FoA Protests BLM Wild Horse Roundups in Wyoming
On Monday, as two helicopters ripped 20 stallions, 11 mares and five colts from their families at the Bar X District Line Trap in the Great Divide Basin Herd Management Area of Wyoming, Friends of Animals and supporters protested these criminal actions against America’s wild horses at the Rock Springs Holding Facility.
As the organization waited for supporters from Kansas, Wyoming and Utah to arrive, members could see and hear foals whinnying to their families who they were cruelly separated from in the holding pens. A man on horseback chased one group of horses from one enclosure to another, trying to break their spirit and make them more “adoptable.”
|Press Coverage of Wyoming Protest|
Fueled by the scene in front of them, around 10:30 a.m., 13 protesters marched from the public viewing area of the facility to the main gate leading to the holding pens carrying banners and signs and chanting, “Stop the roundups, stop the pain, BLM is to blame,” “Let them be, wild and free,” and “BLM lies, horses die” as BLM staff and local sheriffs looked on.
Protesters also put up crime scene tape across the gate and used a megaphone to shout facts about why the roundups in the Checkerboard Herd Management Area of Wyoming are blatantly violating federal laws.
The group then descended upon the BLM’s Rock Springs Field Office—where staff members engineer the horrific roundups happening in Wyoming—and entered the main lobby of the building with banners and posters, chanting and again making speeches through the megaphone. Edita Birnkrant, campaigns director for FoA, laid crime scene tape across the floor and on the front desk, before reading off more than a 100 names of people from all over the world who wanted to attend the protest but were not able to.
Birnkrant asked if there was a BLM representative who would be willing to come out and speak with protesters but didn’t get a response.
After leaving the field office, protesters went back to the holding facility to document the horses who had been rounded up that day, but waited until 4 p.m. and none of the 36 horses arrived. FoA did learn that in addition to rounding up 36 horses that day, two horses died.
Sadly, as FoA was returning to the East Coast Tuesday, two helicopters gathered 30 more stallions, 35 more mares and 12 more colts at the Bar X District Line Trap in the Great Divide Basin Herd Management Area.
Last week in Wyoming 179 wild horses had been ripped from their families due to the Bureau of Land Management’s criminal reign of terror. Hundreds more are set to be brutally removed off the land and imprisoned in barren holding facilities where many are then “adopted” and end up in slaughterhouses.
FoA will continue to spread the word that endangered species status is only hope for Wyoming’s wild horses.
Sept. 15 marked the deadline for when U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had to respond to Friends of Animals’ petition to list North American wild horses on public lands as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the best hope for the survival of wild horses in Wyoming and other states since the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act (WHBA), which was passed in 1971, has failed to protect our wild horses.
Listing wild horses, which the BLM claims are non-native despite scientific evidence, as either threatened or endangered under the ESA would provide needed regulation to halt further exploitation of this species, particularly roundups removing the animals from their range.
Video clips from the protest