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Take A Stand For Wild Horses

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Sponsor: The Animal Rescue Site

The Bureau of Land Management uses dangerous and deadly techniques to round up wild mustangs. Put a stop to this cruel practice.

The Bureau of Land Management is herding large groups of mustangs out of their peaceful habitats by rounding them up with low-flying helicopters — a practice that is responsible for the senseless injuries and deaths of thousands of these wild and beautiful creatures1.

Twin Peaks, a mountain range just north of Reno, Nevada, is home to over 2,000 wild mustangs that roam free in its open fields. Sadly, however, these horses may soon see a bleak end to their freedom. Nevada's horse roundups have historically been used as a tactic to "manage the growing horse population" in the region. Proponents of the idea claim it helps to preserve the environment, and consequently, the horses and cattle that live in it2.

The impetus for the roundups arose as ranchers became increasingly more concerned about the wellbeing of their cattle — cattle that share the same grazing areas with the horses. More than 3 million cows and sheep roam the Western farmlands, compared to only about 27,000 mustangs. Yet the removal of the horses is placed at top priority — just another example of where the motivation for profit trumps any regard for animal preservation3.

Though grazing space may be becoming gradually more limited, the methods used to herd the mustangs can be as deadly as the consequences of overpopulation. Herding often involves aggressive and frightening strategies, such as the use of helicopters that hover over the plains and scare the animals into heading the desired direction. This frequently results in stampedes, wherein horses can break their legs and be separated from their young4.

The surviving mustangs, the BLM claims, end up in adoption shelters or holding facilities after the round-up. However, shelter overcrowding is a real threat to the safety of these animals. If they aren't able to be relocated to shelters, the mustangs' future is very uncertain. Though intended as a last resort, euthanasia often becomes the solution to the shelter overpopulation the roundups create3.

The BLM plans to extricate thousands more horses from their natural roaming plains. If successful, the number of mustangs in captivity will outnumber those in the wild. It's just not statistically possible to find loving homes for all of these animals, given the economy and dwindling rate of mustang adoption. In fact, it's convenient for the BLM if a certain number of mustangs perish during the course of each roundup, because it means less effort will be required to find suitable homes or shelters for the animals5.

The Twin Peaks horses need your help. Sign the petition urging the director of the BLM, to cease these inhumane roundups and let the mustangs to continue to roam in peace.

More on this issue:

  1. U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, "Nevada Herd Management Areas."
  2. U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, "Twin Peaks HMA."
  3. Return to Freedom Wild Horse Conservation (2021), "The Bureau of Land Management calls them 'gathers'; others call them 'roundups.'."
  4. American Wild Horse Campaign (2020), "Reality of Roundups."
  5. Dave Philipps, The New York Times (15 May 2021), "Wild Horses Adopted Under a Federal Program Are Going to Slaughter."
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The Petition:

To the Director of the Bureau of Land Management,

As a concerned citizen, I am writing to inform you of my outrage at the Bureau of Land Management's horse roundups in Nevada. The BLM has claimed that these roundups are necessary to sustainably manage the mustang population and protect the environment. However, the herding you are doing in the Twin Peaks area is inhumane and cruel.

Your agency's harrowing tactics unnecessarily injure and kill innocent mustangs each time you conduct a roundup, and with record-low mustang adoption rates, the horses that are captured face a lifetime of confinement in overcrowded shelters.

It's your job as experts in this industry to develop population control methods that do not directly harm living animals. Regulating the 3-4 million grazing cattle and sheep on BLM lands would be more productive than essentially jailing some of our 27,000 remaining mustangs for life. Effective and humane techniques, such as a contraceptive PZP vaccine, are available and proven options.

Please put these noble animals first, and put an end to unnecessary and harmful roundups. The Twin Peaks mustangs should remain in their rightful habitat.


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