Social Question

Dutchess_III's avatar

Why can't they just leave the horses alone?

Asked by Dutchess_III (46743points) May 14th, 2013
7 responses
“Great Question” (2points)

They round up wild horses every so often in places like Wyoming and Montana. Why?

This slide show was horrible.

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Answers

KNOWITALL's avatar

It surely cannot be easy these days being Joan Guilfoyle, the (relatively) new director of the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse and Burro Program. On the one hand she works for a federal agency, the Interior Department, which is largely beholden to the powerful industries it is supposed to regulate. And on the other hand, she is responsible, under federal law and policy, for ensuring the survival and management of the nation’s wild horses at a time when relentless political and economic forces threaten to decimate the herds.

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/05/the-feds-unnecessarily-round-up-wild-horses-then-complain-about-costs/256527/

glacial's avatar

Jesus. What the hell is wrong with people.

CWOTUS's avatar

I think the problem is that the carrying capacity of the land – as sparse as most of that land is, devoid of both good grazing and water – and as much as it is worth (even so) to the ranchers who lease much of it, it can’t support great populations of both species: wild horse and cattle. And since there will likely never be a “hunting season” on horses – just imagine the outcry that would raise! – and in order to have any lease value at all it has to be able to support the ranchers’ livelihood, so the horses have to go somewhere.

So I guess they try to make it “not a sport-like” activity, though I haven’t seen either of the links posted above.

glacial's avatar

@CWOTUS There is no reason that they couldn’t find a humane way to do this.

Blueroses's avatar

I live very close to the Pryor Mountain Range.

It’s wonderful to take a drive through and see these herds of wild horses. I think it touches me to be able to see normally domesticated creatures living free.

Unfortunately, they are prone to disease epidemics which ranchers worry will infiltrate their own stock (much like the Bison in this area) and the BLM has had some brutal roundups and elimination.

It is always a divisive topic in these parts. Couldn’t there be a more humane way of dealing with the issue? Sometimes, when it’s feasible, BLM teams with groups of volunteers to tranquilize and inoculate as many of the wild herd as possible. It’s a costly endeavor, especially when so many people are complaining about the uses of government money.

YARNLADY's avatar

The horses have no natural predators, and therefore over populate their areas. If Americans were into eating horsemeat and using horse leather and other parts, they could be hunted and killed, but the only actual use for them is animal feed.

The BLM probably uses the least expensive way of doing it, with little concern for the animals well being.

rooeytoo's avatar

We have the same problem here, only with kangaroos and dingos. Both of which are indigenous. But also camels, wild donkeys, feral pigs, dogs and cats. I realize their numbers have to be controlled but I do strenuously object to the manner in which they are culled. The smaller animals are poisoned with baits that unfortunately are often taken by domestic pets as well. And I understand, it is not a fast killing poison? The larger animals are often hunted and shot from helicopters. The shooters are not accurate and many suffer wounds and take a long time to die. I hate the idea of that. There has to be a better way. In this day and age of miracles, it is astounding that a better way cannot be found. Now there is drought in so much of the country so the same is being done to livestock. It all makes me sad. Humans are not even kind to other humans, I guess it is folly to expect them to be kind to animals.

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