Today is a somber day. One can feel it in the air, it is as if the world is sensing the tremendous loss of wild horses and the loss of freedom.
The Pryor horses, otherwise known as Cloud's herd, are being rounded up today. The herds have been made famous the world over mostly because of the WONDERFUL documentaries filmed by Ginger Kathrens, an AHDF board member and founder of the The Cloud Foundation. She has documented the herds for many years and the world has followed the lives of the herds and Cloud and fallen in love with them.
The removals have begun and a small group of 30 people are there to protest but they cannot see anything as guards prevent them from entering the park. I know many are in mourning over the fact that 70 horses will be removed and will never again know freedom or see their home again. Those that do remain will be treated with a fertility drug, PZP, that will prevent the herds from reproducing. There still remains questions about the safety of the drug. Not to mention that humans, not nature, make the call on which horses can reproduce and add to the gene pool.
Please pray or send positive energy to the Pryor horses that no animals will be injured. The herds have many VERY young foals, under a month old, and these young animals don't usually do well during these roundups. Often they become separated from the herds because they cannot keep up and they die on the range. If they do keep up they are still orphaned by the activities. This is not a good outcome in anyone's mind.
Over 300 horses lost their freedom in the Nevada Ely district in the past week. None of these horses will be returned to the wild. Not one will ever again know freedom. They are being removed because their herd areas have been "zeroed out". The reason given is that the area can no longer support a single horse. However, at the same time they are expanding grazing permits for more cattle. At the end of the month (September) more horses will be removed to once again never return to their homes and the life they have known for hundreds of years.
These horses aren't as well known as Cloud's herd and there were no protesters to stand vigil for them. Just a core of advocates working to stop their removals. We will never again be able to get them back and America lost a national treasure, one we continue to lose every day that the BLM remains in charge of our wild horses and burros.
Yesterday Glen Beck came out with a theory that the ROAM Act is an attempt by environmentalists to prevent drilling by putting horses in the areas where oil abounds. This "theory" is incorrect as he pointed out traditional areas where the horses ALREADY exist, not where advocates want to put them. It is a coincidence that the horses have been relegated to these areas. Not to mention that if the BLM didn't put such restrictions on the oil companies and insist on removing the horses for drilling, we wouldn't care if they drilled or not. The horses would just leave the area and not interfere with the drilling and the drilling wouldn't harm the horses. However, because cows would interfere the BLM insists that the horses, because they consider them livestock and the same as cattle, are removed. THIS is what we disapprove of, the removal of the horses never to return, not the drilling. At the rate of removals the BLM is doing now the issue won't matter any more as there won't be a herd left.
The suffering of these majestic animals and the loss of their freedom is being felt the world over. The sense of mourning from the welfare community is obvious. But we CAN make a difference. The public needs to let the BLM, the politicians and the world know that we do not want our wild horses and burros to face the extinction that is now becoming more and more evident.
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The American Horse Defense Fund's (AHDF) mission is to facilitate the protection, conservation, and humane treatment of members of all Equine species. AHDF works to address inhumane treatment of horses, ponies, donkeys, mules and burros, both wild and domesticated through education, advocacy and litigation when necessary in the state, federal and international arenas.
The AHDF was founded by Trina Bellak in 2000. Trina served as the president of AHDF until her untimely death in May 2006. Shelley Sawhook is the current president of AHDF. Shelley has over 6 years of experience in equine welfare and working in the management of non-profits. She is the owner of 3 horses and has over 25 years of equine experience.