For Immediate Release
Feb. 24, 2015
Contact: Edita Birnkrant, campaigns director, Friends of Animals; 917.940.2725;
Priscilla Feral, president, Friends of Animals; 203.656.1522, ext. 105;
Anne Novak, executive director, Protect Mustangs; 415.531.8454;


FoA, Protect Mustangs to hold rally/press conference for wild horses at BLM Tri-RAC meeting in Sparks, Nev.

When: 11:30 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015

Where: Victoria Square outside the north side entrance of The Nugget, 1100 Nugget Ave., Sparks, Nevada 


(NEVADA)—Did you know that this year the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse and Burro Program has an additional $2.8 million to research fertility control for wild horses this year? Hasn’t the agency wasted enough of taxpayers’ money on a program that has been a nightmare for America’s underpopulated wild horses and has persecuted them instead of protecting them… while at the same time subsidizing welfare ranchers? In the 2013 fiscal year, BLM spent $4.8 million on roundups and removals of wild horses and $46.2 million on holding costs, as well as $86,495,000 to subsidize livestock grazing on public lands. 

Friends of Animals (FoA) and Protect Mustangs are sick and tired of the BLM treating America’s wild horses as pests and ranchers as clients and they will hold a rally/press conference for wild horses on Thursday, Feb. 26 during the Tri-Resource Advisory Council Meeting in Sparks, Nevada. 

“We are more energized than ever before since our victory earlier this month to stop the roundup and forced drugging of Nevada’s beloved Pine Nut Herd,” said Priscilla Feral, president of Friends of Animals.

The victory for wild horses reflects rising concerns about rounding up and drugging wild horses on public lands with PZP. FoA and Protect Mustangs will address research about the negative side effects of PZP at the press conference and during the public comment period of the Tri-RAC meeting, as well a recent study by the Center for Biological Diversity, which reveals the real price of livestock grazing on public lands to taxpayers.

“We are fed up with ranchers who scapegoat wild horses because they don’t want to share public land—the land horses are supposed to be living free on. Under no resource management plans are cattle and sheep prohibited from grazing on wild horse herd management areas. This is an outrage,” said Edita Birnkrant, campaigns director for FoA”

“Wild horses are guilty of nothing—there are too many cows and sheep grazing on public lands. Public-lands ranchers, also known as “welfare ranchers” rely on hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies. Livestock grazing on public lands has cost taxpayers an estimated one billion dollars over the past decade.”

FoA and Protect Mustangs wants the public to know that BLM roundups—which destroy social structures and can actually fuel herd population growth—and BLMs use of birth control PZP, which is a registered pesticide, are not the only options for wild horses. FoA has filed a legal petition with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list North American wild horses on public lands as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) since the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act, which was passed in 1971, has failed to protect our wild horses.

“FoA promises the American public we won’t allow the BLM to continue to break the law by relying on outdated Environmental Assessments and artificially low appropriate management levels dreamed up by the BLM to justify their assaults on wild horses,” said Birnkrant.

“Members of Tri-RAC, this is the message to bring to the BLM:  Halt the cruel and massive roundups; restore the horses to their legal and complete habitats, including adjacent lands where necessary; and employ the sound principles of reserve design for truly long-term viable, ecologically well-adapted, and naturally self-stabilizing wild horse herds throughout the West,” said Craig Downer, director of conservation and ecology for Protect Mustangs.

“Wild horses have been experimented on for decades and this taxpayer funded cruelty needs to stop right now,” said Anne Novak, executive director of Protect Mustangs. “They are underpopulated and need to be protected—not zeroed out to facilitate extractive industries. Native wild horses contribute to the ecosystem, period. It’s time for a new holistic management plan to turn this around.”


Friends of Animals, an international animal protection organization founded in 1957, advocates for the rights of animals, free-living and domestic around the world.