our federal lands to graze the animals they are raising purely to murder anyway. I can’t believe the recent debacle where the government rounded illegally grazing cattle, then gave them back to the crooked rancher (at the behest of many right wing politicians, who even threatened the use of armed militia).

  3. Wild horses are part of the our great american heritage and are to be protected. Our taxes pay the BLM and they are paid to care for and protect these wild horses NOT TO abuse,torture and even kill them because of the conflict of interest with the rich ranchers whose cattle share the same water, food and land. STOP THE INSANITY AND DO THE JOB THAT YOU ARE PAID TO DO AND PROTECT WILD HORSES AND BURROWS.

  4. caryl Sawyer says:

    BLM has a history of mismanagement. There is the scent of kickback here that should be investigated.

  5. Angie Marshall says:

    Yes, and we all know what the BLM is capable of including threatening peoples lives and property, confiscating(illegally) their possessions, and intimidating citizens with an armed governmental controlled military force carrying AK 47’s and other armaments…Hate to tell ya this boys and girls, this ain’t A THIRD WORLD COUNTRY, the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, Hugo Chavez’s, Kim dong UN’s, etc. little dick taters( yes intentional) home boy land…we are, last I looked still under the rule of law and under the natural rights given to us of freedom from government tyranny and graft, greed, and tyrananical overreach of power. The BLM has gotten way too big for its britches, and needs to simply do its job…not play GOD…

  6. James Kayser says:

    Bob Abbey, You need to listen to us. This is your legacy.

  7. Barbara Griffith says:

    Whoever the person is that has come up with the wording for this petition has never bothered to take a look at the University studies of the quine fossils that have been found all over North America. The horse evolved here and nowhere else, I’m not signing the petition either. The horse is as much a native animal as the deer, bear or any other wild animal that survived the last Ice Age. I saw a photo last year of a pen full of mustangs that were up for adoption in Oregon and some of the horses had light zebra stripes on the inside of their hind legs. Many of these horses that are held in the BLM holding pens will never find homes. One of the reasons is the fact that they can’t be tamed down to the point where they would be safe to ride. Many of the mustangs are older animals, some can be trained by a trainer with experience and know how but I believe all of these horses in holding need to be returned back to the areas where they were taken from its better for the horses and the taxpayers wallets. It costs millions to feed horses that could feed themselves if they were put back on the range.

  8. Maggie Frazier says:

    I’m sure many people are just realizing whats been happening to our wild horses & burros for many, many years. There are between 40,000 and 50,000 in long term & short term holding pens. Which leaves only 20-30 thousand that are still free. And the BLM may deny selling them for slaughter – but unfortunately, that is whats happening!
    There is information out there – research exactly what IS going on! These animals aren’t feral – how could they be?
    They have been wild & free for hundreds of years – BEFORE the BLM was “managing” them!

  9. respect mustang respect life!

  10. Let the wild horses live and thrive on their own (public) lands — what is taxpayers’ money for?

    SHAME ON OUR GOVT — SHAME ON OUR AGENCY THE BLM — if there’s a question of overpopulation, this can be discussed and brought to the attention of all of us, the citizens of the U.S. — options can be brought up, etc.


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