Devastating Calico Round Up Begins

/ Herd Calico, Press Releases, Roundups

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.

Protest in Four Cities Tomorrow

The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC) Communications Director Virginie Parant will join In Defense of Animals, Author Terri Farley and The Cloud Foundation at a protest outside of the office of Senator Dianne Feinstein on Wednesday, December 30th at 12:00pm.

Who: AWHPC, In Defense of Animals, The Cloud Foundation and Author Terri Farley
What: Peaceful protest featuring Figaro the horse, Fluffy the donkey, and colorful signs and banners.
When: Wed, December 30, 2009. Citizens roundup at 11am, press conference at 12pm.
Where: Outside Sen. Feinstein’s office, One Post Street, San Francisco
Why: Call attention to the ongoing, brutal winter roundup of over 2500 horses off public lands in northwestern Nevada and issue plea for help to Senator Dianne Feinstein, who has always been a friend of America’s wild horses.

Similar rallies will be held Wednesday in Chicago, Denver, and London.

The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign was spearheaded by Return to Freedom in 2004, as a united campaign to fight for policies that protect America’s wild horses on public lands. The campaign is represented by a coalition of 50 diverse organizations.

Call To Action

Return to Freedom is asking the public to:

  • Attend Wednesday’s rally if they live near San Francisco: 11:00am, One Post St, San Francisco
  • Write to their representatives in Congress and ask them to protect America’s wild horses by supporting The ROAM Act (HR 1018/S 1579). Find your Reps at www.congress.org or call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 to be connected.
  • Write to Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and ask him to support policy initiatives that protect America’s wild horses on the range where they currently exist, and to issue a moratorium on further round ups until the BLM’s mis-management can be addressed and reformed.The Honorable Ken Salazar
    Secretary of the Interior
    1849 C Street NW
    Washington, DC 20240
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