Where’s The Lawful Protection For Wild Horses?

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Where’s The Lawful Protection For Wild Horses?

Were We Smarter In 1971 or Just Less Greedy?

lawful protection


Congress enacted Public Law 92-195 in 1971 that stated unequivocally that wild, free-roaming horses and burros “are living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the west; that they contribute to the diversity of life forms within the nation and enrich the lives of the American people; and that these horses and burros are fast disappearing from the American scene. It is the policy of the Congress that wild and free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death; and to accomplish this they are to be considered in the area where presently found, as an integral part of the natural system of the public lands.” The area in quotations is a direct quote from that law. So, the question is: Were we smarter in 1971, or just less greedy?

Wild Horses Don’t Belong In Cages

These Roundups Have Gone On For Years

Maybe there are people out there reading this now, who do not know that these “living symbols,” are slowly being removed from the range. It’s hard for me to believe that some folks just don’t care, but perhaps there are some. Not only are the wild horses and burros being removed systematically, but they are chased by helicopters to exhaustion into pens, where they are then loaded onto big trucks and taken to more holding pens. What happens to them then could be a number of things. They’re put up for adoption at auction and a few get a good home. Not many are this lucky.

Some are sold to known “kill buyers,” who then ship them out of the country to slaughter houses. It’s how they make their M.O.N.E.Y. These animals are kept in the pen, in the hot sun, or pouring rain or snow, no trees or shelter. They’re fed and watered at the whim of whoever is “managing” them at the moment. If, for some reason they don’t get to it that day, they aren’t fed or watered. If they were in the wild, they’d find something to eat and some water hole or puddle to drink from. But they’re held captive, dependent upon the “goodness” of someone who helped put them in the cage where they now live.

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Horses and Burros Are Considered Nuisances

The cattle ranchers consider them nuisances, because they are on the PUBLIC (please pay attention to that word) lands that the ranchers want for their cattle. Public lands are supposed to belong to the public. These roundups, done in this exact same manner have been going on for years. In recent times, many individuals and groups have begun to see that we are losing a part of our history and heritage, because horses and burros are being indiscriminately eliminated, purposely and with the full intention of getting rid of them.

You Can’t Take Me!

Burros Shipped To Another Country

Recently a large group of burros were rounded up and sent to Guadalajara to work the mines. Their life span is limited by the hard labor and ill treatment they will receive. They will be worked to death and starved each day. They are dispensable in the eyes of those who care nothing about their survival, there are always more shipped to them from the United States to replace those who collapse while carrying heavy ore out of the mines.

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Roundups: Horses and Burros Are Separated From Their Families

When they’re driven into the chutes with the helicopters buzzing overhead, they are “funneled” with makeshift chutes into holding pens. Stallions are loaded in together, Mares are put in separate pens, and foals are separated from their mothers. During all this, if you’re there, you can hear their cries to their “families.” Foals whinny and cry for Mama, Mama is frantically calling to them trying to reassure them. Stallions are not used to being lumped in with other males of mating age, and they turn on each other. Some of these magnificent animals have broken their necks trying to get through the iron pens to their families. It is the nature of the male horse or burro to protect their own. Foals are often trampled to death or die from the exhaustion of running for their lives, during their frantic flight from the helicopters. Anyone with a heart not made of stone, would have pity on these horses and burros and let them go free. But that’s not going to happen here. Why not? Again, the bottom line is money in someone’s pocket. There’s no compassion in the hearts of these “kill buyers,” and money hungry people.

How Concerned Are You? Would You Make An Effort To Save Them?

Would you be willing to tell your Senator or Congressional Representative about your concern for our nation’s wild horses and burros? If so, I urge you to write to your Congressman or Congresswoman, or your State Senator and ask them to please stop the roundups and stop the killing. Leave a comment in the section below and let me know your thoughts on the following options, or whatever you think on this subject.

I hope you will see the grace and beauty that I see in these animals. They took us where we wanted to go when there were no cars, they helped us to win a war, and they’ve been companions in our lives. Without the wild herds, the horse population can’t survive. Please do whatever you can to help them live.

There are some who believe there’s a conspiracy to discredit wild horses and burros as being a detriment to the land

Read About The Wild Horse Conspiracy

Author Craig Downer, an Ecologist, defends the horses and burros of the plains, saying that they have helped us through centuries and are being falsely held responsible for the destruction of the land. He believes they are true restorers of the land and have been “unfairly targeted for elimination.” A dramatic revelation about their actual worth to the ecology and to people.

The Soul Of A Horse: Life Lessons From The Herd

Author Joe Camp tells his story of how he learned to speak “horse.” Camp is a writer, producer and director who brought us the famous stories of a dog named Benji. Now he tells us about a revelation he discovered about horses, in The Soul of A Horse. Only one of many books he has written about his relationship with horses, Joe is also a passionate advocate for all animals.

How the Wild and Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act was brought about, and the woman who helped it become a law:





Nancy Hardin is a highly experienced writer and author. A retired journalist, she is also a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother with a wealth of experience in many fields. In addition, she is a retiree veteran, having spent many years in the Women’s Army Corps. She is also an experienced ghostwriter and you can see more about her skills at the The Writers’Door. YOu can visit Nancy’s website here and discover more of her work at this site.

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Author: Jackie Jackson

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  1. Thank you for being a voice to be heard for our wild horses and burros who are being sold and slaughtered for want of the almighty dollar.

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  2. Nancy, I remember when that law was enacted, and the fuss the cattle ranchers made at the time. Many people worked very hard for that law.

    As I recall, occasional roundups to thin the herds was permitted, but was to be done humanely and the animals found good homes with families who could have them for the breaking (a word I have always detested).

    It’s been so many years, my memory may be faulty, but I do remember talking to one family who was excited to finally be getting a horse. They lived on the edge of the vast range land and believed they were providing a home to an animal that would otherwise perish under harsh conditions in the desert.

    Thanks to your articles, I now know how dreadful this practice has become, that they now use helicopters to round them up, just as they do wolves in Montana and Wyoming.

    Thank you for continuing to get the word out. For those of us who want to take action, where would we find the data and evidence to cite when writing to our Congressional reps or talking to local officials?

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