LOMPOC, CALIF. – The Bureau of Land Management on Monday announced plans to remove more than 6,000 additional wild horses and burros in “emergency” roundups by the end of September.
The agency says that the roundups come in response to “lack of water or forage, or due to impacts from wildfire or disease.” About 1,200 wild horses and burros have already been captured and removed from their home ranges during such emergency actions this year.
Statement from Return to Freedom: “We are in this tragic position because of the BLM’s failure to implement solutions that have been available for over 20 years,” said Neda DeMayo, president of Return to Freedom Wild Horse Conservation. “For nearly 50 years, these horses have had to suffer this management program and the Americans who love them suffer with them.”
“This is even more tragic because other solutions exist now,” DeMayo continued. “The agency has resisted creating an infrastructure and a culture that could have made a sustainable and effective fertility control program possible. It has rounded up horses year after year while waiting for longer-acting vaccines instead of using the safe, proven and humane fertility control that’s available right now. These sensitive habitats are vulnerable to drought and, knowing this, a national land management agency tasked with the preservation and protection of our wild horses should have been prepared long ago and in a much better position today.”
Return to Freedom will continue to work with diverse stakeholders on the implementation of fertility control programs on the range, increased public-private partnerships and range restoration programs that benefit all wildlife.