750 Essay Of Horse Roundup

Apparently emboldened by the Interior Department’s lethal plan to kill tens of thousands of federally-protected wild horses and burros (even though the Congress has not yet approved it), the Bureau of Land Management is galloping ahead with plans to remove nearly 10,000 wild horses from their homes on the range in Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Oregon and Colorado in the coming monthds.

The massive helicopter roundups will decimate the wild populations in those areas, leaving the public lands available for increased cattle and sheep grazing by ranchers who pay bargain basement rates to graze private livestock on public lands.

In all cases, the BLM is mum on the impacts of this unprecedented roundup activity on the thousands of wild horses who will be captured and removed from our public lands. These horses are in grave danger of being killed or sold for slaughter if Congress grants the BLM’s request to lift the current prohibition on destroying healthy wild horses and burros or selling them for slaughter.

Here’s what you need to know about the current and upcoming roundups the BLM is planning to conduct. 


Antelope and Triple B Complexes in Nevada.

What Herd Management Areas (HMAs) are involved?

Antelope Complex:  Antelope, Antelope Valley, Goshute, Spruce Pequop

Triple B Complex: Triple B, Medicine Maverick, Antelope Valley and Cherry Springs

How many horses will be rounded up and removed? 6,737  - the largest roundup of wild horses in recent history – perhaps ever.

What will happen to these horses? BLM has requested permission from Congress to destroy “excess” horses and to sell them for slaughter. If Congress says yes, most of these horses will be killed.

How big is this area? 3.9 million acres (over 6,000 square miles – the size of Hawaii)

How many horses does BLM allow to live in this area?  899-1,678

How many acres is that per horse? 2,324 acres per horse at the high end of the population limit.

How much livestock does BLM authorize to graze in this area? 17,638 cow/calf pairs or 88,190 sheep (annual equivalent). BLM reports lower actual usage. Based on self-reporting permitees, the ten-year average grazing levels are the annual equivalent of 6,800 cow/calf pairs or 34,000 sheep.  Reduced grazing is to be expected following multiple years of severe drought.

What else does the BLM plan to do:

·         Geld up to 50 percent of the stallions who remain on the range.

·         Skew the sex ratio of these wild horse populations to 60% male, 40% female.

·         Reduce the population to near extinction level by maintaining  “a core breeding population of 227 wild horseswhich is approximately 53% of the low end of AML” in Antelope and a core breeding population of 272 which is 63% of the low end of AML” in Triple B.”

BLM EA and related info here.


Silver King, Nevada

What HMAs are involved? The Silver King HMA near Caliente, Nevada

How many horses will be rounded up and removed? A minimum of 960 – 90% of the existing population in the HMA.

What will happen to these horses? BLM has requested permission from Congress to destroy “excess” horses and to sell them for slaughter. If Congress says yes, most of these horses will be killed.

How big is this area? 606,000 acres (almost 950 square miles).

How many horses does BLM allow to live in this area?  60-128

How many acres is that per horse? 4,734 acres per horse at the high end of the population limit.

How much livestock does BLM authorize to graze in this area?  The equivalent of 6,200 cow/calf pairs or 31,000 sheep are authorized to graze in the allotments that lie partially or wholly within this HMA.  Based on self-reporting of livestock permittees, BLM claims an average ten-year use equivalent to 2,900 cow/calf pairs or 14,292 sheep.

What else does the BLM plan to do:  Retain a core breeding population of 60 horses – low end of AML. Any mares released back to the range would be treated with PZP.

BLM EA and related info here.


Wyoming Checkerboard Roundup (Scheduled for September)

What HMAs are involved? Adobe Town, Salt Wells Creek, Great Divide Basin

How many horses will be rounded up and removed? 1,560

What will happen to these horses? BLM has requested permission from Congress to destroy “excess” horses and to sell them for slaughter. If Congress says yes, most of these horses will be killed.

How big is this area? 2.4 million acres of land (3,470 square miles), 70% of which is public.

How many horses does BLM allow to live in this area?   1,276-1,765

How many acres is that per horse? 1,400 acres per horse at the high end of the population limit.

How much livestock does BLM authorize to graze in this area? The equivalent of 12,600 year round cow/calf pairs or 63,000 sheep.  Based on rancher self-reporting, the BLM states that actual use in this area last year was 55,535 AUMs, or the annual equivalent of 4,600 cow/calf pairs or over 23,000 sheep.

What else does the BLM plan to do: Release 20 mares and 20 stallions back to the Adobe Town HMA. Only horses with “readily recognized phenotypic traits of New World Iberian horses” would be returned to the HMA.

BLM EA and related documents found here.

 

Mr. Español said he planned to insert the compulsory chip, but also continue using the traditional hot iron method to brand his foals.

Government officials say a chip and an insurance policy are essential to establish accident liability, in particular when horses leave the woods and run onto a road.

Three years ago, one of Mr. Español’s horses died after being hit by a car while crossing the coastal road that links Galicia to Portugal.

But the ranchers believe that the problem is mostly irresponsible drivers, who speed along country roads and “just don’t respect the horses,” said José Fernández Martínez, the president of an association of ranchers.

“Modern society is losing a way of life that has kept us and animals in harmony,” he said.

Laura Duarte, an official from Pacma, a political party promoting animal rights, said that checking on the health of horses was laudable, but that other aspects of the roundup were unjustifiable.

“We don’t criticize what’s being done, but how it’s been done,” she said, “because it causes terrible stress to animals that live in the wild and aren’t used to human contact.”

“To brand a horse with hot iron can only cause huge suffering,” she said.

Even if a roundup cannot be compared to bullfighting in terms of cruelty, Ms. Duarte added, “the argument in its defense is the same, which is to evoke tradition.”

“Any tradition that harms animals must be reviewed,” she said, “and doing something for a very long time doesn’t mean it shouldn’t now be adapted to our times.”

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