Protest Wild Mustang Helicopter Round-Ups.

Penned sick after capture.

Nevada, Sept., 2006 © Front Range Equine Rescue

Suffering horse after capture.

It’s a guarantee there will be times in life that circumstances out of our control leave us feeling helpless and impotent. There will be situations screaming for change that contain no easy answers. There will be the normal feeling of wanting to turn away, to close our hearts and shut our eyes because bearing witness feels too painful.  Such is the stuff life is made of, oftentimes messy and unfair, brutal, harsh, unforgiving and cold more often than it is comforting, inviting, simple or beautiful.

That’s why it’s important to do what you can, when you can, for those who are truly helpless, voiceless, and discounted — for those whose very lives balance upon the compassion and mercy of very flawed human beings.

One such example is our country’s horses — America’s wild mustangs need you desperately. Their well-being depends upon your willingness to speak out and say enough is enough. Some people don’t know it, but these horses belong to the public — they’re OUR horses. Our voices raised together can decide their fate, and they need us now more than ever.  

 Thank God it’s never too late to change the world.  

I’m sure you can understand how, just like human beings, horses crave open spaces, freedom, life’s small comforts, and the safety of their family and children. Just like we’ve built our own towns and cities, horses live in herds, well-functioning little communities, which have their own politics and systems, being intelligent, social animals, no different than human beings.   

Like us, horses avoid fearful situations, harm coming to their families, stressful living. However, unlike our own otherworldly Gods, WE are the Gods, to horses. We, as Gods, have the power to approve or deny all that is right, necessary and sacred to a wild horse’s existence and survival.

Below is an important alert from the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, concerning round-ups of wild mustangs on the range:

On Wednesday, May 20, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will conduct a public hearing to discuss the use of motorized vehicles or aircraft in the monitoring and management of wild horses and burros on public lands in Nevada.

Please contact BLM to protest the harsh practice of chasing wild horses and burros with helicopters, often over exceedingly long distances. Please also ask that what appear to be no-bid contracts to BLM’s primary round-up contractor, Catoor Livestock Roundup, Inc., totaling about 18 million dollars (our tax dollars!) since 1996, be subject to review.

BLM’s primary concern in round-up operations continues to be efficiency, to the detriment of the horses’ welfare. Instead of helicopters, urge officials to use bait trapping, a much safer and more humane method of capture. BLM has refused to use bait trapping in such instances as the 2007 Jackson Mountain round-up, when 185 horses ended up dying at the holding facility due to stressed immune systems. Demand that limits on distances over which horses may be chased be enforced, and that accountability and penalties be established for round-up contractors who violate humane handling procedures.

The hearing will be held at 10 a.m. in the Great Basin A and B conference rooms at the BLM Nevada State Office located at 1340 Financial Boulevard, Reno, Nev. To make oral or written statements to present at the hearing, contact JoLynn Worley at (775) 861-6515.

Written comments can be emailed to: or mailed to: BLM Nevada State Office, Attention: Helicopter Hearing, P.O. Box 12000, Reno, NV 89520 and must be received by Tuesday, May 19 to be considered at the hearing.

For eye-witness accounts of helicopter round-ups, please click here.

The AWHPC Team
American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign
Click here to join our email list and receive the latest updates.

Having been down with the flu, I just received this alert, but it’s not too late. Read this, and then send off your emails. Just one line asking the BLM to cease helicopter round-ups due to the stress, cruelty, injuries and fatalities they pose for wild mustangs would make a difference. Or, feel free to use my email letter below:

Dear BLM,

I’m writing to insist that you cease helicopter round-ups due to the stress and cruelty they pose for wild mustangs. Please use bait trapping, a much safer and more humane method of capture. Please enforce limits on distances over which horses may be chased.

Lastly, I insist upon accountability and that penalties be established for round-up contractors who violate humane handling procedures.


Your Name Here

You can also sign the petition:

Click here: NO WILD HORSE ROUND-UPS PLEASE! – The Petition Site

What did you do to change the world, today?

Once again, here’s your chance.

Dead foal.

Nevada, Sept., 2006 © Front Range Equine Rescue

Trampled foal after capture.

13 Responses

  1. Em, Thanks for posting this. This is not an issue I was previously aware of so I appreciate your thoughtful and thought-provoking post. What lovely animals. It is sad that so much unkindness on the world around us is visited by us. 😦

    Sadly, it seems I missed the deadline but I will stay informed on this from now on.

  2. Thank you, Venus. You’re a real sweetie. : )

    It’s not too late to sign the petition — the protest against the horrible treatment of the mustangs is a 365-day affair, regardless of any specific hearings, and the petition referred to in this post is ongoing. Also, emails can still be sent to the Nevada division of the BLM.

    Public outcry once, in 1971, resulted in protections for these equines. I believe the same thing can be done again, and we can give these animals their protections back.

    If you’re interested in reading more about the mustangs, I’ve written other posts you can find under the SAVE THE HORSES! category on my blog.

    I try to walk a fine line between relaying the horror and sadness, and yet, not turning people away because of the painfulness of the truth. I’d give anything if everyone who reads these posts at least signed the petition. Most don’t. The process is easy, and no personal info or email addresses are sold or shared.


  3. Thanks Em. I did not realize you could still sign the petition because of the deadline. I am so glad I checked back.

    It’s a long weekend so I will come back and read the Save The Horses! posts. While I understand the need to balance what you convey and walk that fine line it is also important for people to be vocal about issues they are passionate about. I am so glad that you post on this subject in addition to your already beautiful writing.

  4. Em,

    Petition signed and sent.

    You do a beautiful thing speaking for those who can’t.

  5. Thank you, Venus.

    The slaughter horse issue in America, along with the plight of the wild mustangs (the slaughter and/or capture of wild mustangs) has lit quite a passionate fire within me.

    It makes me very, very angry, which fuels an overwhelming need to take action. That the cattle ranchers want to get rid of the wild mustangs to make more grazing room for cattle (greed) is unacceptable. That some wild mustangs end up at slaughter after capture is unconscionable.

    It’s like the world gone mad.

    I’m going to start a petition, myself — a petition to stop the round-ups altogether and let the 32,000 approximate mustangs left on the range live protected and free with their rights restored.


  6. Thank you, Tasha! Thank you so much for caring, too, and for taking the moment to sign.

    It means a lot. : )

    I heard that the petition was ongoing, despite the BLM hearing date having passed. If not, I’ll bring attention to a different petition.

    Signatures are always needed.


  7. We have no right to distress any of God’s creatures without a very good reason; we call them dumb animals and so they are for they cannot tell us how they feel, but they do not suffer less because they have no words.

    Please for the love of God, stop this. There is always a better way than to suffer needlessly.

  8. Thanks so much, Paula, for your comment. You are so right — causing the mustangs to suffer is not the way.

    It’s only though our voices — united for the mustangs, spreading the word — that the horses will begin to matter enough to be treated with the respect they deserve. It’s really up to us. We did it once before, in the seventies, by voicing our outrage. We need to do it again.



    Bureau of Land Management on Rampage to Destroy Famous Wild Horse Herd
    For Immediate Release August 10, 2009

    Cloud and the wild horses of Montana’s PryorMountains are world famous but fame it appears is not going to protect the herd from a drastic government round up planned to begin September 1st in their spectacular wilderness home.

    There are currently only 190 wild horses (one year and older) living in the PryorMountains. The BLM plans to remove 70 of them, plus foals. According to the foremost equine geneticist, Dr. Gus Cothran, 150-200 adult horses are needed in the herd to ensure their genetic diversity, which is vital to their long term survival.

    These 70 horses would be placed in jeopardy. Any horses over 10 years of age can be bought directly by killer buyers and transported over the Northern border to Canadian slaughterhouses or south into Mexico. Younger horses not adopted would be put into government holding with 33,000 others that the BLM has removed from the wild and has proposed killing because they can no longer afford to feed them.

    BLM cites poor range condition as the reason to remove the horses but abundant snow and rain for the past two and a half years has produced wonderful range conditions according to all who have visited Cloud and his herd. The Agency is not listening to anyone. They want this herd gutted. Nearly all the mares returned to the range would be given an experimental two-year infertility drug, PZP-22.

    This helicopter round up is just one among many that the BLM is trying to complete, perhaps before the Obama Administration can catch up with what is going on.

    The PryorMountain wild horses are descendants of the Lewis and Clark horses who were stolen by the Crow Indians in the early 1800’s. They can be traced further back to the horses brought over with the Spanish Conquistadors in 1500 making them one of the most Spanish of all wild horse herds in North America.

    Please contact The Cloud Foundation for more information,, 719-633-3842

  10. I agree, perhaps a “wagon train from the West Coast to Washington D.C. would bring an awareness to the plight of these horses. Remember, People are “power” . We need to stage nationwide protests in major cities just as the mexicans did serveral months ago. Perhaps that would get the “media’s /Grovernments” attention. Has anyone asked Ted Turner to adopt? He has lots of property. Best of luck, I have everything/one in prahyer.

  11. I agree that we should stop this

  12. hey that is just wrong why not let them have their freedom

  13. The sound of all the creatures that He created just so this whole planet could work the way it is suppose to still amazes me.

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