Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Wild horse advocates say government agency fails herds

A report that found the Bureau of Land Management carelessly sold mustangs to a buyer who shipped them to slaughterhouses came as little surprise to advocates who believe the agency is incapable of handling the growing herds that roam federally protected land. "This report paints a pretty clear picture of government incompetence and a deliberate attempt to subvert the federal law that is supposed to protect" the horses, said Suzanne Roy, director of the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign. The agency's solution has been to round up thousands of horses each year. While some are adopted, most are maintained in holding facilities, where there are presently 47,329 animals. The BLM is running out of room and has cut back on the number of animals it rounds up. Ultimately, the agency wants to have the ban on selling the horses to slaughter overturned, Roy said. BLM spokesman Tom Gorey denied that charge. Congress will not fund horse slaughter, and the BLM has no intention of selling animals to those who would have them butchered, he said. But the report by the U.S. Department of the Interior's Office of Inspector General did little to assuage Roy's concerns. The agency says the land reserved for the animals should support no more than 26,715 horses and burros. "We have 58,000 horses and burros on the range, so any suggestion that there is a quick fix is a misstatement or a delusion," Gorey said. "The on-range population of wild horses and burros is already consuming twice the forage allocated to the animals as compared to the appropriate management level," he added...more

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