San Francisco, California (December 30, 2009) . . . .The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, a coalition of 50 conservation, horse advocacy and animal welfare organizations, and renowned author Terri Farley, whose Phantom Stallion book series for young readers has sold over a million copies worldwide, will join In Defense of Animals and The Cloud Foundation at a protest today in San Francisco to oppose the ongoing roundup of thousands of wild mustangs off public land in Nevada.
What: Peaceful protest for all ages featuring Figaro the miniature horse, Fluffy the miniature donkey, and colorful signs and banners.
When: Wednesday, December 30, 2009.
Citizens gather at 11 a.m.; press conference at Noon.
Where: Outside Sen. Feinstein’s office, One Post Street, San Francisco
Why: Call attention to the ongoing, brutal winter roundup of 3,000 horses off public lands in northwestern Nevada and issue plea for help to Senator Diane Feinstein, who has always been a friend of America’s wild horses, and is the Chair of the Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee.
Similar rallies will be held Wednesday in Chicago, Colorado, Idaho and London.
The events take aim at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and its destructive wild horse and burro management policies, which threaten the very existence of this iconic American species. Of particular concern is a massive roundup that commenced this week in the Calico Mountain Complex in northwestern Nevada. The BLM intends to remove 80-90 percent of the wild horse population living in the 500,000 acre public lands complex. At the same time, the agency has increased the number of privately owned livestock allowed to graze those same public.
Last week, a federal court judge ruled that the BLM plan to transfer horses taken from the Calico Mountains to holding facilities in the Midwest is likely illegal and suggested that the agency postpone the planned roundup. Complaints are also pending with the Department of Interior and the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Despite this, the BLM has not only proceeded with roundup, but also has commenced the action on private land from which the public is barred.
“The BLM knows that its latest assault on wild horses is so shameful that it cannot stand the light of day,” said Elliot M. Katz, DVM, IDA president, who noted that the brutal helicopter stampede of the horses over treacherous winter terrain will result in injury and death to some horses, particularly the old, pregnant and the young. Foals will be separated from their mothers, and close family bonds will be forever shattered, he said.
Lise Stampfli Torme, a wild horse advocate and Cloud Foundation volunteer stated: “We are outraged that BLM is proceeding with this roundup under a cloud of controversy and against a US District Court judge’s recommendation. The agency has moved the capture points to private land where the public cannot see how their contractors are treating our living legends. An immediate moratorium on all wild horse roundups must be implemented until the BLM’s broken wild horse management program can be reformed.”
“Americans want their wild horses to remain free and protected on the ranges where they currently exist. We are asking that the original spirit and intent of the Wild Free Roaming horse and Burro Act be upheld so that our grandchildren’s children will know the herds, who are a vital link to our western heritage,” says Neda DeMayo, founder of the Return to Freedom American Wild Horse Sanctuary and member of the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign.
The BLM intends to remove up 12,000 horses from their western ranges each year for the next three years and place them in Midwestern holding facilities, where they will join the 34,000 wild horses already being warehoused by BLM at taxpayer expense. If the Calico roundup continues, the number of horses in the warehoused in government holding will exceed the number left in the wild.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009 Protests:
San Francisco Protest: 11:00am – 1:00pm In front of Senator Feinstein’s office, One Post Street (at Montgomery)
Chicago Protest: 12:00pm- 1:00pm In front of Senator Dick Durbin’s office, 230 S. Dearborn
Longmont, Colorado Protest: 12:00pm- 3:00pm Boulder County Fairgrounds- Corner of Nelson and Hover
Ketchum, Idaho Protest: 12:00pm in front of the Chapter One Bookstore, 160 N. Main St.
Protests planned for Los Angeles, Denver and the East Coast if BLM continues this roundup