Citizens call for immediate moratorium on wild horse roundups

A new press release from the Equine Welfare Alliance and the American Horse Defense Fund. Please read and distribute to all press outlets. You can find your local press contacts here.

Moratorium Press Release

4-Steps… Help Save America’s Wild Horses & Burros

1.    Send your letters demanding an immediate moratorium on all roundups to President Obama. Call your Representatives and follow up with faxes, letters and calls to all.  The roundups must stop in order to allow time for independent analysis on the true numbers of horses remaining and investigations into the true reasons for removing 12,000 wild horses and burros this fiscal year.

2.    Sign the Save Our Wild Horses Resolution petition to stop the roundups & join the Cloud Foundation mailing list to stay informed (join us on FacebookTwitter & check our Blog for frequent updates too).

3.    Please watch the investigative report from CBS’s George Knapp: “Stampede to Oblivion and share this online video with everyone.

4.    Last but not least, contact media—this story of mismanagement of our mustangs and burros, truly living history, needs to be explored & shared. Write letters to the editor and ask National outlets for better coverage- we are on the verge of losing wild horses and burros before most of America knows we still have them in the wild. Media contacts can be found online at


4 Responses to “Citizens call for immediate moratorium on wild horse roundups”

  1. Marilyn Wargo Says:

    When push came to shove… Going all the way. Mar

  2. Barbara Ellen Ries Says:
    BLM Plan Would Relocate Wild Horses
    by: Pat Raia
    October 09 2009, Article # 15061
    Print Email Add to Favorites RSS ShareThis
    Thousands of wild horses would be relocated from their traditional Western ranges to preserves in the East and Midwest under a proposed plan unveiled in a letter from Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar to congressional leaders on Wednesday.

    Under the plan, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) would purchase land east of the Mississippi River to develop two wild horse and burro preserves. The BLM would later work with nonprofit and private partners to create five additional preserves. The preserves would be located in areas conducive to ecotourism development. Eventually, 25,000 animals would reside on the seven sanctuaries by 2014.

    The plan also proposes an aggressive fertility control strategy using sterilization and sex segregation to create nonreproducing herds. Only nonreproducing herds would reside on the proposed new preserves.

    The BLM currently manages 37,000 free-roaming wild horses and burros in 10 Western states. Another 32,000 animals reside in long-term holding facilities at a cost of about $27 million annually.

    The proposal is designed to reduce wild horse management costs by decreasing the number of animals in holding facilities and limiting herd population growth. The ecotourism component aims to expand public interest in wild horses beyond Western states, said BLM spokesman Tom Gorey.

    However wild horse advocate Karen Sussman rejects the plan on grounds that wild horse removals disrupt herd social structure and threaten the viability existing herds. “The BLM needs to manage wild horses as wildlife,” said Sussman, president of the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros. “This is taking a Disneyland approach,”

    Gorey is uncertain how Congress will react to the plan. “The Secretary put these ideas forward to engage Congress,” he said. “If there are better ideas, we want to hear them.”

  3. Barbara Ellen Ries Says:

    All Press Releases for September 8, 2009

    Lantry, South Dakota Wild Horse Rescuer Explains Why Roundups of Wild Horses Are Counterproductive and Cruel
    While the U. S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) infuriated animal advocacy groups by rounding up wild horses from the Pryor Mountains along the Montana-Wyoming state line on September 3rd, a South Dakota rescuer and the Cheyenne River Sioux tribe continue Nature’s way of handling wild horse herds. Unlike the BLM’s disruptive practice of chasing terrified horses with hovering helicopters, the Lantry, South Dakota methods are based on the natural harmony of wild horse herds and harems.

    Minneapolis, Minnesota (PRWEB) September 8, 2009 — While the U. S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) infuriated animal advocacy groups by rounding up wild horses from the Pryor Mountains along the Montana-Wyoming state line on September 3rd, a South Dakota rescuer and the Cheyenne River Sioux tribe continue Nature’s way of handling wild horse herds. Unlike the BLM’s disruptive practice of chasing terrified horses with hovering helicopters, the Lantry, South Dakota methods are based on the natural harmony of wild horse herds and harems.

    Karen Sussman, president of the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros (ISPMB) based in Lantry, South Dakota, preserves one of America’s greatest historical treasures – – the genetically pure and rare herd of wild horses from Gila Bend, Arizona. Sussman’s story is featured in the unique new book Horses with a Mission: Extraordinary True Stories of Equine Service (New World Library, September 2009) by best-selling, award-winning authors Allen and Linda Anderson. Horses with a Mission is available in bookstores nationwide and online.

    “Diana: The Saga of a Wild Horse” tells how Sussman and ISPMB rescued the Gila herd. As lead mare, Diana protected her herd and taught the great lesson of forgiveness by ultimately making peace with humans. Descended from horses that were brought to America in the 1600s by Father Eusebio Kino, a missionary from Spain, Diana’s ancestors survived a trip across the ocean in small sailing vessels over raging waves. They also survived the practice that began in the 1920s in which cowboys, called mustangers, captured wild horses and shipped them to slaughter.

    Diana roamed the desert areas and public lands near Gila Bend where the last of her herd remained. The Gila herd was eventually brought under the protection of Public Law 92-195 that was passed through the efforts of ISPMB’s first president Velma Johnson, known as Wild Horse Annie. In 1999 when the BLM threatened to remove the Gila herd at the request of ranchers, Sussman stepped in. Eventually she brought Diana and her herd to a beautiful ranch four hours north of the Badlands, on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation, in Lantry, South Dakota.

    Although the BLM claims that roundups of wild horses are necessary to reduce their numbers and maintain a thriving natural ecological balance, Sussman and other activists like the Colorado-based Cloud Foundation and Front Range Equine Rescue don’t agree that rounding up the wild horse herds is a solution to overpopulation.

    In her story in Horses with a Mission, Sussman writes with authority about wild horses based on unprecedented research of four herds she has rescued that are now free to roam and behave naturally. She claims that when the BLM does roundups, they disrupt the harem system that has been in place for over five hundred years. The wild horses never band up the same way again. Without supervision from the wiser stallions that have been removed and that typically maintain harmony in the herds, the younger stallions take charge. “It’s analogous to having fifth graders running the neighborhood,” Sussman says.

    The young stallions breed with fillies, and the fertility rates skyrocket. Sussman writes, “The increasing fertility rate of the herds is the direct result of harem bands being destroyed as stallions are separated from their mares when captured in roundups. Because we have kept Diana’s herd intact in conditions that are natural to wild horses, the herd has been able to teach us the importance of keeping harems together and of allowing the wild horses to maintain strong social bonds.” The horses that the BLM captures but does not release back into the wild are put up for adoption. BLM officials admit that there are virtually no takers in this economy.

  4. Barbara Ellen Ries Says:

    Return of Sungnuni glugluka (mustang)

    The Lakota people once relied on and lived with the wild horse. The horse was used in ceremonies, games, hunting, war and in every day life. The horse was a symbol of freedom, strength, pride and courage. The Indian people believe that they had the horse long before the Spanish arrived. The horse was bred for specific purposes. Similar to the Arabian it was bred for endurance and speed. It was necessary to travel many miles sometimes non-stop for days. The speed was required for hunting, war and games. A fast pony was a highly cherished animal with the Indian people. Today we have the privilege of having the wild horse in our midst again. As the Indian people search for their roots and regain their ceremonies, language and culture it becomes evident that the return of the wild horse is part of becoming whole again.
    beautiful horses pictures

    The healing power of Horses

    National Geographic – Indian Renaissance
    Field Notes from Author Joseph Bruchac

    I was at the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota, and Karen Sussman, one of the leaders in rescuing and sustaining wild mustang horses, took me out to a pasture on her ranch at dusk. We sat at the top of a hill in her truck looking for a herd and one gradually began approaching us. Karen told me if I left my window down and held still, a mustang might actually come to greet me. The next thing I knew one walked right up to the truck, stuck its head in the window and started nuzzling my face. “You’ve just been kissed by a wild horse,” Karen said. I twas a moving experience. Horses are truly beautful animals and have one of the most amazing connections with humans. In the native community, they’re literally like members of the family.

    National Geographic – Indian Renaissance
    Field Notes from Photographer Maggie Steber
    In South Dakota I went to see a herd of wild horses with a young Lakota man named David Little Wounded who works with them. It can be dangerous to get too close, so we sat in a pickup truck watching them for about two hours. But I really wanted to get closer to them, so I got out of the truck and started crawling very slowly toward the middle of the field. The young Indian man said, “Well, this is really dangerous. But if you’re going to do it, I’d better go with you”.
    So there we were, crawling on our hands and knees with my cameras banging together. We got out in the field and sat for a while, and little by little, the horses started coming to us. Eventually we were completely surrounded by them. They were so gentle. Sitting on the ground, we were quite small compared with them. It was a dangerous thing to do because the smallest thing could have spooked them. They could have trampled and even killed us. But it was wonderful to feel a connection with these wild animals. I got some really nice pictures, but this experience meant more to me. It gave me a reverence for these creatures. feature5/assignment2.html
    For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
    Karen Sussman
    PO Box 55,
    Lantry, SD 57636
    Wild Horse Annie – BOOK RELEASE

    All proceeds benefit ISPMB, Velma’s original organization! Click here to view the Youtube video “This important addition to the history of mustangs and animal protection laws is highly recommended for animal lovers and Western history buffs.” – Library Journal, starred review
    Support Us

    Sponsor a Horse.
    Win a Trip to Our Ranch!
    Enjoy a weekend with the mustangs in beautiful South Dakota.
    Click here for more information.
    Contact Information

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