The Humane Society of the United States is issuing the following statement in response to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s recent roundup of wild horses near Susanville, Calif.:
“The Humane Society of the United States strongly opposes the roundup of wild horse herds as a primary management strategy when more humane and fiscally responsible strategies, such as fertility control, are readily available,” said Jennifer Fearing, California senior state director for The HSUS. “The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has not made the case that the California horses are creating any significant ecological imbalance, and as such, the agency should halt the gather at once and place an immediate moratorium on any remaining gathers scheduled for this year until it completes and presents Congress with a sustainable, long-term wild horse management plan.”
The HSUS suggests that any proposed plan presented to Congress for consideration must include:
- Re-evaluating Appropriate Management Levels across all Herd Management Areas,
- Removing horses from the range only in emergency situations (i.e. severe droughts and other natural catastrophes) and as a last resort, and
- Mandating the initiation of strategically designed immunocontraception programs to stabilize and manage wild horse populations on HMAs.
The HSUS has developed an economic model and provided it to BLM so the agency can adopt an effective, fiscally responsible on-the-range management program that will ultimately serve to fulfill one of the agency’s most important strategy plan objectives — to balance population growth rates with adoption demand. The HSUS model shows that BLM can, by incorporating more preventative strategies, reach its management goals in 12 years while significantly reducing the economic burden of holding horses in short and long-term government facilities and saving taxpayers more than $260 million in the process.
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