Friday, August 20, 2010

Obama Administration Accelerates Assault on Wild Horses Three Actions You Can Take To Help!

Obama Administration Accelerates Assault on Wild HorsesThree Actions You Can Take To Help!
Largest Roundup Of Wild Horses In California’s History Underway
Act Today To Oppose Other Planned Roundups
On August 11, 2010 the Interior Department began the largest roundup of wild horses in California’s history. Nearly half of the 4,000 wild horses left in the state will be removed from their homes and families in the next few weeks. This devastating and unnecessary roundup began despite a lawsuit filed by In Defense of Animals (IDA) and others. We have a representative on the ground at the roundup and will provide an update on the IDA blog later this week.
Today we are asking you to take three actions to help wild horses. Congress and the Interior Department must continue to hear from you! Together we can change this broken system if we continue to fight the deeply-entrenched special interests which control the Interior Department’s management of our public lands and the wild horses who live there.

What you can do:

1. Speak Out Against The Zeroing Out Of All Wild Horses From The Winter Ridge Herd Area in Utah
Take action to oppose the removal of all horses at the Winter Ridge Herd Area in Utah. This is just the latest effort of the Interior Department to remove all wild horses from lands specifically designated for their usage – while allowing livestock grazing to continue on the same lands. Click here to submit comments.
2. Oppose Removal Of 321 Wild Horses From Piceance-East Douglas Herd Management Area In Colorado
Oppose the Interior Department’s plan to remove the majority of wild horses in Colorado’s Piceance-East Douglas Herd Management Area. The agency will only leave 135 horses on this 190,000-acre public land area, while allowing hundreds more livestock to graze the same public land! Click here to submit comments.
3. Summer Recess – Perfect Opportunity To Visit Your Senators And Representatives At Home Through September 12.
One of the best actions you can take to help wild horses and burros is to meet in-person with your Senators and Representative. Ask your members of Congress to stop the mismanagement of America’s wild horses and burros. Despite public opposition, the Interior Department continues the unsustainable practice of rounding up, removing and stockpiling wild horses in government holding facilities – this ill-conceived and unnecessary practice is bankrupting the American tax payer wasting tens of millions of tax dollars annually.
In the next eight weeks, the Interior Department plans to remove four-thousand wild horses, using helicopters to stampede them and removing them from their families and homes on public lands only to be stockpiled in government-holding facilities. Congress must step in to stop this.
Members of Congress are currently in their home districts on recess until September 12. This is a great opportunity to let your Senators and Representative know that you, their constituent, want them to take action to help America’s wild horses and to end horse slaughter.
Here's what to do:
Call the district offices of your U.S. Representative and both U.S. Senators and:
  1. Request a face-to-face meeting with both Senators and your Representative to discuss these issues (you may need to meet with one of their aides – try to meet with their chief of staff or lead aide on this issue);
  2. Ask for specific dates of town hall meetings or open events that constituents can attend.
Find contact information for your elected officials click here. You'll need to enter your zip code on that page to get your officials' local contact info.
Learn more about the issues by reviewing briefing documents here.
Below are talking points for specifics on what to say to schedule your in-person meeting.
1. Call the local offices to schedule a meeting.
Here’s a suggestion for what to say:
“Hello, I am a constituent of ____ and I would like to set up a meeting with him/her while he/she is home in our district to talk about wild horse protection issues. I’m also wondering if he/she has any town hall meetings coming up that I can let others know about.” 
2. For your meeting, dress professionally, be friendly and polite. Here are some suggestions of what you can say to begin the meeting:
“Thank you for meeting with me. I am very concerned about our federal wild horse management program. Public opposition to the Interior Department’s massive wild horse roundups is growing. The roundups are unnecessary, inhumane and wasting tens of millions of tax dollars.
For the first time, we now warehouse more wild horses in government holding facilities (38,000+) than are left free on the range (less than 33,000). This stockpiling of horses costs taxpayers tens of millions of dollars annually. Even Interior Secretary Salazar acknowledges the program is unsustainable, yet BLM roundups continue with over 12,000 to be removed from the range this year alone. They have no solution to stop this broken cycle.
The problem is not overpopulation. Fewer than 33,000 horses live on 26 million acres of BLM-managed public land. The problem is inequitable distribution of resources within the small percentage of BLM lands that are designated as wild horse and burro areas. The majority of resources are allocated to privately-held livestock, not federally-protected wild horses.
The BLM has demonstrated repeatedly that it is not capable of reforming itself. It’s up to Congress to reform this broken federal program.”
3. Ask your Senators and Congresspersons to take the following actions:
1) Join the 56 House members who have called for a halt to roundups by sending a sign-on letter to Secretary Salazar.
2) Ensure Fiscal Year 2011 Appropriations language that:
  • Suspends wild horse and burro roundups in all but verifiable emergency situations;
  • Prohibits the use of any funds to euthanize healthy horses or sell horses directly or indirectly for slaughter;
  • Authorizes a National Academy of Sciences reevaluation of Appropriate Management Levels including analysis of resource allocation for livestock and other commercial uses;
  • Phases out long-term holding and shifts BLM resources toward managing horses on the range in a humane and minimally intrusive manner as Congress intended;
  • Rejects request for $42.5 million government “preserve;”
  • Funds public/private partnership solutions.
3) Co-sponsor the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act (H.R. 503/S. 727) to ban horse slaughter.

In Defense of Animals, located in San Rafael, Calif., is an international animal protection organization with more than 85,000 members and supporters dedicated to ending the abuse and exploitation of animals by protecting their rights and welfare. IDA's efforts include educational events, cruelty investigations, boycotts, grassroots activism, and hands-on rescue through our sanctuaries in Mississippi, Mumbai, India, and Cameroon, Africa.
In Defense of Animals is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization. We welcome your feedback and appreciate your donations. Please join today! All donations to IDA are tax-deductible.
In Defense of Animals
3010 Kerner, San Rafael, CA 94901
Tel. (415) 448-0048 Fax (415) 454-1031

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