America’s wild horses are being managed to extinction and Friends of Animals is fighting for their lives.
Six states have already lost their wild horse populations: Missouri, Iowa, Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. And since the passage of the Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971, wild horses have lost an additional 41 percent of their habitat.
In our fight to protect wild horses, FoA has secured 13 victories in court, ensuring that herds remain with their families on the range instead of being ripped from federal public lands through cruel roundups. All the cases have revealed that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which caters to cattle and sheep ranchers, is cutting corners and knowingly violating the National Environmental Policy Act. In addition, the agency has not been transparent about the impacts associated with forcibly drugging mares with the fertility pesticide PZP.
In 2020, the BLM quietly slipped another report to Congress outlining management and requested $116.8 million for the Wild Horse and Burro Program. The agency is calling for massive removals, permanent sterilization, sale without limitation and slaughter.
The truth is there is no evidence that there are too many wild horses on federal public lands. Upwards of 2 million cattle graze public lands, not to mention sheep, and the government has authorized thousands of oil, gas and mineral extraction projects on these areas as well, compared to a measly 79,568 wild horses. These activities, not wild horses, are damaging the environment, fragmenting wildlife habitat, and contributing to climate change.
Help us stop the BLM’s wild horse extinction plan and fight for freedom.
FLIP OFF FUR
New York City, one of the big four fashion capitals of the world, is considering legislation that would ban the sale of fur after decades of efforts by Friends of Animals to end the cruelty of the fur industry but the legislation—Intro 1476 — has stalled and we need your help.
FoA has advocated for the end of the industry for decades through media campaigns including advertisements in Times Square and by introducing draft legislation and meeting with council members to garner support. Its years of efforts paid off when New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson introduced legislation — Intro 1476 — to ban the sale of fur.
Several other major regions have passed fur ban legislation – including Los Angeles, San Francisco and the state of California. Macy’s, whose flagship store is in NYC, announced it would no longer sell fur, joining hundreds of other retail outlets and fashion designers who have stepped away from the cruel industry.
But Johnson backed off in the face of opposition from the few remaining furriers and some religious communities.
Please contact City Council Speaker Johnson’s office, and tell him to move forward with the ban. Speaker Johnson can be reached at 212 788-7210 or via email at SpeakerJohnson@council.nyc.gov.
BANNING TROPHY HUNTING
It is shameful that U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issues permits to import the parts of lions, elephants, leopards, giraffes, rhinos and other species from Africa, where so-called conservation programs fail to meet accepted standards for transparency, scientific management and effectiveness.
At least 1.2 million animals were legally killed by American hunters and sent to the U.S. as trophies between 2005-2014. From 2005 to 2014, 159,144 animals were imported into New York as trophies—including 1,541 lions; 1,130 elephants and 83 pairs of tusks; 1,169 leopards, and 110 white rhinos. In Connecticut, where FoA is headquartered, hunters travelled to Africa and killed 39 lions and one giraffe between 2005-2016 and imported their trophies.
To protect these majestic species, FoA drafted legislation in Connecticut and New York, which is the largest importer of trophies in the nation, that would ban the possession, sale, or import of these trophies. Africa’s majestic animals are on the decline. The population of African elephants, lions, giraffes, rhinos, leopards and black and white rhinos are declining at an alarming rate and federal protections are not strong enough. States must step in to do more to save these majestic, sentient beings including banning the import and sale of hunting trophies of their body parts.
Because of our efforts, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed the Big 5 African Trophies Act into law in 2021, preventing Connecticut trophy hunters from selling the body parts of the Big 5. We worked for five years to deliver this setback to the trophy hunting industry and to help protect these magnificent ecosystem engineers. The legislation is working its way through the New York legislature.
Friends of Animals also filed a rulemaking petition with USFWS in 2021 to stop the importation of all sport-hunted “trophies” of threatened and endangered animals. FWS hasn’t responded yet. If the agency denies the petition, then FoA can challenge it in court.
If the goal of the Endangered Species Act is conservation of species, US regulations should not grant a loophole legalizing the slaughter of the most vulnerable among them and then add insult to injury by permitting the glorification of the killing through the importation of their dismembered body parts. Permitting individuals to display lion and leopard heads or mount elephant tusks on the walls of their homes undermines the message that we should be protecting these imperiled species.
CLOSING WILD ANIMAL MEAT MARKETS
We are urging Congress to approve legislation that would shut down global commercial wildlife markets and help stop the spread of zoonotic diseases such as COVID-19.
Three out of every four new or emerging infectious diseases in people come from animals. They are transmitted from animals to other hosts to humans or directly to humans after contact via slaughterhouses, hunting, poaching and trade in wildlife wet markets. These diseases have killed more than 32 million humans.
FoA has written international officials at the United Nations, World Health Organization and Congressional representatives urging the closure of these markets. We are supporting a bill introduced by Senator Corey Booker that would direct the State Department to work with international partners to shut down commercial wildlife markets and stop the associated wildlife trade, end the import, export and sale of live wildlife for human consumption in the U.S. and phase out demand for wildlife as a food source.
We will continue to work to gain support of the measure from the Biden-Harris administration.
FoA is working on a local, state and national level to ban the use of pesticides, such as glyphosate and chlorpyrifos, on public lands and working to encourage organic methods on private property.
Pesticides, including herbicides, insecticides and rodenticides, put pollinators, birds, amphibians and other wildlife in harm’s way. Studies show that the use of professionally applied pesticides is associated with a 70 percent higher risk of canine malignant lymphoma. Many pesticides are toxic to fish and other aquatic organisms as well as being toxic to bees, birds and other pollinators.
Roundup, the most popular weed killer in the world, has as its most active ingredients glyphosate and 2,4-D. The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate in 2015 as a “probable carcinogenic to humans’’ and concluded that the chemical likely causes a range of cancers, including non-Hodgkin lymphoma, renal cancers, skin cancers and pancreatic cancer.
FoA supported the groundbreaking New York City bill that bans the use of toxic pesticides in city parks. We are grateful to NYC Council members Ben Kallos and Carlina Rivera for introducing the bill and to our members who acted in 2020 when we asked them to support the legislation and help move it forward.
The bill authorizes the use of only biological pesticides (except in the case of some applicable exemptions) and bans all city agencies from spraying highly toxic pesticides, such as glyphosate, which was one of the city’s most heavily used liquid herbicide. Roundup was sprayed 1,365 times in 2013, according to a NYC Health Department report.
In 2019, a jury in Oakland, California awarded a couple $2 billion in damages after finding that sustained exposure to Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer led to their cancer diagnoses. Other juries have reached similar verdicts.
In Connecticut, FoA is supporting legislation which would ban the sale and application of chlorpyrifos, a nerve toxin in the same class as sarin gas, and prohibit its use on golf courses, at country clubs and near schools.