The rising costs of feed, coupled with the restrictions on horse slaughter, are causing major problems with unwanted horses around the country. This is also true at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) where resources are being stretched to the limits. BLM estimates that the cost of holding (short and long term) wild horses and burros “will exceed $26 million, accounting for three-fourths of the Fiscal Year 2008 Congressional Appropriation to the BLM of about $37 million.” Additionally, the agency’s projected costs by 2012 are $77 million for the horse and burro program.

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With the agency facing budget constraints due to the lagging economy, BLM has announced plans to (1) sell older and unadopted animals to willing buyers and (2) euthanize those wild horse and burros for which no adoption demand exists.

It is within BLM’s authority to sell or euthanize any wild horse or burro in their care that is over 10 years old or has been passed over for adoption three or more times. BLM was given this authority as a part of a 2004 change to the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971.

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    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

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