Below is a copy of the letter Craig Downer has just sent to the Committee of Appropriations regarding the BLM’s lates request for wild horse slaughter and sterilization. You can send your own letter to them here: https://appropriations.house.gov/forms/writeyourrep/
As a tax-paying citizen of the United States I require that you take action to protect America’s cherished wild horses and burros by blocking the Bureau of Land Management’s request, contained in the President’s 2017 Budget, for appropriations language that would authorize barbaric sterilization and slaughter of these national icons that belong to the citizens of America.
Surveys indicate that three out of four Americans support protecting wild horses on our public lands and 80 percent oppose horse slaughter. Therefore, “We the People” urge you to oppose efforts to amend and subvert the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act via 2017 appropriations legislation that would allow the BLM to strip captured wild horses of their protected legal status and turn them over to local and state authorities, many of whom want them removed and slaughtered — actions that are strongly opposed by a majority of American citizens and also to prohibit the surgical sterilization of wild free-roaming horses on the range, which has been proposed even though it goes against the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) recommendation because of its horrific surgical risks and impacts to natural behaviors. Instead please encourage the BLM to protect wild horse and wild burro herds in the wild on their legal 53,800,000 acres of Congressionally designated lands.
Federally protected wild horses and burros are present on only 12% of federal rangelands — a tiny fraction of our public lands. Please use your common sense and leadership positions to seek humane and publicly acceptable solutions to conflicts that do not involve mass roundups, removals, dangerous sterilization methods and slaughter. The mid-20th century harvesting of wild horses for commercial purposes induced a Reno, Nevada secretary, Velma Johnston, to begin a campaign that led to the passage of the 1959 law to protect these iconic wild animals. While driving to work one day in 1950, Mrs. Johnston noticed blood leaking from a livestock truck. She followed it and discovered that horses were being delivered to a slaughterhouse. Mrs. Johnston responded with a massive letter-writing campaign by students to prevent other wild horses from meeting a similar end. The campaign and follow-up efforts resulted in the enactment of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, the landmark law that directs Federal management of wild horses and wild burros on the United States public lands. This law was unanimously passed by Congress.
The Act declares wild horses and wild burros to be “living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West”. Under the law, the BLM and USFS are required to PROTECT wild herds where the wild horses and wild burros were found roaming in 1971.
As Americans, we want to our iconic wild horses and burros to remain roaming wild and free across the American West. Please stop this outrageous attempt to subvert the letter and spirit of the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act that was unanimously passed by both houses of Congress in 1971.