4 years ago today the dust settled on one of the most tragic and deadly wild horse roundups in U.S. history. Today, Return to Freedom honors and remembers the Calico horses who lost their freedom, their families, their home and their lives.
Devastating Calico Round Up Begins
It was not long ago that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced a proposal to euthanize some 30,000 wild horses that they have stockpiled in federal holding facilities, due to budget constraints. This overstock of horses is a result of years of gathering more wild horses from the range than the agency could successfully place through their adoption program. Rather than discontinuing the round ups, and implementing proven “in the wild” management solutions, the BLM is marching forward to the beat of the same old drum.
Return to Freedom served as a resource for attorneys hired by In Defense of Animals (IDA). Despite legal efforts, on Monday, December 28th, the BLM began a massive, 2 month long round up of over 2500 wild horses from the Calico Complex in North Western Nevada. This round up will take place in the dead of winter, and will drive the herds for miles out of the mountains over snowy and icy terrain. Young foals, older horses or pregnant mares will face the brunt of this brutal round up. But aside from the humane implications is the glaring fact that the BLM has no viable plan for these horses.
“An immense amount of tax dollars are being spent on the removal of wild horses while less intrusive and less costly “in the wild’ management alternatives exist”, says Return To Freedom founder, Neda DeMayo. DeMayo goes on to state that, “Americans want their wild horses to remain free and protected on the ranges where they currently exist. We are asking that the original spirit and intent of the Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act be upheld so that our grandchildren’s children will know the herds, who are a vital link to our western heritage.”
The BLM claims that the horses are being removed to protect the range from overgrazing, yet they increased allotted cattle grazing on the 500,000 acre Calico Complex. Return to Freedom joins wild horse advocates in protesting this egregious mis-management of America’s last remaining wild horses.