Saturday, March 3, 2012

Big Ag’s Own Secretary Gets a Dose of Horse Lover’s Contempt

Horseback Magazine

March 1, 2012
Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board appointment draws a storm of protes
By R.T. Fitch, Straight From the Horse’s Heart
WASHINGTON (March 1, 2012) – The Department of the Interior has received thousands of calls today in protest to the appointment of Callie Hendrickson, an openly anti-wild horse, pro horse slaughter woman from Colorado to the National Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board. Hendrickson was appointed to serve on the Board, representing the General Public. Callers contend that Hendrickson does not represent the vast majority of citizens who oppose the slaughter of horses and support the presence of wild horses on rangeland in the West.
“We’re proud that so many Americans are riding to the rescue of our wild horses,” states Ginger Kathrens, Executive Director of the Cloud Foundation and producer of the popular Cloud programs on PBS. “The appointment of Ms. Hendrickson is the latest in an alarming trend, considering that this Board recommends wild horse and burro management strategies to the BLM.”
“It appears that Sec. Salazar and his cattle baron friends are trying to stack the deck and turn back the clock to 2008 when they planned to slaughter the wild horses in holding”, said R.T. Fitch, volunteer President of the Wild Horse Freedom Federation, “But the public is not going to sit back and allow that to happen, this is a new world with an engaged American society and we are simply not going to stand for such bullying.”
Last June, Secretary Salazar appointed James Stephenson of Washington state to the Board. Stephenson spoke about the need for slaughter as a management option at the last National Advisory Board meeting in Washington D.C.
  • Currently, over 45,000 once-wild horses live in government holding facilities, double the number that wild horse advocates estimate are still living free on their designated ranges in the West.
  • 339 wild herds were identified for protection by the 1971 Wild Horse and Burro Act. Today 179 herds remain.
  • Wild horses and burros exist on roughly 31.6 million acres (11% of our public lands)—down from 53 million acres originally designated for their use.
  • 2-3 million head of privately owned livestock are permitted on 157 million acres of BLM lands.
  • Wild horses and burros compete for forage with livestock on 86% of their designated ranges where private livestock are allocated 83% of the forage.
  • Only 3 to 4% of all beef consumed in the United States comes from public lands grazing.
  • Public land grazing revenues total $23 million. Administration costs total $144 million, resulting in a yearly shortfall of $121 million.
Links of Interest:
Unified Equine Welfare Group’s Protest Press Release:
ASPCA Poll from Lake Research Partners shows 80% of Americans do not believe in horse slaughter:
R.T. Fitch OpEd on Hendrickson’s appointment:
10 Steps to Restore America’s Wild Horses & Burros:

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