GLORIA RIVIERA: ‘Controversy has broken out over the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) practice of using helicopters to herd horses off public lands and sometimes permanently put them into holding facilities in an effort to control their population. “Sometimes these horses get stampeded for miles and miles,” said Simone Netherlands, an animal rights activist and a spokesperson for the American Wild Horse Campaign. Now the government is considering culling these animals for the first time in nearly 50 years, putting the lives of thousands of wild horses at stake.
Most of the U.S.’s estimated 75,000 wild horses live on public lands, usually vast expanses that the government controls in the American West… There are over 45,000 wild horses currently in holding areas, costing taxpayers about $50 million annually. It’s an expense that the U.S. Department of Interior sought to address in its 2018 budget by lifting regulations that prevent slaughtering wild horses.
“The BLM, the very agency in charge of protecting them, is asking Congress for permission to kill them,” Netherlands said. “They’ve stockpiled wild horses in holding pens … and so now what are they going to do with all the horses that they’ve stockpiled? The adoption rates are not high enough so they can’t adopt them all out. So now we have a bunch of wild horses that the taxpayers are paying for and holding facilities and their solution is kill them”.’ SOURCE…