Travesty for Beloved Wyoming Wild Horse Herd
The McCullough Peaks wild horses in Wyoming are under serious threat of destruction. The population and range improvements for this herd have been successfully managed by dedicated volunteers, yet our government has proposed essentially wiping them out. We and those citizens who know about this plan are outraged!
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is required to produce what is known as a Scoping Notice to solicit input from the public and interested agencies on a particular management plan it has for an action it intends to take. The BLM issued a Scoping Notice for removing up to 109 horses of the current population of 179 in the McCullough Peaks Herd Management Area (HMA).
Removal of horses over ten years old will result in them becoming “Sale Authority” horses and possibly result in their entering the slaughter pipeline. The BLM designates any wild horse over the age of ten or any horse that has been offered for adoption three times with no takers, as “Sale Authority.” Once horses are labeled “Sale Authority” they may be purchased outright for as little as $25 with immediate transfer of title to the purchaser. Once the title is transferred, horses may be sold at auctions that “kill buyers” frequent. In Defense of Animals has submitted a detailed comment letter on behalf of our supporters.
A synopsis of just a few of the comments we submitted regarding the many insidious options that the BLM has for this beloved herd are:
- It is well established, including in the BLM Handbook, that the minimum requirements for genetic viability in a wild horse herd are at least 150 horses.
- The herd's Appropriate Management Level (AML) is unscientifically and inappropriately set at 70-150 horses by the BLM.
- As seen in this photo, forage in the HMA is good and can support at least 250 wild horses plus the other wildlife in the area.
- The HMA has about 60 horses older than 15 and about 23 over 20. Many may not naturally survive this winter. With the current population management, normal attrition over the next few years will bring the herd size too low. This herd requires that the BLM increase, not decrease, the herd size due to upcoming future losses of older horses.
- Livestock grazing leases in the HMA should be retired. The ranchers who graze hapless livestock on our public lands are responsible for degrading the range.
We are working hard to bring about change to end the roundups and keep wild horses safe on our public lands. You may learn more about what we're doing and how to get involved by visiting our Wild Horses and Burros campaign.