Wild Horse and Burro Bait-Trapping: Going … Going … Gone
By Grandma Gregg as posted on the PPJ Gazette
“The MAXIMUM number of wild horses and burros that may be gathered is actually higher than the number that exists…”
A MINIMUM of 8,900 Wild Horses and Burros will be bait-trapped on our public land this year. And this is in addition to the thousands that will be rounded up by helicopter….
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has divided the western states into six zones and private contractors bid on and received a contract for one or more zones. Each contractor is required by their agreement to capture a minimum amount of wild horses and/or burros in the zone. The MAXIMUM number of wild horses and burros that may be gathered is actually higher than the number that exists on their federally protected Herd Management Areas. The BLM reported that in the 2012 fiscal year there were only 37,294 wild horses and burros remaining on the range, but they have contracted to remove up to 44,000 from bait-trapping alone. So while the BLM feigns interest in humane care and concern for out Wild Horses and Burros, these BLM contracts continue on their fast-moving “managing for extinction”.
Here are the July 2012 through June 2013 bait-trapping contractor awards per the federal business opportunity webpage:
Company Zone Minimum Maximum Horse Trappers Zone 14002,000
Desert Hill Construction Zone 35002,000
Mt. Taylor Zones 3 and 68004,000
Warner (worked for Cattoor) Zones 1-62,40012,000
Sampson (worked for Cattoor) Zones 1-62,40012,000
Cattoor*Zones 1-62,40012,000 Totals 8,90044,000
Cattoor – no zone(s) indicated so assume all 6 zones thus minimum per contract would demand 2,400 and maximum would be 12,000. (see links for details)
Using the above trapping contractor awards which have a minimum and maximum number per yearly contract the number of Wild Horses and Burros that will be trapped over this next year is at MINIMUM 8,900 and a shocking maximum of 44,000 which is of serious concern since most informed people outside of the BLM believe there are only about 20,000 Wild Horses and Burros that remain on our public lands today.
The fact is that the United States Forest Service and BLM have already been bait-trapping and can apparently do it without a new NEPA process if the previous Environmental Assessment is still in good standing or the Range Management Plan states the designated Appropriate Management Level for a herd’s population. This already happened last winter at the Harney Oregon BLM office when they explained that the bait-trapping they were doing was a part of a clean up procedure after a helicopter roundup – and without any new public notice.
Knowing that the contractors have a free ticket and get paid by the “head” the number of Wild Horse and Burros that will be captured between now and next June will likely go far beyond the minimum 8,900. Future populations will suffer as if it isn’t already bad enough. It’s all about the money for these contractors – nothing else. The BLM has now given the authority to private contractors to capture and remove thousands of Wild Horses and Burros, without the public even knowing exactly how many, where and when they will be doing it. Scary thought.
Now let’s think about the foals – there will no longer be a moratorium for capture during the high foaling season. And what about the old ones who know nothing about being domesticated and everything about being wild? How the young and old will suffer is beyond comprehension and hidden from the public eye.
Now let’s think about accountability and transparency. It has long been highly suspected and documented that many Wild Horses and Burros end up going to slaughter as they disappear into the BLM pipeline of no accountability.
Will they count them at the trap site or are they counted when delivered to holding facility? BLM already sells hundreds and hundreds of our Wild Horses and Burros to questionable persons; how will we know where they go after the trap site…who is to say that some won’t be delivered to “buyers” before they are even in the hands of the BLM?
No plan for public observers has been mentioned for most trapping and BLM has even stated in the trapping contract that there will be no public allowed. In summary it states, “due to this type of operation spectators and viewers will be prohibited …”
How will you and I know how the animals are treated? We have all seen the documented proof of animal abuse at the hands of roundup contractors … and that was WITH public observers, so what can we expect without observers? The contract even states that the contractor can use electric prod hot shots and heaven only knows what other abuse these animals will be dealt behind our backs.
Mark my words…bait-trapping will capture what the helicopter roundups miss and will eventually be the end of our Wild Horses and Burros in the wild. Lets face it… bait- trapping is NOT the BLM being nice to the Wild Horses and Burros, but it is the most recent scheme designed to zero them out.
Greed from the livestock, oil and gas, and mining interests are destroying our public lands and its wildlife, water, and of course our nations Wild Horses and Burros.
Bait-trapping could be the end of our wild horses and burros if we fail to stand up and pay attention to the big picture. Once our Wild Horses and Burros are taken off our public lands…they will be gone forever.