Amidst a drought on the reservation in northwest Arizona, the Navajo Nation Fish and Game Department declared plans for a “horse hunt” to stop wild horses from drinking water sources. This plan understandably sparked outrage amongst animal advocates, who took to social media to stop the hunt from happening. Thankfully, their efforts were successful, leading to Navajo Nation President Russel Begaye canceling the hunt, stating that matters needed to be more thoroughly discussed with tribal councils.
Although this is a great victory that demonstrates the power of public opinion, the fight for wild horses is far from over. Well over 90,000 American wild horses are under threat of being killed, either in their natural habitats or in taxpayer-funded “holding facilities” orchestrated by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
Unfortunately, the 1971 Wild Horse Act does not cover wild horses within indigenous nations and their sovereign territories. The Indigenous Horse Nation Protectors Alliance, a group which opposes killing these wild horses, has plans for a vigil for the Horse Nation this March 24th in Navajo Veterans Park in Window Rock, Arizona. The goal of this vigil is to focus on the important value of wild horses within Native American culture and what can be done to humanely manage wild herds. An organization in New Mexico has also offered to help relocate some of these horses off the drought-stricken reservation.
In Defense of Animals is asking for concerned citizens to contact their senators and representatives regarding the precarious fate of our nation’s wild horses, demanding that federal protections extend to these iconic equines. You can find the contact information for your state’s legislators here.
Many people are still unaware that America’s wild horses are targeted by governing officials, so please make sure you share this with your network to spread awareness of this serious issue!
Image Source: Pixabay