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Euthanization Imminent for Wild Mustang Herds in Western Utah
 By Winniefield Park   •   27th Apr 2014   •   2,067 views   •   1 comments
Euthanization of Wild Mustang Herds in Western Utah

Once again, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is coming under criticism for mismanaging Mustang herds, this time, in western Utah. On drought ravaged lands, Mustangs are being blamed for a shortage of grazing. However, proponents of the Mustangs say, they are being made scapegoats unfairly. The problem is really the amount of livestock allowed to graze on public lands.

Starting within the next few days, if conditions allow, wild horses will be rounded up with an eye to reducing what is perceived as an overpopulation. This roundup was initiated after Iron County commissioners issued an ultimatum to the BLM and threatened to take care of the problem themselves. They believe that the horses are a threat to grazing livestock and wildlife, and they are concerned that conditions may result in the starvation of the horses themselves. The BLM has asked that ranchers reduce the number of cattle and sheep they are grazing on public lands by 50 percent. But ranchers feel they are taking a loss because they are not getting the full value of their grazing rights and blaming the horses for using up valuable resources.

At the ready, are pens, volunteers and feed, should the BLM not take immediate action. Iron County has stated if they take matters into their own hands and round up the horses, they will do what they can to see that the horses are adopted. The horses would be kept on private land, and on the commission's threat the BLM has offered to feed and manage the animals until they are adopted or moved elsewhere. But, Iron County has not ruled out euthanization as a solution.

Opponents of the roundup, whether it be carried out by the BLM or Iron County claims that the wrong animals are being blamed for the problems. And, states the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, that any removal of wild horses from federal lands by BLM or Iron County Commissioners would violate federal laws. They also revealed BLM statistics showing that the numbers of cattle and sheep grazing the area greatly exceeds the number of Mustangs. Mustangs they say, are not the problem. The proposed actions by Iron County they point out, are clearly illegal. Public roundups are prohibited. And they accuse the BLM of favoring ranchers above the opinions of the American public, who support the preservation of the Mustang herds on public lands.

The AWHPC claims that roundups are not the answer when it comes to controlling wild horse herds, and the horses are not responsible for depleting the grazing. The roundups are dangerous for the horses and expensive to carry out. A better solution, they propose is fertility control, as was done with Assateague Island's feral herds. Another possible solution are the creation of self managed herds that are kept within natural boundries such as the California's Montogomery Pass herd and the Dülmen pony herds in Germany.
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The ranchers feel they they are having their rights violated by being requested to reduce their numbers on public lands by 50%?!

What is unfair is that these horses, that have roamed the lands longer than those ranchers have been there, are being treated worse than those sheep and cattle. The ranchers should be forced to remove some of their animals to let those wild horses to have a better fighting chance.

Let Iron County round up some of the horses in the larger bands and adopt them out. "The horses would be kept on private land, and on the commission's threat the BLM has offered to feed and manage the animals until they are adopted or moved elsewhere.."
But if thee horses are rounded up ranchers should not be allowed to continue to fully graze on public lands until the drought problem as lessened.
  Apr 27, 2014  •  2,116 views
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