Help keep One Green Planet free and independent! Together we can ensure our platform remains a hub for empowering ideas committed to fighting for a sustainable, healthy, and compassionate world. Please support us in keeping our mission strong.
Wild horses once roamed freely, symbols of the American frontier spirit. However, today, these iconic creatures face a grim future as they are corralled in facilities often labeled as “kill pens.” The situation has ignited a heated debate between advocates for wild horses’ rights and those who argue that population control is essential to protect public lands and the livelihoods of cattle ranchers. At the heart of this controversy lies the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Program.
Source: NBC News/YouTube
Wild horses and burros, protected under the 1971 Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act, have historically enjoyed the right to live on public lands, referred to as the “range.” However, the BLM contends that their numbers have surged, necessitating costly interventions that impact the environment, wildlife, and cattle ranchers.
To address the overpopulation issue, the BLM runs an adoption program that allows private individuals to take ownership of wild horses and burros. The program even offers a financial incentive, paying adopters $1,000 to care for these animals for a year. Once the adoption is complete, the animals become private property, no longer protected by the 1971 law. This transition raises concerns about the horses’ fate and their potential journey to slaughterhouses.
Advocates argue that the BLM is indirectly steering wild horses toward slaughter. Some adopters, they claim, are profiting from the incentive money and then selling the horses at auctions frequented by slaughterhouse brokers. Although the practice may seem morally questionable, it is not illegal as long as the adopter has obtained the ownership title to the horse.
The difficulty in tracking branded horses’ fate makes the situation even more complex. Once an animal becomes privately owned, the BLM stops monitoring its status. Advocacy organizations like the American Wild Horse Campaign allege that many branded horses are ending up in kill pens across the country, making it impossible to gauge the scale of the problem accurately.
The BLM maintains that the adoption program is essential due to the overpopulation of wild horses and burros, which costs taxpayers millions of dollars and poses challenges to cattle ranchers. The agency acknowledges the need for changes to strengthen protections for adopted animals and claims to be working with advocates and interested parties on potential revisions.
As the debate continues, potential solutions are being considered. Some suggest using contraceptives to control wild horse populations, a method supported by certain advocacy groups as long as it is safe and humane. The BLM has already begun applying fertility control to the animals.
Sign this petition to save wild horses!
- 11 Wild Horses Die During Roundup in Nevada
- At Least 85 Wild Horses Dead After Unknown Highly Contagious Disease Spreads
- Bureau of Land Management Removes Over 600 Wild Horses from Colorado
- Bureau of Land Management to Remove 30,000 Wild Horses and Burros From Federal Lands Via Cruel Mass Roundups
- Pregnant Mustangs and Foals Forced to Run For Their Lives in Controversial and Secretive Wild Horse Roundup
Easy Ways to Help the Planet:
- Eat Less Meat: Download Food Monster, the largest plant-based Recipe app on the App Store, to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy. You can also buy a hard or soft copy of our favorite vegan cookbooks.
- Reduce Your Fast Fashion Footprint: Take initiative by standing up against fast fashion Pollution and supporting sustainable and circular brands like Tiny Rescue that raise awareness around important issues through recycled zero-waste clothing designed to be returned and remade over and over again.
- Support Independent Media: Being publicly funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high-quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!
- Sign a Petition: Your voice matters! Help turn petitions into victories by signing the latest list of must-sign petitions to help people, animals, and the planet.
- Stay Informed: Keep up with the latest news and important stories involving animals, the environment, sustainable living, food, health, and human interest topics by subscribing to our newsletter!
- Do What You Can: Reduce waste, plant trees, eat local, travel responsibly, reuse stuff, say no to single-use plastics, recycle, vote smart, switch to cold water laundry, divest from fossil fuels, save water, shop wisely, Donate if you can, grow your food, volunteer, conserve energy, compost, and don’t forget about the microplastics and microbeads lurking in typical household and personal care products!