Dozens protest wild horse roundups
Dozens of wild horse roundup protesters lined Carson Street in front of the Legislature from Fifth Street to the Capitol Saturday, waving signs as motorists blared horns in support.
The Truth Rally, sponsored by the Alliance of Wild Horse Advocates, was organized, said Bonnie Matton, to try to get the facts to the public.
“We’re trying to get BLM (Bureau of Land Management) to really tell the truth about what’s going on in the wild horse roundups,” said Matton, president of the Wild Horse Preservation League of Dayton.
“We are the first to say that the horses need management – most wild horse advocates would agree with that – everything on public lands needs management, but we need to work together for the good of every living thing,” she said.
Protester Etta Butler said advocates are angry with the BLM for what they say are poor management techniques.
“They have taken too many horses off of their natural habitat and there is not enough money to feed them in the holding pens so they have to move them out of state,” Butler said.
The group is particularly angered by the so-called Calico roundup north of Reno, which they say had devastating effects on the horses.
“They’ve never done roundups so early in the season – they know better,” said Nan Pearson. “The mares are all in foal this time of year. But they run them, and the mares have spontaneous abortions and bleed to death. They usually do it later when the babies are born and can keep up.”
She said the BLM lost about 80 horses out of the 1,700 from the Calico roundup, although reports vary.
Matton said there are more practical solutions, but that the BLM won’t work with advocates.
“They will not listen to us. They haven’t listened for 40 years,” Matton said. “When they get funded, they do roundups instead of birth control. When they round up thousands of horses, adoption groups can’t possibly find homes for all of them.”
She said a better solution is to manage the horses on the land through birth control methods.