News / USA

Critics Protest Capture of Wild Horses

Critics Protest Capture of Wild Horses
Critics Protest Capture of Wild Horses

Multimedia

Deborah Block

Wild horses are a legendary symbol of the American West.  They mostly roam on vast areas of public land overseen by the U.S. government.   To prevent overpopulation, the government periodically removes some of them.  But critics say the practice is inhumane and could lead to the extinction of wild horses.

Wild horses, in the thousands, run free in 10 states in the American West.  They are protected by law and live in remote areas where people don't normally see them. 

Suzanne Roy is with the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign.

"It is a thrilling experience. It is an educational experience. It really strikes a deep cord with people everywhere," said Roy.

Roy and other advocates of wild horses came to Washington to protest the capture of herds by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

The government has been moving the horses to the American Midwest and south.  The horses are not slaughtered. They are put in holding pastures or fenced pens where they can be adopted, but fewer people are adopting because of the recession. 

Currently, there are more horses in holding facilities than on public land.

Roy says despite the law to protect wild horses, the government has other priorities. 

"The Bureau of Land Management manages our public lands, not for the interests of the public, but for the interests of the livestock owners that graze their cows on our public lands," added Roy.

Tom Gorey is a spokesman for the Bureau of Land Management. He says the government values the horses.  He says the bureau does the roundups to protect the herds because there are 10,000 more horses on the land than there should be.

"We are not managing for extinction as some of the critics have said," said Gorey.  "We're just trying to get down to that appropriate management level.  We don't want starvation on the range."

Activists say the government should use other methods to control the herds.

"By managing the horses on the range, through things like fertility control and limiting livestock grazing," explained Roy.

While birth control is used when wild horses are moved, Gorey says it is impractical to do that on the millions of hectares of public land.

"We're not at a point right now where we can just apply fertility control to control the population of the herds, which grow about 20 percent a year, and therefore, double in about four years," said Gorey.

The government is spending $63 million on the wild horse program this year and has proposed $75 million for next year.  A separate request of $42 million is for the purchase of land for a wild horse preserve.

Despite their differences, both sides agree the wild horse program is too costly. 

"We're eager to get out of the holding business," added Gorey.  "We only want to hold the number that is consistent with public adoption demand.  We're working on that."

But older horses often are not adopted. Critics say moving the horses is a waste of money and the roundups should stop until the system is fixed.

Wild horses are a legendary symbol of the American West. They mostly roam on vast areas of public land overseen by the U.S. government. To prevent overpopulation, the government periodically removes some of them. But critics say the practice is inhumane and could lead to the extinction of wild horses. VOA's Deborah Block looks at the controversy.

<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->

<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->

SUBHEAD: U.S. government says horses are removed from public land because of overpopulation

<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->

INTRODUCTION:

Wild horses are a legendary symbol of the American West. They mostly roam on vast areas of public land overseen by the U.S. government. To prevent overpopulation, the government periodically removes some of them. But critics say the practice is inhumane and could lead to the extinction of wild horses.

<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->

Wild horses, in the thousands, run free in ten states in the American West. They are protected by law and live in remote areas where people don't normally see them.

<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->

Suzanne Roy is with the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign.

<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->

"It is a thrilling experience. It is an educational experience. It really strikes a deep cord with people everywhere," said Roy.

<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->

Roy and other advocates of wild horses came to Washington to protest the capture of herds by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->

The government has been moving the horses to the American Midwest and south. The horses are not slaughtered. They are put in holding pastures or fenced pens where they can be adopted, but fewer people are adopting because of the recession.

<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->

Currently, there are more horses in holding facilities than on public land.

<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->

Roy says despite the law to protect wild horses, the government has other priorities.

<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->

"The Bureau of Land Management manages our public lands, not for the interests of the public, but for the interests of the livestock owners that graze their cows on our public lands," added Roy.

<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->

Tom Gorey is a spokesman for the Bureau of Land Management. He says the government values the horses. He says the bureau does the roundups to protect the herds because there are 10,000 more horses on the land than there should be.

<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->

"We are not managing for extinction as some of the critics have said," said Gorey. "We're just trying to get down to that appropriate management level. We don't want starvation on the range."

<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->

Activists say the government should use other methods to control the herds.

<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->

"By managing the horses on the range, through things like fertility control and limiting livestock grazing," explained Roy.

<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->

While birth control is used when wild horses are moved, Gorey says it is impractical to do that on the millions of hectares of public land.

<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->

"We're not at a point right now where we can just apply fertility control to control the population of the herds, which grow about 20 percent a year, and therefore, double in about four years," said Gorey.

 

The government is spending $63 million on the wild horse program this year and has proposed $75 million for next year. A separate request of $42 million is for the purchase of land for a wild horse preserve.

<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->

Despite their differences, both sides agree the wild horse program is too costly.

<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->

"We're eager to get out of the holding business," added Gorey. "We only want to hold the number that is consistent with public adoption demand. We're working on that."

<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->

But older horses often are not adopted. Critics say moving the horses is a waste of money and the roundups should stop until the system is fixed.

You May Like

Republican Majority in Congress Off to Rough Start

Standoff over Homeland Security funding exposes philosophical, tactical problems within party More

Pakistan Blocks Baloch Activist from US Trip

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan slams Islamabad officials for stopping people from leaving country to attend human rights conference More

Video Muslims Long Thrived in North Carolina Before Students Killed

Idyll shattered February 10, when three Muslim university students living in Chapel Hill were gunned down by a neighbor More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sierra Leone Ebola Orphans Face Another Crisisi
X
March 06, 2015 12:28 AM
There's growing concern about the future of an orphanage run by a British charity in Sierra Leone, after a staff member and his wife died this week from Ebola. The Saint George Foundation Orphanage in Freetown is now in quarantine, with more than 20 children and seven staff in lock-down. The BBC has agreed to share Ebola-related material with Voice of America because of the difficulties faced by media organizations reporting the crisis. Clive Myrie reports from Sierra Leone.
Video

Video Sierra Leone Ebola Orphans Face Another Crisis

There's growing concern about the future of an orphanage run by a British charity in Sierra Leone, after a staff member and his wife died this week from Ebola. The Saint George Foundation Orphanage in Freetown is now in quarantine, with more than 20 children and seven staff in lock-down. The BBC has agreed to share Ebola-related material with Voice of America because of the difficulties faced by media organizations reporting the crisis. Clive Myrie reports from Sierra Leone.
Video

Video Growing Concerns Over Whether Myanmar’s Next Elections Will Be Fair

Myanmar has scheduled national elections for November that are also expected to include a landmark referendum on the country's constitution. But there are growing concerns over whether the government is taking the necessary steps to prepare for a free and fair vote. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman was recently in Myanmar and files this report from our Southeast Asia bureau in Bangkok.
Video

Video Nigeria’s Ogonis Divided Over Resuming Oil Production

More than two decades ago, Nigeria’s Ogoni people forced Shell oil company to cease drilling on their land, saying it was polluting the environment. Now, some Ogonis say it’s time for the oil to flow once again. Chris Stein reports from Kegbara Dere, Nigeria.
Video

Video Winter Weather Strikes Eastern US...Again!

A new wintry blast has hit more than 20 states in the U.S. Midwest and Mid-Atlantic region, adding more snow to the piles from previous storms. Tired of shoveling snow, breaking the ice and dealing with accidents, flight delays and property damage, most Americans hope this is the last bout of cold for the season. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Students

The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Myanmar's Traditional Fashion Choices Endure

The sartorial choices of Myanmar’s men and women quickly catch the eye of any visitor to the tropical Southeast Asian country. But at a time when Myanmar’s political and economic opening is bringing affordable western fashions to the masses, will the country’s unique fashion trends endure? VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Yangon explores that question.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More