The input by so-called wild horse advocates in the Reuters article, “Activists fought rounding up U.S. wild horses. Then came drought and climate change” is laughable. You can read it here.
Stephanie Boyles Griffin, the chief scientist of the Humane Society of the United States’ wildlife protection department, said climate change has forced different groups to come together. “The greatest threat to our wild horses and burros and our public lands right now isn’t the BLM, it’s not cattle, ranching or mining interests. It’s not animal advocates. It’s climate change and the new reality is fast settling in.”
How could anyone that calls themselves a scientist talk about the climate crisis without acknowledging that worldwide, animal farming accounts for between 14.5 percent to18 percent of human-induced greenhouse gas emissions. In the United States, animal farming accounts for 10 percent of them.
Other groups may want to stick their head in the sand about the fact that cattle and sheep ranching is one of the main reasons for the dwindling plant and water resources on federal public lands, but Friends of Animals cannot.
The misinformation spewed out though is also detrimental and dangerous to wild horses. The greatest threat to wild horses is ASPCA’s and HSUS’ The Path Forward and the groups that are saddling up to the meat industry. It’s the exact opposite of what a compassionate, thoughtful animal advocacy group should do, and wild horses deserve better than to be sold out this way.
It might seem shocking the ASPCA and HSUS joined forces with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, knowing full well the reason why wild horses are heading for extinction is cattle and sheep ranching and energy interests they compete with for forage and habitat.
However, all is certainly not lost. The public should not feel hopeless about the plight of America’s wild horses going forward, because those groups weren’t doing that much to protect them anyways.
They certainly were never interested in keeping them wild. And by wild we mean allowing them to flourish in their own way, not managing them by keeping them in small herd areas or limiting their population through forcibly drugging them with fertility control drugs.
It’s telling HSUS and ASPCA say there need to be targeted roundups in ‘densely populated Herd Management Areas.’ The only thing HMAs are densely populated with are doomed cattle and sheep. Wild horses have lost more than 20 million acres of habitat since the passage of the Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971.
Holding BLM’s feet to the fire through litigation ad taking measures to reform the agency is what will prevent wild horses from being ripped from their homes and families on federal public lands and that will continue with or without these groups.