Full text of the FREEDOM HORSE PETITION:
Anthony Marr’s innovative solution to end wild horse roundup & slaughter once and for all.
An Unprecedented Problem Requires an Unprecedented Solution
by Anthony Marr
“Congress is directing the Bureau of Land Management to go back to the drawing board and come up with solutions to control growing wild horse and burro herds that threaten to trample tens of millions of acres of federal rangelands…” – by Scott Streater, E&E News, dated Feb. 14, 2019, in AmericanWildHorseCampaign.org
This indicates that neither Congress nor the BLM has any idea regarding what such a solution might be like, or even whether it exists at all. What is obvious is that the longer we don’t take decisive action and carry on along the same track that has brought us to this critical point to begin with, the worse the CRISIS is going to get. Congress throwing more money at the BLM (from $75 million in 2018 to $80.6 million in 2019) will help incrementally but not fundamentally, in the short-run but not the long term – as long as BLM does not commit itself to a totally new strategy which it currently does not appear to have. A fundamental change in strategy is what is desperately needed.
Coincidentally, on that very same day, Feb. 14, 2019, award-winning activist and world recognized wildlife preservationist Anthony Marr (e.g. Bengal tiger, Grizzly bear, Harp seal, shark fin, trophy hunting, etc.), launched the following new website
as his Valentine’s gift to our beloved wild horse, in which is presented exactly such an innovative, outside-the-box “unprecedented solution”. But first,
The UNPRECEDENTED PROBLEM in brief
1. The on range wild horse (herein including burro) population in 1971 was ~26,000, in 2014 was ~35,000; and in 2018 was ~82,000.
2. According to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), the general formula for population growth in the practical absence of predators (cougar and horse habitats seldom overlapping, and evidence of wolf predation on horses being “non-existent”), is a net positive of 15-20% per annum, attrition rate included, or a doubling every 4-5 years.
3. The Appropriate Management Level (AML – roughly meaning Carrying Capacity) of the wild horse on all BLM land was set by the BLM, at 26,600 in 1971 with the passage of the [Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act], when the then poputation was reported as ~26,000. The close proximity of these two numbers raised suspicion.
4. Given the no-kill policy under the 1971 WFRHBA act, the BLM has been rounding up excess horses (over the 26,600 limit) and placing them into holding facilities which, by 2017, had a total capacity of ~45,000 in the more expensive corral-type short-term holding facilities, and another ~30,000 in less expensive, longer-term holding pastures, mostly in non-wild-horse states.
5. The BLM has tried to adopt out as many captive horses as possible, but except for some early success, only about 7% of the captive horses were adopted annually. Thus, the captive population grows year after year.
6. All in all, towards 2018, some 90% of the BLM budget was consumed by the cost of rounding-up the horses (by helicopter), transporting them to the facilities, and holding, feeding and caring for them indefinitely, leaving only 1% for on range birth control work, which should be the core of its strategy.
7. This procrastinative “kicking the can down the road” approach of stashing excess horses in holding facilities has worked for as long as there was still vacancy at the holding facilities. But the BLM’s budget, though substantial at $80 million for 2019, has its limits as to how many more holding facilities can be built and run, and how much more new pasture remains to be found. In 2018, everything came to a head – no more holding facilities could be built, no more pastures could be found, and the existing holding facilities finally reached full capacity. NO VACANCY signs went up, and the can, which had grown bigger and heavier with every new kick, finally hit the wall.
8. Meanwhile, in 2019, the on range horse population has increased to almost 100,000, meaning, over the 26,600 limit by some 70,000. By BLM’s own formula, these 70,000 excess horses are to be rounded-up, but then, the long dreaded problem arises as to where to put them – except the slaughterhouse. This is the 2019 reality – the wild horse crisis with no solution in sight that can save these 70,000. Meanwhile, the population will continue to rise, year after year, ad infinitum.
THE UNPRECEDENTED SOLUTION condensed
Even though the Congress and the BLM have jointly agreed to kick the no-kill can farther down the road, Trump is again pushing for mass slaughter. Even the new HSUS/ASPCA/RTF plan starts off with “REMOVE 10-20,000 HORSES FROM THE RAIINGE PER YEAR.
Any plan requiring roundup as part of its MO puts it automatically into the “OBSOLETE UPON INCEPTION” category, something still stuck on the same old track that has led us, humans and equines, to the current crisis to begin with. In truth, it could be just an extention-in-disguide of an obsolete practice – the annual reoundup..
In contrast, the 4-part plan advanced by Anthony Marr won’t remove a single horse, and further will end roundup and slaughter once and for all:
1. BLM to remove ~300,000 head of CATTLE (NOT HORSE) from the range, from the current total of ~2 million (-15%); and raise the grazing fee by 15% to recupe revenue loss.
2. BLM to transfer the vacated allotments to the horse (roughly equating 2 cows to 1 horse assuming ~6 months’ grazing for the cows), thus raising the AML from the current 26,600 to ~175,000 (+700%).
3. BLM to keep all current on-range horses (~100,000 in 2020) on the range, i.e. end all roundup, and further release all current captive horses (~65,000, many already sterilized or contracepted) back on to the range – resulting total population ~165,000, or 10,000 below the new AML of 175,000.
4. BLM to end all roundup and close most holding facilities, short and long term, thus releasing >$60 million from its $80 million annual budget for on range field work on mild maintenance-contraception to keep the total population below the new AML, as well as on habitat protection and restoration.
PS: BLM could move the displaced cows into the vacated holding pastures, which offers richer grazing than the semi-desert environment from which they have been pulled.
“It is understood that a proposal of a deeply transformative nature won’t work within the confines and methodologies of the old system, including the structure of the federal grazing prgram. There is no doubt that if what we want is a stable long term solution, one innately without roundup and slaughter, we will have to not only totally revamp the entire current system, but to institute the whole new system from a blank slate. So such an opposition that it does not jive with the old system is irrelevant. This is something from-scratch-creative, not some derivative of an obsolete system. There is no doubt that it will take an enormous effort to achieve this transformation, but I’ve never said it would be easy.” – Anthony Marr
If you prefer Anthony Marr’s solution, please sign and share this petition
In the longer run, when veganism impacts beef consumption more and more and in a big way, the land will gradually return to its rightful owner – the wild horse.
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This picture shows that Anthony Marr has been active in wild-horse conservation and advocacy since latest 2007.
Anthony Marr’s work can be glimpsed by googling his name with one of the following: tiger, bear, seal, deer, dolphin, shark fin, whale, whaling, trophy hunting, global warming, cosmology.
Anthony Marr won this award in 2010. Now in 2019, he is concentrating his effort on saving the wild horse, which, at his age of 75, could be the last major campaign of his life. But, hey, if Bernie Sanders can do it, Anthony Marr can do it!
Since 2003, Anthony Marr has conducted not 1, not 2 but 8 Compassion for Animals Road Expeditions (CARE-tours 1-thru-8), each covering 30-40 states in 4-7 months. Above is the route map and itinerary of CARE-8 conducted in 2017. He will show the route map and itinerary of this proposed CARE-9 FREEDOM HORSE TOUR some time in late February.
The purpose of this CARE-9 FREEDOM HORSE TOUR is four-fold:
1. to meet with all the pro-birth-control wild horse advocacy groups (about 15) towards forging a coalition with enough clout to influence BLM and Congress policies, and
2. to meet with all the major generic AR (Animal Rights) and AW (Animal Welfare) groups across the land to incorporate them into the Coalition, and
3. to meet with the head of the BLM and to lobby Congress, and
4. to hold open public televised debates against any and all anti-birth-control ideologues who have been obstructing and destructively interfering with other groups’ birth-control projects, in part causing the current round-ups.
As in CARE-1 thru CARE-8, local support for CARE-9 is needed, which include speaking opportunities, pot-lucks, accommodation, media and events.
Of course a tour of this magnitude won’t be cheap, and Anthony Marr, as in previous tours, funds it out of personal cash and credit, and as in previous tours, up front donations are needed to get the tour organized. So, the best thing you can do to support his FREEDOM HORSE CAMPAIGN and his FREEDOM HORSE TOUR at this juncture is to offer a generous donation for him to kick start the tour..
To donate, please click this link:
Again, please sign the petition and share it far and wide:
Thank you, all! See you on the road!