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WILD & FREE Campaign for Wild Horses


A LOCAL BUSINESS TEAMS UP WITH A LOCAL NONPROFIT TO SPEAK OUT FOR WILD HORSES


Tan Lines, an Orange County mobile organic spray tanning company, sprayed letters on the backs of nine young women for a photo shoot with a local nonprofit organization, Generation Awakening. The nine girls sat on a fence with horses at the Huntington Beach Equestrian Center and spelled out “WILD & FREE” as part of their “Hands Off Our Wildlife” Campaign. The aim is to generate publicity and social media attention for wild horses with topless girls, emulating PETA’s successful “I’d Rather Go Naked Then Wear Fur” campaigns. Generation Awakening hopes to spread awareness about the wild horse round-ups conducted by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and gain public support for keeping America’s wild horses just that – wild and free.


THE BACKGROUND:

The American Wild Horse Preservation sent out the following after a round-up conducted in Wyoming: “Helicopters scoured the beautiful Red Desert, chasing and capturing every last horse in a more than one-million-square-mile area known as the Wyoming Checkerboard. At least 13 wild horses have died in this unnecessary roundup, including young colts who crashed into panels and broke their necks, and elderly, arthritic and injured horses who were forced to run in pain and terror for miles in a traumatic helicopter chase before being “euthanized” by a bullet to the head. In the end, the BLM removed 50 percent more wild horses than originally planned. This devastating action contradicts Americans’ strong support for wild horses and violates legal requirements for actions on public lands. These deaths are a stark reminder of the inhumanity of our government’s policy toward wild horses.” – American Wild Horse Preservation


WHY ARE THE ROUNDUPS HAPPENING?

Once in holding facilities, wild horses can be subject to auction. There are reports that America’s wild horses could end up slaughtered and used for sashimi and to flavor ice cream. They call it BASASHI ICE and it sells in Japan.


There have been reports that the BLM was not keeping good records of wild horses and that many were being sold out the back door from BLM HOLDING FACILITIES to kill-buyers.


For those who don’t lose their lives, they have still lost everything else: freedom, family, home.


The ranchers claim that wild horses are overpopulating the range, even though livestock grazing on millions of acres of public land greatly outnumber the wild horses. For example, in Utah, livestock grazes on 22 million acres of land in the state, while wild horses are restricted to just 2.1 million acres. There are fewer than 4,000 wild horses on BLM land in Utah, as compared to hundreds of thousands of cattle and sheep. In addition, approximately 80 percent of forage on the small amount of land designated as wild horse habitat in Utah is allocated to privately-owned livestock instead of to federally-protected wild horses. That’s right – American tax-payers are paying for PRIVATELY OWNED LIVESTOCK to graze instead of FEDERALLY PROTECTED WILD HORSES. To emphasize the impact that private ranchers have on the BLM’s decisions take into account that the roundups happen despite national opinion polls indicating that 80 percent of Americans oppose horse slaughter, 72 percent support protecting wild horses on public lands, and just 29 percent want public lands used for livestock grazing. (Poll percentages as reported by Return to Freedom)


WHY AMERICANS SHOULD CARE:

If the inhumanity of the roundups or the feeling that America’s horses should roam wild and free as they have for hundreds of years didn’t make you care then perhaps the fact that 80 million of tax-payer’s dollars could be going to other programs will. There are currently 50,000 wild horses in government holding facilities. The U.S. government is spending American taxpayers’ money each year to round up wild horses, transport and then feed and house them. According to the Guardian, the program cost taxpayers $80 million in 2013, up from $40 million in 2009.


WHAT WE ARE ASKING YOU TO DO:

SHARE this photo and this story on social media to raise awareness


SHARE A PHOTO OF YOURSELF: holding a sign that says “STOP THE ROUNDUPS: Keep our horses #WILD&FREE upload to our sites & social media!


SIGN THIS PETITION: https://www.change.org/p/barack-obama-stop-the-wild-horse-roundups-keep-our-horses-wild-free


TWEET: @Interior STOP the wild horse roundups – KEEP OUR HORSES #WILDANDFREE #JusticeforMustangs


POST this message below (just by copying and pasting) on the Interior Department’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/USInterior STOP the wild horse wipeout – KEEP OUR HORSES #WILDANDFREE #Justice4Mustangs


Call the interior department to voice your concern: 1-202-208-3100

Donate to the Cloud Foundation or the American Wild Horse Preservation to support their efforts to defend wild horses in federal court. www.wildhorsepreservation.org & www.thecloudfoundation.org

These things take just moments of your time, but together can create a lasting impression on the minds of policy makers that American’s want their voices heard on the injustice our wild horses and burros are suffering at the hands of the ranchers and the BLM.

Photographer: Mikaela D. Liam