Horse Rescue of America Joins Fight for Wild Horse Freedom
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's new federal plan to relocate thousands of desert mustangs to preserves in sharply opposing Eco factions continues to attract the ire of horse protectors who call Salazar's pricey proposal a "travesty of justice and humaneness." This is why Horse Rescue of America has joined a growing number of other activists, corporations and scientists in an allied and heated effort to stop the roundup of these fanciful badges of the American West.
There's too much rain, fungi and diseases associated with wetter climates that desert horses are not going to be able to cope with,” explained Grillo, founder of Horse Rescue of America. “If the eastern quadrant of the U.S. were a suitable environment, these horses would have migrated there on their own. They're in the American West where they should be.”
Grillo says for only 3% of beef cattle raised in this country, it is the wild horse that is being rounded up. Competing wildlife, like dear and elk, are being killed off by the federal government, he says, because they infringe on the cattle's grazing areas.
“The mustang is being used as a scapegoat,” said Grillo. “It was the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) that made this animal a manufactured problem. It keeps changing policy depending on who's in office.”
Grillo said he wants Salazar to set free these animals.
“These wild horses and burros need to be returned to their native habitats and re-classified as wildlife,” Grillo urged. “They are not livestock and should not be treated as such.”
An estimated 37,000 animals reportedly roam on more than 30 million acres of land throughout a total of 10 Western states. The majority are cared for by the BLM in government-funded corrals and pastures at an annual tag of about $50 million. It is a maintenance cost that is projected to skyrocket to $85 million by 2012, prompting Salazar's controversial proposal.
“These animals need to be returned to their native lands and be free and provided with an adequate amount of natural and man made water sources," argued Grillo. "Concurrently, we need to build a trust-worthy coalition of established ranchers to protect them.”