The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:
We’re just one short day away from tomorrow’s deadline to hit our $50,000 Observation Fund goal. And right now, we’re falling short. Please contribute now to help us reach our goal. >>
Because documenting the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) helicopter roundups is so critical to our mission, we’ve assembled and trained a team of photographers and videographers to cover virtually every helicopter capture operation conducted by the federal government this year.
This is essential work. Without the photographs and videos from our observers, the public would be in the dark about the brutality to wild horses and burros that our tax dollars are funding.
Oftentimes, our AWHC representatives are the ONLY ones on site to document the animal welfare violations taking place, allowing our staff to hold the BLM accountable by filing complaints and briefing members of Congress.
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Make no mistake; our roundup documentation is making a difference. Our evidence of cruelty — like the video of a foal roped and slammed to the ground or a mare crashing into the trap, breaking her neck and then left unattended while the helicopter continued to stampede horses over her body — is prompting Congress to act to curb this blatant abuse. Support is growing for legislative action to ban helicopter roundups, and Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV) has even introduced a bill to prohibit the use of aircraft to capture wild horses!
Right now, we’re on the ground at three roundups – in the Piceance Basin in Colorado, the Triple B Complex in Nevada, and the Twin Peaks Herd Management Area (HMA) in California — where 20 horses have died as a result of these roundups so far. In one particularly horrific incident at the Twin Peaks roundup, the helicopter contractor stampeded 123 horses at once into a tiny trap pen, causing a panicked pileup of struggling horses that burst the trap open, causing injuries and two deaths.
In addition to raising awareness on these horrific deaths and influencing Congress to take action, photo and video obtained by these observation teams has also been turned into powerful public education campaigns and lobbying efforts.
Our roundup documentation program has never been more important. It’s grueling work in all kinds of weather. Watching these beautiful and innocent wild animals lose their freedom and families, day in and day out — it’s emotionally draining. It’s also expensive to get our observers out to these remote areas, keep them equipped and in the field with 4-wheel drive vehicles and places to stay after long, arduous days.