BREAKING NEWS: BLM PLANS HELICOPTER ROUNDUP OF PREGNANT MARES AND TINY FOALS
WILD HORSE GROUPS UNITE TO PROTEST PROPOSED ACTION IN THE JACKSON MOUNTAINS
RENO, Nev. (June 6, 2012)—Wild horse advocates are united in protesting the planned helicopter roundup of the entire Jackson Mountain wild horse herd at the height of foaling season. The Bureau of Land Management’s Winnemucca District Office is scheduled to issue their Decision Record regarding the mustangs in this drought stricken area of northern Nevada at any time.
Representatives of Sun J Livestock, a helicopter roundup contractor for BLM, are already in Winnemucca, awaiting the decision from District Manager, Gene Seidlitz. During the few short years the now infamous roundup company has been in business hundreds of mustangs have lost their lives. Despite significant input from wild horse advocates and even those from within BLM, Gene Seidlitz, seems willing to take a chance, opting for the harshest possible measures in dealing with the herd which, according to him, includes “mares heavy with foal and tiny foals.”
“When I spoke with Mr. Seidlitz yesterday, we emphasized the risks involved in running these animals for miles during peak foaling season,” stated Ginger Kathrens, Volunteer Executive Director of the Cloud Foundation. “He has been given contacts for water and bait trapping experts who have successfully captured hundreds of wild horses and burros using these far less dangerous methods.” Kathrens fears her pleas may have fallen on deaf ears.
Ironically, privately-owned cattle still graze in the Jackson Mountain Herd Management Area (HMA) and advocates have been asking Manager Seidlitz to use his statutory authority to remove the livestock first, then continue hauling water to wild horses and set up roundpen panels around the water sources for water trapping.
"Why are they still leaving livestock on the range if it is so bad?" asks Anne Novak, Executive Director of Protect Mustangs. "This is peak foaling season—the most dangerous time of year to be chasing mustangs.”
Spontaneous abortion of late term mares is likely as well as lethal injuries to foals too young to keep up with their mothers. In the past the hooves of these young horses have literally fallen off during and after helicopter stampedes.
“I can’t think of anything more irresponsible or cruel,” says Kathrens. “If BLM would only opt for water trapping rather than a helicopter stampede it would allow us to support the agency rather than continually battling their harsh tactics.”
Links of Interest:
Livestock's heavy hooves impair one-third of BLM rangelands (PEER release)
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