Friends of Animals is asking members of the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee to make the protection of wild horses a priority in 2021, the 50th anniversary of the Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971. We have reached out to members of the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands to suggest amendments to funding bills to better reflect the priorities Congress wants from BLM in implementing the WHBA. It is time to hold BLM accountable for sacrificing the protections Congress afforded these animals to the interests of the meat industry and other commercial industries. We believe amendments should require BLM to:
- Limit or restrict entirely cattle and sheep from grazing in wild horse Herd Management Areas (HMAs);
- Increase grazing fees (as President Bill Clinton tried to accomplish);
- Limit oil, gas and mining operations in HMAs;
- Return wild horses to Herd Areas in states where wild horses have been wiped-out;
- Increase HMA boundaries to levels envisioned in the WFRHBA;
- Use science to ensure that each herd is genetically viable;
- Protect natural predators, such as mountain lions;
- Address the ongoing uncertainness over the side effects and other impacts of drugs like PZP;
- Adjust outdated appropriate management levels to accommodate more horses.
BLM’s mismanagement of wild horses, including removing wild horses and placing them in long-term holding areas, is costing taxpayers millions of dollars every year and only facilitates higher growth rates by disrupting natural balance and social structure of the herds. These reforms could result in a significant cost savings.