Today, April 14, 2011, at 9:30 A.M., philanthropist and wild horse advocate Madeleine Pickens and U.S. Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN) testified on behalf of wild horses and burros before the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies.
Here is a portion of Madeleine Pickens' written statement to the committee:
A living monument is the missing key to the proper management of horses and burros removed from (Horse Management Areas) HMA’s which honors the intent and spirit of Congress as ordered in PL 92-195.
Over the course of the past three years I have had numerous conversations and meetings with BLM personnel in DC and Nevada. They all agree : the demand for adopting wild horses and burros is inadequate to keep up with animals gathered annually, fertility control has its place but is not slowing the need to gather thousands of animals annually...
the cost of confining gathered horses in feedlots is out of control, the living conditions inhumane, the agency needs millions of dollars more each year to feed the growing herds of wild animals in captivity, and the agency needs new authority to implement a new solution.
So, the existing Wild Horse and Burro Program is not sustainable! Every year the program costs the taxpayers millions of dollars more, every year the agency gathers thousands of horses which are non adoptable, and every GAO report on the Wild Horse and Burro Program states the same conclusion: “the program needs to be fixed.”
Quite candidly the leadership within the Department of Interior and BLM feel their hands are tied by the language within the Taylor Grazing Act and Wild Horse and Burro Act. These fine men and women are waiting for you to provide new direction and authority so they can create these public/private partnerships.
Employees within the BLM cannot lobby Congress for this new authority, but they sure would like your approval to relax the Taylor Grazing Act and the Wild Horse and Burro Act creating a new opportunity to combine large tracks of public lands administered by BLM with private lands as new homes for the wild horses and burros.
I have discussed this plan with the BLM and they agree with the concept. Both Secretary Salazar and Director Abbey have been involved working out the details to ensure the plan is ecologically sound, economically feasible and socially attainable.
Without fail, every western movie I saw as child always had the same ending: the cowboy would rush in and save the day. It is now in your hands to be the right cowboy and turn this program around.
By unanimous decision, in 1971, Congress made it clear that the wild horse is an American icon and we call it the American mustang. We have with us 72,000 emails and letters from the public stating how horrified they are with what the BLM is doing and asking for a moratorium on the roundups immediately.
This volume of letters is exponentially high and needs to be justly delivered to the BLM, by way of your ruling. The American public is counting on this Appropriations Committee to take action today and give our mustangs back their right to live on the range.
About the author
As an animal lover since childhood, Flossie was delighted when Mark, the CEO and developer of EquiMed asked her to join his team of contributors.
She enrolled in My Horse University at Michigan State and completed a number of courses in everything related to horse health, nutrition, diseases and conditions, medications, hoof and dental care, barn safety, and first aid.
Staying up-to-date on the latest developments in horse care and equine health is now a habit, and she enjoys sharing a wealth of information with horse owners everywhere..