Public Comment: I have been following Craig Downer, Anne Novak, Protect Mustangs, along with other horse advocates on FaceBook, Twitter and in the news. Many of us feel so powerless in face of the BLM, Congress, Department of Agriculture, and other Government Agencies that are making unjust decisions in regards to the use of Public Land, including the unjust Round Ups of our Wild Horses, Wild Burros, and other wild life that exist on the Public Lands.
The Public and Advocates are outraged at the insensitivity shown to the wild horses and wild burros during these round ups. The capture process is very stressful and cruel, causing injury and death. After capture the horses and burros are separated from their bands and nursing foals, stallions are put together to fight and injure each other,. The wild horses and burros are frightened, shocked with cattle prods, and abused in order to load them on crowed trailers. They are shipped off to places unknown and put through an assembly line where they are contained in a squeeze pen and branded with an unsightly and very large branding. During capture and transport it seems apparent that the injured horses aren’t properly taken care of by a vet or given anything to ease their pain and stress. The foals are separated for long periods of time without access to their mother or access to water, which is crucial, because of concerns of dehydration.
As far as most of us, who have been educating ourselves with the plight of the advocates for the wild horses and burros, we have been given no valid reason why the wild horses and burros should continue to be rounded up, as the numbers show not only in this study, but other scientific studies, that the wild horses and burros that remain to roam free are insignificant in relation to the amount of land they have access to roam. Some of the herds have been reduced in such numbers that certain bloodlines, distinguished by DNA, are on the verge of extinction. The natural breeding and selection process has been disturbed and the future of these magnificent animals are in danger.
My hope, and the hope of other advocates, is that the Court will allow this injunction and further injunctions of wild horse and burro gathers until such time the BLM and Government Agencies can justify this action. The public lands are being desecrated by fracking, mining, and over grazing by cattle and sheep, for profit businesses. The lands should be preserved for the wild life, which is the wild horses and burros.
The Department of Agriculture needs to re-define the horse and burros, as companion animals or wild life, not “livestock”. As many of the gathered horses and burros get shipped across the boarder to slaughter.For those that remain in holding facilities their freedom is taken away and subject to a life of overcrowding and misery at a high cost to the taxpayers. If the adequate amount of land would be designated and preserved properly for their existence, or coexistence, with other wild life, it would be less of a tax burden and the lands could be preserved for future generations
Deb Galish Mason