Americans are passionate about wild horses and burros, and there are many different, often conflicting, perspectives about how they should be managed. The BLM is committed to bridging these differences by working closely with our partners, stakeholders, the public and our employees to develop a strategy and find solutions that are best for wild horses and burros, wildlife, and the many other uses of the public lands. Over the next 60 days, we invite our interested stakeholders to offer their opinions and suggestions about the draft goals and objectives, as well as the series of possible management actions.
Please visit www.blm.gov for more information on the Wild Horse and Burro Strategy Development Document.
We value your input and look forward to any suggestions you may have to assist the BLM to improve the Wild Horse and Burro Program. Thank you for your interest and participation in this important effort.
Lexington, KY – June 2, 2010 – On Friday, May 21, 2010, third graders from Simmons Elementary School in Woodford County, Kentucky, had a chance of a lifetime. The young children visited the spectacular Kentucky Horse Park as part of the SPEAKS program. The acronym stands for Supporting and Promoting Equine Awareness in Kentucky Schools (SPEAKS) program. The SPEAKS program is a way to take equine education to the next level. Bobby Murphy, who has been the main component of spreading the SPEAKS vision, visited Simmons Elementary School in December 2009 and found that the program can be just as effective in the classroom as it could be at the Kentucky Horse Park. Five months later he fulfilled his promise to bring the children to the Kentucky Horse Park for this wonderful opportunity.
Washington, DC (May 26, 2010) – Members of Congress and constitutional experts testified today before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security on the recent Supreme Court decision invalidating a law prohibiting interstate commerce in crush videos, dog fighting videos, and other depictions of extreme animal cruelty. (Crush videos portray scantily clad women in stilettos, or even their bare feet, literally crushing, stomping on, or impaling small, helpless animals to satisfy sadistic viewers with a bizarre sexual fetish.)
When this law was passed in 1999, at the request of prosecutors, the market for crush videos quickly dried up. The Supreme Court took up the case of an individual challenging his conviction for selling dog fighting videos, and overturned the law on grounds that it was overbroad and violated the First Amendment.
Within hours of the Supreme Court’s decision, the crush video market reopened. Two bills, H.R. 5092 (with 306 cosponsors) and H.R. 5337, have been introduced to restore the ban in a way that will pass constitutional muster.
Washington, DC (May 24, 2010) – The need for federal legislation ending the slaughter of and providing safer transportation for American horses came to the forefront again last Tuesday, as we witnessed another horrific accident involving an overturned cattle trailer carrying 30 horses.
At around 6:00 am on May 18, 2010, Christopher Dobbin of Missouri fell asleep behind the wheel of a stock cattle trailer hauling horses bound for slaughter in Mexico to a temporary feedlot in Texas. Eleven of the 30 horses died as a result of the careless and inhumane transportation methods used by Dobbin, who was issued a reckless driving citation. This unfortunate accident underscores the desperate need for quick and thorough legislative action to end the slaughter of American horses and provide safer transportation for equines.
TALLAHASSEE — Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles H. Bronson is reminding Floridians to create an emergency response plan for their animals as hurricane season approaches. Bronson says people should not wait until the last minute to think about how they are going to evacuate or shelter their animals during a disaster. People may need to leave their homes quickly and a well-thought-out plan will help ensure the safety of animals and the peace of mind of their owners.
Bronson’s Division of Animal Industry website http://www.doacs.state.fl.us/ai (click on “Emergency Management”) links to numerous websites that provide information about pet-friendly emergency shelters and hotels. There is also extensive emergency preparedness information for owners of large and small animals. Some tips for people with animals include:
May 17, 2010 – CHICAGO, (EWA) – Equine Welfare Alliance and Animal Law Coalition applaud the grass roots efforts in 2010 that have resulted in a series of political defeats for those who want to bring horse slaughter back to the United States.
Of course, commercial horse slaughter for human consumption remains illegal in the U.S. and no state law can change that. Nonetheless, proponents of the cruel practice have tried to use state legislatures to try to convince Americans to bring horse slaughter back to the U.S.
In Missouri, for example, a bill, H.B. 1747, introduced by state Rep. James Viebrock, purported to allow the state to register and license and even provide inspections for horse slaughter facilities. There was even talk of building a horse slaughter plant in a small town in the state.
WESTPORT, CT – May 10, 2010 – The EQUUS Foundation received a $25,000 grant from Newman’s Own Foundation to support its mission to educate the public about horses; provide financial support through the award of grants; offer insight on management and financial practices of the charities through a thorough review of their operations; and provide a network of interested individuals for volunteer recruitment.
“We are so grateful to Newman’s Own Foundation for their generosity, especially now in these difficult times for charities,” said Jenny Belknap, EQUUS Board Chairman. “This grant will help us build a more sustainable environment for horses and for the people whose lives they are benefiting, and enhance the ability of charities across America focused on equestrian and horse-related issues to accomplish their missions. What a majority of the general public is not aware of is in providing horses with homes and useful lives, people benefit, especially children.”
May 4, 2010 – NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A horse slaughter bill that was criticized by Willie Nelson has failed this session of the Tennessee General Assembly.
The measure sponsored by Republican Rep. Frank Niceley of Strawberry Plains was unanimously sent to a summer study committee by the House Finance Committee on Tuesday. The companion bill has been withdrawn from consideration in the Senate.
Niceley’s proposal stated that the slaughtering of horses is “best addressed by proper state regulations and inspection and not by banning the humane slaughter of surplus domestic horses at the federal level.”
Nashville, TN (April 27, 2010) – Legislation advocating the slaughter of horses for human consumption will be withdrawn for the legislative session in Tennessee according to the bill’s sponsor Representative Frank Niceley. This was following overwhelming public opposition to the proposal from the public, Tennessee Volunteers for Animal Protection, Willie Nelson, his daughter Amy Nelson and granddaughter Raelyn Nelson, long time supporters of the Animal Welfare Institute.
“We are pleased that Representative Niceley has agreed to pull his bill from consideration,” said Chris Heyde, deputy director of the Animal Welfare Institute. “There are many more humane and responsible ways of caring for horses in need and we look forward to expanding those in Tennessee. Slaughter certainly isn’t an option and we feel many legislators realized this.”
Amy and Raelyn Nelson, residents of Tennessee, testified against the bill during a committee hearing earlier this month and plan on returning to Nashville to meet with legislators to discuss equine welfare issues very soon.
April 8, 2010 – ReRun Inc., the nonprofit Thoroughbred adoption program, announced it will be holding its spring eBay auction of Moneighs on April 25, 2010. The auction of 30 paintings created by famous equine artists will feature current superstar Zenyatta and her recently-retired stablemate, Life Is Sweet, as well as Kentucky Horse Park Hall of Champions Cigar, Funny Cide and DaHoss. The auction will also feature paintings by leading New York and Florida Stallions and a painting by the beloved champion Evening Attire.
The spring auction, which ends on May 2nd, will include several paintings created by famous horses of other breeds including one by Rolex W., who will compete in the combined driving event at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games this fall. Champion Standardbred Staying Together also created a painting even though he is blind. Each Moneigh is an original, abstract painting created by a horse, using the horse’s muzzle, whiskers, hoof, and tail. Some artists, such as Funny Cide and Cigar, will paint by holding a paintbrush in their mouths.