Domestic Terrorists Threaten Wild Horses

Domestic Terrorists Threaten Wild Horses

Wild horse and burro advocacy is a non-partisan issue with supporters from all political spectrums. Recently, domestic insurrectionists threatened our democracy in the halls of Congress and were denounced by members on both sides of the aisle. We ask, can our wild horses and burros get the same support from all sides against domestic terrorists who want them removed from public lands that belong to all of us, including wild horses and burros? 

Since the days of the Old West, armed standoffs and violence have been factors in competing cattle ranchers' range wars. Some ranchers have now taken their fight against government agencies mandated with "managing" wild horses and burros, and both government agents and wild horse advocates have been threatened with harm despite the fact that the land being used to graze and exploit cattle does not belong to the ranchers using it.  

A recent, heavily biased anti-wild horse article in The Washington Post  called The Wild Horse Wars was filled with misinformation and falsely presented a Nevada rancher as a compassionate man who cared about horses and rangeland health. In reality, permit holder Kevin Borba was illegally grazing his doomed cattle nearly year-round, including severe drought years, on public land he was only permitted to utilize for four months. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) cited him for unauthorized livestock grazing outside his permitted use. However, Borba repeatedly disregarded BLM's directives to remove his trespassing cattle. 

The article did get one thing right when it discussed a disgusting pro-horse slaughter group, stating, “In its nine-year existence, Protect the Harvest has gained a loyal following among ranchers, farmers, and cowboys, most notably those with extreme and vocal anti-government views. It was founded by the oil tycoon Forrest Lucas.” Unfortunately, it completely failed to mention the dangerous and illegal tactics used by ranchers to get their way.  

One year, Borba physically stood in the way of a BLM plan to release some fertility-control treated wild horses. Backed up by his rancher cohorts, he flatly told the BLM staffers, “You are not shipping horses today!” 

The staffers gave in and didn’t release the wild horses back to their range.

This wasn’t Borba’s first foray into anti-government militant action. He was a very vocal supporter of “trespass cattle rancher” Cliven Bundy and his sons who infamously engaged in armed standoffs against government agents trying to enforce the law in 2014 and again in 2016, when they took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon. The Bundys were essentially given a slap on the wrist, and still to this day graze their cattle on public land without paying their grazing fees. Indulging these militant ranchers has spawned even more armed standoffs, creating dangerous conditions for anyone trying to uphold the law or report illegal grazing.

Wild horse advocates often disagree with our government about the treatment and management practices for America’s wild horses and burros. However, animal activists and pro-horse organizations like In Defense of Animals work through legal channels and never use dangerous armed standoffs to intimidate people to get our way.

The more these falsely-entitled ranchers are allowed to get away with their infractions, the more emboldened they become. We cannot allow their lawless behavior to push America’s wild horses and burros off their rightful public lands, designated by law.

If you would like to help avoid the cruel displacement and destruction of wild horses and burros, and positively affect climate change at the same time, please consider discontinuing, or greatly lessening, your intake of beef as well as the flesh of other animals. Wild horses and burros are negatively affected directly by meat production.

To learn more and take action for wild horses and burros, click here.