Wild horses are quickly disappearing from the American West because of a cruel, expensive and needless federal government program - but we can stop it if we act now. Sign here to tell Congress and President Obama to save our wild horses!
The ancestors of modern horses roamed North America over 10,000 years ago, but were wiped out during the last ice age along with Mammoths and Sabre toothed tigers. Their descendants, today's horses, were re-introduced by explorers and colonists hundreds of years ago, and have since become a natural part of the ecosystem along with bison and elk.1
But over-development and pollution were pushing out the horses by the middle of last century, and the number of wild horses roaming the West has decreased by 75 percent. So in 1971, America made a promise, "that wild free-roaming horses and burros are living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West;" and that they would, "be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death; and to accomplish this they are to be considered in the area where presently found, as an integral part of the natural system of the public lands."1
The 1971 Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burros Act designates public lands for their protection.1 But since then, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has not been living up to our promise. Nearly 300,000 wild horses and burros have been removed from public lands -- mostly to make way for commercial cattle grazing, mining, drilling and other extreme energy extraction like fracking. More than half of them are stockpiled in government holding facilities.2 The rules for these exiled horses are disgustingly lax, and last year the BLM sold 1,794 federally protected wild horses to a Colorado rancher who sent them to slaughter.3
That’s why we’re calling on Congress and the administration to reform the government’s wild horse management policies and restore protections to wild horses under federal law. Please click here to protect Americas Wild Horses and Burros.
Rounding up and stockpiling wild horses isn't just bad for the horses (though it is) - it's also a huge waste of taxpayer money: About 72 percent of the BLM budget for wild horses is spent on roundups and stockpiling, while less than one percent is spent on fertility control to keep wild horses on the range. Costs to taxpayers keep escalating ($80,000,000 this fiscal year), while feeding wild horses in government holding facilities costs the American taxpayer $140,000 every day.4
All this expense is to clear horses out of the way for private interests to access our public lands. And no industry benefits more than the livestock industry, which grazes millions of cattle on our lands at ridiculously low prices (when they pay at all, remember Cliven Bundy?5). And yet private livestock like Bundy's outnumbers wild horses and burros on public land by 47 to one.2
The best solution is to redirect federal resources to in-the-wild management of wild horses and burros, which would keep these animals on the range and save taxpayers millions every year. But instead, BLM wants to risk the health of healthy wild horses by subjecting them to risky and painful surgery in the wild and expand its "unlimited sale authority," which could lead to many more horses being sent to slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico.6
We have to speak up now, before BLM's budget is approved, and make sure Congress and the President know we want to save wild horses, not kill or maim them. Sign and share this important action on social media to protect America's Wild Horses and Burros.
Thanks for taking action,
Sally and the Wild Horse Saving Crew at Environmental Action
1.Wild Horse and Burro Program. March 28, 2013.
2. Ashley Matthews. BLM must reconsider its policies on wild horses. The Denver Post. November 11, 2013
3. John M. Glionna, 1,800 protected wild horses sent to their deaths in Mexican slaughterhouses, LA Times, October 29, 2015
4. American Wild Horse Preservation, Salt River Wild Horses FAQ,
5. Matt Pearce, Cliven Bundy still owes the U.S. $1 million. What are the feds doing to collect it?, LA Times, January 7, 2016
6. American Wild Horse Preservation, New Video Shows Brutality of BLM’s Proposed Wild Horse Sterilization Experiments March 17, 2016.