Call for probe into fate of captive wild horses

Wild horses in Wyoming.
Wild horses in Wyoming. © BLM

Wild horse advocates say the Bureau of Land Management continues to “zero out” American herds each year without proper justification.

They are calling for the return of wild horses and burros to the 24 million acres of designated lands cleared since 1971, and want an inquiry into the fate of some captive wild horses which they fear have gone to slaughter.

Only 180 of the originally identified 339 herds remain in the wild, they say.

Horse Welfare organizations estimate that fewer than 20,000 wild horses and burros remain wild and free.

The Cloud Foundation, Respect4Horses and Wild Horse Freedom Federation will hold a public press conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, to call for an immediate investigation into what they describe as credible allegations that stockpiled wild horses and burros are being sold to known kill buyers for eventual slaughter for human consumption abroad.

Cinematographer Ginger Kathrens will join author R.T. Fitch and noted equine advocate Simone Netherlands at the October 29 conference, timed to coincide with the opening day of the bureau’s advisory board meeting on wild horses and burros.

The groups, supported by advocates from coast to coast, want the bureau to call off all scheduled roundups immediately while an accurate and unbiased count is conducted, as well as an investigation into the allegations of slaughter sales and what they describe as the continued mismanagement of wild horses and burros both in the wild and in captivity by the bureau and their hired contractors.

The groups say the bureau is destroying the last of America’s wild herds at enormous and escalating taxpayer expense.

They say it is managing the wild horses to extinction. The bureau, they say, has stockpiled more than 48,000 wild horses and burros in government holding, leaving millions of acres of legally designated wild horse and burro ranges empty.


The media and the interested public are encouraged to attend this public press conference at the Radisson Hotel Salt Lake City Downtown (215 West South Temple) from 12pm to 1pm on Monday. The public press event will take place on the opening day of the BLM’s controversial Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board meeting occurring, also at the Radisson Hotel.

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7 thoughts on “Call for probe into fate of captive wild horses

  • October 29, 2012 at 6:04 am

    Haven’t I said it before – BLM now, Bureau of Indian Affairs then. The Govt is ‘taking care of’ these creatures in an ‘Al Pacino’ kind of way, whereas we need it to be a ‘Julie Andrews’ way – to loosely quote Father Ted Crilly.

  • October 29, 2012 at 8:00 am

    I’m skeptical that any good will come out of this as these meetings in the past have proven to be a mere pacifier for the public. An exercise to make people believe the BLM gives a damn.

    The agenda is preset as are the conclusions but it makes us feel better to yell and scream even if it is just a waste of air.

    First of all the research surrounding SpayVac. I’ve read the NAS report and I’m not comfortable with the current plan to use it on 60 mares at Lander then turn them out to the range again. In the control group 12 out of 12 mares developed edemas that could lead to bacterial growth and uterine infections. If used as planned these 60 mares could develop serious life threatening conditions far away from medical care.

    When I spoke the folks at Lander they told me they wouldn’t be alone they would have observers in the field. I asked if the observers were medically trained and the response was no but they could notify a vet who could come perform the euthanasia.

    So our great science says treat them then watch them and if something goes wrong KILL ’em. That sounds quite medieval to me. They asked if I would like to speak with the man in charge of the project and I said yes. When I didn’t get a return call I called back only to be told he was on leave of absence for an undetermined amount of time.

    If the BLM plans on using 60 of our wild mares as lab rats then they need to be replaced immediately. This is not research. This is grasping at straws because of their inability to MANAGE the wild herds. They’ve thrown their hands in the air because they have no answers. They have no more room to store them, money to feed them and God forbid they admit they were wrong and start returning animals to their home ranges.

    We need to get to Washington and get the Congress to act on re-organizing the Wild Horse and Burro Program, replace all the current hierarchy, and find scientists who truly care for the well being of our animals.

    Extinction is forever and we cannot let that happen!

    • October 31, 2012 at 1:57 am

      Steve, I totally agree with you – the whole lot at the BLM should be fired – in the few years that I have been following this “saga” nothing they have said or done has proved to have ANYTHING to do with these wild ones well being and safety. As a commentator on RT Fitch’s blog puts it Bl**dy Liars and Murderers!!

  • October 30, 2012 at 4:27 am

    We must keep this story alive until we get SATISFACTION for BLM’s illegal activities. This is no time to be polite….it’s time for revolt against the DOI & BLM.

  • December 6, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    This article has a huge falicy….after the horses are stolen from their legal homes, the millions of acres aren’t left empty….they are replaced by welfare rancher’s cattle & sheep that taxpayers are subsidizing by the millions of dollars!


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