Not all horses live exclusively on farms with their farmers protection and care. In fact the U.S. has a large population of wild horses that roam public lands in the western states.
These horses live in constant danger from the outside world. Pressure is placed on government agencies, such a the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), who are pressured by other entities (special interests, private livestock grazing) who want to use the land. This leads to the government finding a way to take wild horses out of the wild which often results in the horses being placed in captivity where they are torn apart from their families and face an uncertain future.
Musician and activist Willie Nelson are known not only for his musical talent but also his deep love for horses. Nelson has given over 70 wild horses a safe home on his 700-acre ranch outside of Austin, Texas. Most of the horses roaming his farm were rescued before they could be sent to slaughterhouses. “My horses are probably the luckiest horses in the world. They get hand-fed twice a day, and they were just ready to go to slaughter is probably the last thing they remembered, so they're happy horses.”
Knowing that not all horses has the same luck as the horses on his farm, Nelson decided to use his fame and celebrity status to help make a difference. Together working with the wild horse conservation organisation Return to Freedom, Nelson wrote an open letter where he calls for legislative action to help keep wild horses and burros safe from government round-up programs.
“Wild horses, like other wild animals, were meant to be wild and free. Historic family bands are broken as the horses are separated forever. Some are adopted or sold, and many thousands more end up living in crowded corrals or leased pastures, exposed to the elements. Some end up slaughtered for human consumption overseas.”
Read the full letter here :
A letter from Willie Nelson: Wild horses need our help today*
Fifty years ago, Congress unanimously voted in protections for America’s wild horses and burros through a law called the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. That might have been the end of the story if Congress hadn’t then passed a multiple-use mandate forcing wild horses, burros and other wildlife to share the protected land with private livestock grazing, energy projects, and public recreation.
It created conflict between the Bureau of Land Management, ranchers, energy developers and wild horse advocates, and has created a situation where the wild horses are outnumbered. Since then, the Bureau of Land Management has been setting an arbitrary number for how many wild horses it thinks ought to be on our public lands, and then using taxpayer-funded helicopters to round up the herds when it has decided there are too many.
Wild horses, like other wild animals, were meant to be wild and free. Historic family bands are broken as the horses are separated forever. Some are adopted or sold, and many thousands more end up living in crowded corrals or leased pastures, exposed to the elements. Some end up slaughtered for human consumption overseas.
The wild horses need us humans to come up with solutions that will end roundups, stop the stockpiling of horses, and ensure their safety. Congress has provided money for this, but the Bureau of Land Management will have to make changes and improve fertility control. So far, they are failing to live up to this new direction.
We must speak up. Without pressure on the Bureau of Land Management from many groups, advocates for wild horses, and lawmakers, these historic symbols of American freedom will disappear.
Help us break the cycle of wild horse roundup and removal by calling your members of Congress today through the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and urging them to support all efforts in Congress to end the massive roundups of wild horses, and increase the use of safe and humane fertility control; also to protect all horses from slaughter by passing the SAFE Act immediately. Our elected officials must know this is a priority for the American people. Let’s heal our divisions by coming together for this common purpose.
Click here for more ways to help wild horses and support a ban on horse slaughter: https://bit.ly/3pyEeXF