In an effort to curb the U.S. government’s barbaric roundup of America’s remaining wild horses, 15 protesters occupied the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Wyoming office and temporarily blocked the entrance to a nearby holding pen where the horses are held captive.
Over a dozen law enforcement officials followed the activists throughout the day, but they did not intervene in an apparent effort to minimize media coverage which would call additional attention to the government roundups. Police were on hand, however, in case the protesters attempted to liberate the horses from the holding pen.
The protesters – all women – drove up to six hours from neighboring states to participate in the acts of civil disobedience. When the activists entered the BLM offices, staff members in the lobby “scurried away,” according to Edita Birnkrant, Friends of Animals’ Campaigns Director who organized the protest. As expected, BLM representatives refused to meet with the activists, who used a megaphone to chant, “Stop the roundup. Stop the pain. BLM is to blame.”
The protest made front page news in the local paper.
Only 1,900 wild horses remain in Wyoming. During the current roundup period, BLM is capturing and removing 800 of them on behalf of powerful cattle ranchers who want the public lands to themselves for grazing. The BLM intends to continue the roundups until the herds reach an “appropriate management level.”
Please ask U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell to list North American wild horses on public lands as “threatened” or “endangered” under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). This designation represents their best hope for the survival.
Filed under: Food, WIldlife
Tagged with: BLM, Bureau of Land Management, cattle ranchers, civil disobedience, Friends of Animals, wild horses