Posted by: starhorsepax | November 19, 2009

Wild Horse Conflict-Winter Roundups

The Wild Horse Conflict continues with the BLM planning winter roundups. Now I don’t live out west, but I have worked with horses in the winter and once had one go down on ice while I was slowly leading it. (Thankfully he was unhurt-and didn’t squash his handler.) The idea of someone going up into mountains where there is sure to be ice and snow and then chasing horses down with a helicopter is horrifying. It makes images of broken legs and necks come to mind. What are they thinking? Can they truly be so ignorant or do they truly care so little? Perhaps the brains behind this should be dumped in the middle of an ice covered hill and forced to run. See how well they do. A moratorium petition is going around to block this and we can but sign it and hope collective weight of disapproval get their attention. H

The most dangerous thing about this is not horses and snow. It’s the arrogant attitude that the government agencies and their high officials are above the law to protect the horses and are not answerable to the people. Bombarded with mail and objections, they forge ahead ignoring not only opinion but scientific evidence that their plan is wrong. They either refuse to admit it, or just don’t care. They either are extremely ignorant or hope that everyone else is.

My previous post called for support for the ROAM act. A commenter made a good point about it however. There is a provision in the act which should be stricken and shows clearly the evidence that further education is needed to counter the propaganda of those who want the horses gone. It allows for the managing agency to use drugs to prevent pregnancy.

Apparently someone is mistaking horses for either guinea pigs or feral cats. Guinea pigs because these drugs have unexpected side affects. Foals are born out of season, herd dynamics and family groups altered due to the lack of births. Herds which are already below the point of having the necessary genetic diversity to thrive then have even less. The long term affects are unknown both for horse and environment. Horses must be mistaken for feral cats which bear multiple litters of multiple kittens. They live around humans and in cities. Horses in contrast only bear one foal a year. They are not likely to be frequenting a city back alley. If they are, they most likely came from a local trailer accident, not a wild herd.

The ultimate problem with managing wild horse populations is WHO is Managing. Drugs are only a symptom, a fad, to control wild animals in general. The real issue is that the agencies behind the control run amuck, make decisions without scientific data. There are only two reasons that come to mind. One is sheer ignorance, for which they have no excuse. If they don’t have the scientific knowledge or at least a willingness to learn they shouldn’t have the job. You wouldn’t hire a math teacher who couldn’t add 2 + 2 or an english teacher who didn’t know the ABCs.

The Second reason is worse. It’s corruption. An intentional, knowing bias in favor of themselves or their supporters. Given the arrogant attitude of the round ups, the latter seems more and more likely. Blaming horses for overgrazing when they are outnumbered by cattle? Removing wholesale herds from areas that they supposedly want to use for energy conservation, as if the horses were not a part of the natural ecology and would interfere? What possible lame excuse covers the risk of round ups in icy mountain terrain in winter? What justifies spending American tax payer dollars for round ups that don’t benefit us and were in fact meant for caring for the horses already in holding?

It is the hope that those behind this that the majority of Americans are too busy and ignorant to notice. They hope they will by the shallow answers and lies because they are too worried about jobs, school and health care. But everyone cares when their pockets are being picked. That money could go for new roads, scholarships, libraries, hungry children. It should not go for the high political few to get rid or OUR Wild Horses.

The likely situation is that it will take all of us, not just a few horse lovers too stop this. And it is important that it be stopped.

The United States of America started out as a colony. It rose in war against that mother country not because it suddenly felt rebellious, but because it’s rights-rights under British law, given to all on British soil-were not being given to the colonists. The USA is founded on the belief that the government is by the people, for the people and accountable to the people. The Department of Interior’s leader and the Bureau of Land Management apparently consider themselves exempt from this. They are members of the government, appointed by leaders elected by people and paid for by taxes. This attitude must be stopped. If they choose to abuse the privilage and responsibility of the government position they should be removed. The 1971 act revisions allowing the Department of the Interior director to decide what was needed did not allow for the wholesale removal of the wild horses.

We can’t safely ignore the wholesale intentional arrogance of those who would do whatever they please in their position as if they could pick and choose whose input they would listen too. Wake up people. It’s not just the horses losing their freedom. If this issue came to a vote it’s already obvious the BLM would LOSE. The original 1971 act had more letters pour in than anything but the most recent war. The moratorium already has THOUSANDS of signatures. Horse groups which normally disagree on the issues have banded together on this one.

If our government agencies which make laws and we pay taxes to decides it can ignore us and those laws, choosing to defend or violate as it pleases we are losing our freedom too. SAY NO. Don’t let the fact that speaking out is inconvenient and time consuming stop you. Life is busy. By the time it’s convenient it may be too late. It certainly will be for the wild horses.

Let our government leaders know. Write in, e-mail, call. Tell your neighbors, tell your kids.

Letter/Petition Link.

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