This week’s eNews: Thousands of wild horses at risk of disease in BLM WY facility
The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:
We wanted to share some recent updates around roundups and holding, the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 proposed budget for managing wild horses and burros, and a distinguished award won by a member of the AWHC herd! Read on to learn more and help us to protect these cherished animals. >>
The Biden Administration recently released its proposed FY2023 budget for the U.S. Department of the Interior and called for $153.1 million to fund the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Wild Horse and Burro Program. While this is still a $16 million increase from the FY22 spending bill passed last month, the increase in spending is noticeably smaller than in previous years. Now it’s up to Congress to determine how much money will be appropriated to this mismanaged federal program.
Last month, Congress took a historic step toward reforming the Wild Horse and Burro Program when it passed its Fiscal Year 2022 omnibus spending bill that required the BLM to spend up to $11 million to implement a robust fertility control vaccine program as a step away from cruel roundups. Now Congress is working on FY23 appropriations and we need your help to protect wild horses and burros! Take action now by asking your elected officials to include similar measures to protect wild horses and burros in the FY23 spending bill.
The wild horses that call the Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota home have roamed the badlands for centuries, and many believe they are descendants of Sitting Bull’s horses and related to the rare Nokota breed. Although the wild horses are not protected under the 1971 Wild Horses and Burros Act, they are a significant part of the historical and natural heritage of the park and the state. Equally important, they’re a huge tourism draw for North Dakota.
Right now, the National Park Service is considering many management options for this herd, including slashing their populations or eliminating them entirely. Please take action TODAY!
The BLM recently canceled an adoption event scheduled for April 1 at its Wheatland Off-Range Corral holding facility due to a “strangles” outbreak — a highly contagious upper respiratory disease with an up to 40% mortality rate. AWHC is calling for an immediate moratorium on all Wyoming roundups pending inquiry into the disease outbreak, as well as dozens of deaths of horses from other causes in the state’s holding facilities.
The Wheatland facility is one of the BLM’s newest and largest holding facilities, with a holding capacity of 3,500 wild horses. Learn more about our call for an investigation into the outbreak and a halt on all roundups in the meantime here:
AWHC Board Member and wildlife photographer, Scott Wilson won the coveted Natural World and Wildlife Award in the 2022 Sony World Photography Awards for his photo of a Colorado mustang, titled, “Anger Management” (above). Scott’s photo was chosen for the top prize out of 170,000 entries!
The photo was taken just months before the devastating roundup of the Sand Wash Basin wild horses of Colorado, where 684 wild horses were captured. Scott’s photo is bringing international attention to the plight of America’s wild mustangs. Scott is a strong advocate for the preservation of wild horses, and we are proud to have him as a member of the AWHC herd!
Thanks for all you continue to do to protect wild horses and burros!
— AWHC Team