Video of US wild horse capture branded animal cruelty by activists

 
Wild mustangs – majestic herds of undomesticated horses that roam free across ten US states – are a symbol of the American Wild West. Animal rights activists, though, say that government-planned roundups to control the herd’s population are nothing short of animal cruelty – and claim they have videos to prove it.
 
The mustangs have been protected since 1971 under the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. According to the American Bureau of Land Management (BLM), there are an estimated 38,400 wild horses and burros roaming on 31.9 million acres of BLM-managed rangeland. The agency says this number is 12,000 above the number that it asserts would ensure the herds’ health and allow them to  “exist in balance with other public rangeland resources and uses”, ie, there are too many mustangs. 
 
As a result, the agency employs subcontractors to carry out regular roundups (or, as the government calls them, 'gathers') of wild mustang herds, most of which are done by helicopter. The animals are then taken to long-term holding factilities. Animal rights activists have called for a moratorium of roundups, saying they are cruel and brutal to the animals. The BLM says this stance is “untenable given the fact that herds grow at an average rate of 20% a year, and the ecosystem of public rangelands are not able to withstand the impacts from overpopulated herds”.
 
Video posted on YouTube by ThoughtfulNow on January 28, 2011.
 
Late January, an animal rights activist shot this video of a wild horse roundup in Arizona. It shows a horse, reportedly an elderly mare, trailing behind the herd and suddenly collapsing. According to the video’s author, the mare was run to exhaustion, until it was too weak to move forward. After the mare eventually got up, the helicopter flew directly over its head to steer it in the direction of an enclosure. Contacted by Reno TV station KNRV, BLM wild horse programme director Alan Shepherd found nothing wrong with the footage. Not everyone in the agency, however, seems to share his view:  a spokesperson for the BLM’s Washington office said that the actions of the helicopter pilot were “dangerous and unacceptable” and would be reviewed.
Contributors

“If the BLM really cared about the horses' well-being, they would do roundups the old way: on horseback”

John Holland, 65, is the president of the US Equine Welfare Alliance. Formerly a horse breeder, he now runs a private horse rescue centre in Virginia.
 
We’re not opposed to the principle of reasonable management of wild horse and burro populations, but we disagree completely with way it is implemented by the BLM.
 
Firstly, the BLM says that helicopter-led roundups are the most ‘humane’ way to capture and ‘remove’ wild horses. This is completely untrue. As a Vietnam War veteran, I can tell you that running for safety with a helicopter following you directly overhead is a highly stressful and traumatic experience. Any horse expert looking at these videos can tell you something is very wrong.
 
The machines run the horses over thousands of kilometres, until they are exhausted or injured. In one roundup in the Calico Mountains (Nevada) last year, two foals were run so hard that their hooves broke off, making them completely lame. They had to be put down. [The BLM recognised 134 horse deaths linked to that particular roundup, either during the capture or in holding facilities]. If the BLM really cared about the horse’s well-being, they would organise roundups not with helicopters but on horseback. But this is deemed too time-consuming and inefficient.  For all its talk about “restoring the health” of wild horse herds (which, incidentally, have never yet been found especially unhealthy by horse experts), the government clearly cares more about numbers than animal welfare.
 
Video of mare that goes over backward and is trampled on when forced into a trailer during a 2009 roundup in Colorado. Video posted on YouTube by Carol J Walker.
 
Secondly, I have grown to distrust many of the numbers made public by the government agency. There has never been any scientific foundation for the 20% fertility rate they put forward, and I believe they grossly overestimate the total population of wild horses and burros. Some of their objectives, such as reducing the size of herds from of 120 horses on average to 15 horses, are frankly worrying. Fifteen horses per herd will inevitably cause inbreeding and the genetic diseases that follow, thus endangering the healthy survival of the herd.
 
Lastly, although the BLM puts a lot of emphasis on its adoption programmes, they only concern a small fraction of captured horses [out of 10,637 wild horses captured in 2010, 2,960 were adopted]. The rest are packed away into long-term holding facilities, most of which are in Oklahoma. The climate and pastures there are very different from the mustang’s natural habitant, and many horses never fully adapt. Adoption is obviously a preferable solution, and millions of taxpayer dollars have been invested into the programme. It seems to me, though, that the BLM just takes the money and organises more roundups.
 
In short, the US government spends millions of dollars each year in the cruel capture and confinement of the very animals it is supposed to protect – animals that are an essential part of the America’s natural and historic heritage.”
 
Video posted on YouTube by LauraLeigh001. According to John Holland, a horse that loses its hooves cannot continue living (like a dog or cat who lose a leg in an accident might). Bones in the hoof and leg activate the blood system, and if the horse cannot walk then blood will no longer be correctly pumped in its body.
Post written with France 24 journalist Lorena Galliot.

Comments

What the actual fuck. Why?

What the actual fuck. Why?

LANGUAGE

Using unsavory language may get your point across but for the sake of bettering chances of improving conditions for mustangs, keep language INTELLIGENT, you can do that much. Help the cause. THANKS

Reply to comment | The Observers

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Reply to comment | The Observers

Get Your Children Away From The Video Gaming And Outside

One day

I am 17 and own a BLM mustang named HD. He is a big sweet heart and wouldn't even hurt a fly. I hate to see what he had to go through. He hates trailers and small pens to this day and I understand why. I don't know how long he has been out of the wild, but it has been several years and I can tell he still remembers all of it. I plan on getting more mustangs,,, once they are captured they are not released back so if nobody buys them then they are slaughtered and all kind of horrible things. I plan on opening a ranch/facility and instead of doing all the breeding you see most ranches/facilities do I will be buying the mustangs and giving them a home. The ones who can't be trained or messed with will have a large feild to just do whatever. They will not be sold to just anybody. I plan on taking care of the BLM Mustangs. Yes I am only 17, but I have already got blue prints, land set aside and everything, I am not just another teen saying they are going to do something. It is horrible to see the newborn foals who didn't even get to figure out what being wild or even alive was like. It is horrible and I wish there was some how we could get it stopped. It breaks my heart.

Genocide of the American Mustang

We were promised an independent study by National Academy of Sciences in January 2011, this has not happened. The BLM uses no science or even actual math, the numbers they report on the range never changes. Estimates of actual populations in January 2010 were as low as 15,000 and in 2010 they rounded up 12,000 that means there could be as few as 3000 left in the wild. And according to the BLM's own numbers over 14,000 disappeared from holding facilities last year alone (most likely sent to slaughter under the cover of darkness). The point is there are NO EXCESS HORSES and in fact they meet criteria for endangered species. These roundups are government sponsored animal cruelty in the name of special interests such as corporate ranchers funded by taxpayers. We subsidize those ranchers on PUBLIC lands (such as Barrick Gold) to the tune of $500 million annually. 80 million people in Eygypt rose up against corruption yet we can't even get 500 people to show up to a roundup and decry this corruption. What they are doing is illegal, if you did it you would go to prison. Hey let's cut education budgets and roundup/kill more horses with taxpayer dollars.

Wild Horses

The pathetic truth of the Wild Horses is that this has been going on for two years and no one has been able to stop the BLM... protests, comments, tears are all of no avail .. the horses are still being abused and dying....345

im with you

im with you

Wild horse abuse

Excellent interview, John. It's time the world found out about the BLM's cruel "managing for extinction." When these wild horses are confined in the short term facilites in such large numbers many of them contact diseases such as strangles and pnemonia and also get colic from being fed hay such as alfalfa that they are not used to eating. Hundreds die after the roundups.
Wild horse are a native species and are symbiotic to the ecosystems. They are not in excess and after last year's removals probably less than 25,000 are still free in all the West. All mares being freed now are being given PZP to prevent pregnancies . Soon these wild horses that have been in America for centuries will be extinct unless the roundups are stopped.

Thank you for exposing this horrific cruelty

How can I write something that has already been written so well !

The Wild Horses

Kara Peterson 2005
No more horse slaughter houses in the US!!!!!

They’re not just some child’s,
Endless fantasy.
They’re living, breathing creatures,
Just like you and me.
They aren’t just another animal,
Not ever just a horse.
They’re an American symbol,
Recognized in every state, every day.
They’re not just a source of food,
For Fido or for Jack.
They deserve the treatment,
That you give to any other pet.
They feel the endless feelings,
That everyone must know.
They heal our broken hearts,
Teach the handicapped how to walk.
They’ve always been here,
Same as us.
But yet we seemingly forget their thoughts,
Same as the child who is always left behind.
Today we should liberate them,
Keep their hearts living free.
They’ve helped in many ways,
Hauling, racing, carrying, and more.
They showed us how to respect,
More than any person ever could.
To hear their joyful whinnies,
As they galloped day and night.
To see their manes flowing in the wind,
Once again, would be enough.
Save the wild mustangs,
Help them end their fight.
They’d thank us with their hearts,
As they’d graciously depart.

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