Tuesday 6 February 2018

The US government plans to kill 45,000 wild horses - 75% of the country's population

Almost every year, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) kills off large numbers of animals which are thought to be a nuisance somehow. In the latest years, government environmental have proposed killing a significant number of almost every species, from tortoises to owls. However, many times the public's resistance made the government walk back their plans (fortunately!).

BLM's most recent plan that is sure to cause outrage includes the killing of approximately 45,000 wild horses, which is about 75% of the country’s population. BLM has now rounded these horses up by using helicopters and trapped them in prison-like holding pens to await their execution.

According to ABC News, there are around 75,000 wild horses in America, and the BLM is planning to cut that population down to 20,000.

In his interview to ABC, Jim Schnepel, a non-profit worker who's close to the situation, described BLM’s plan: “They’ve set what they call ‘appropriate management level,’ BML would be about 75 percent reduction for what we have right now. Typically, they’ll get put into a long-term holding, and that means they get shipped to the Midwest. BLM has contracts with ranchers back there that pays them so much per day to keep the horses.”

The holding cells cost US taxpayers approximately $50 million annually, which explains why the government now wants to kill the animals, instead of setting them free.

As Simone Netherlands, an animal rights activist and a spokesperson for the American Wild Horse Campaign explained: “The BLM, the very agency in charge of protecting them, is asking Congress for permission to kill them. They’ve stockpiled wild horses in holding pens … and so now what are they going to do with all the horses that they’ve stockpiled? The adoption rates are not high enough so they can’t adopt them all out. So now we have a bunch of wild horses that the taxpayers are paying for and holding facilities and their solution is to kill them.”

As with all government agencies, BLM also has a control freak attitude and is trying to play god with the habitat.

Lisa Reid, a BLM spokesperson, said that the agency has to control the population: “There are three things that wild horses need: food, water and obviously space. As you can see, we do have millions of acres out here, but not every acre is producing viable forage for the horses. So you know just as with any type of species they have to be managed just so that they don’t become … overpopulated and diseased. By our count, we are overpopulated by sometimes 300 percent on most of our herd management areas. The Bureau of Land Management is a public agency. We have to answer to all groups. … So we have to try and find that balance to make sure that we can do what’s best for the horses.”

Meanwhile, the wild horse population in America is being suppressed with birth control injections. However, how can we, humans, decide whether an animal population is out of control or not? The BLM is attempting to control or “manage” the ecosystem, it's in their name, and without projects like that, they would essentially have no job, apart from maybe harassing ranchers.

(Source: Thinking Humanity)

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