Singer Sheryl Crow is taking up the cause of wild horses, joining with The Cloud Foundation to petition President Barack Obama and members of Congress to enact a moratorium on wild horse and burro roundups on public lands.
The call is sparked by a plan of the Bureau of Land Management to remove wild mustangs in Nevada. In October, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar proposed a “cost-efficient, sustainable management program,” which included the establishment of horse preserves.
“We ask that President Obama or Secretary Salazar cease all BLM roundups as of this date to prevent further suffering,” Crow said in a release sent out Friday through The Cloud Foundation. “We request that the government and BLM begin to work in good faith with wild horse advocates for a sustainable solution. The Calico Roundup, scheduled to begin in December and continue through the dead of winter, is inhumane and must be stopped!”
Crow was a passionate supporter of Obama’s during last year’s presidential campaign and performed at the inaugural celebration at the Lincoln Memorial.
Here is the press release from The Cloud Foundation announcing the unified petition.
IDA Lawsuit Postpones Huge Wild Horse Roundup
Washington, DC (November 24, 2009) – The U.S. Department of Justice announced tonight that the massive roundup and removal of thousands of horses from public land in northwestern Nevada will be delayed until December 28 as a direct result of the filing of a lawsuit by In Defense of Animals and renowned ecologist Craig Downer on November 23.
Tomorrow, IDA and Mr. Downer plan to file a motion for a permanent injunction, with supporting affidavits from horse experts and eyewitnesses to Bureau of Land Management (BLM) roundups. The motion will ask Judge Paul L. Friedman of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to stop the roundup altogether.
The roundup and removal of 80-90 percent of the estimated 3,055 wild horses living in the BLM’s Calico Mountain Complex was originally scheduled to begin December 1. The BLM has received over 10,000 public comments in opposition to the roundup.
“We are confident that the court will agree that America’s wild horses are protected by law from BLM’s plan to indiscriminately chase and stampede them into corrals for indeterminate warehousing away from their established habitat,” he said. “The magnificent wild horses and burros of the American West are an important part of our national heritage and must be preserved.”
The Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act, passed unanimously by Congress in 1971, designated America’s wild horses and burros as “living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West,” specifying they “shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death … [and that] to accomplish this they are to be considered in the area where presently found, as an integral part of the natural system of public lands.”
Since 1971, the BLM has removed over 270,000 horses from their Western home ranges and taken away nearly 20 million acres of wild horse habitat. Only 37,000 wild horses and burros remain on public lands in the West. By contrast, millions of cattle graze our public lands. Thirty-two thousand wild horses who have been removed from the range are already held in government holding facilities, and the BLM intends to round up 12,000 more horses in FY 2010.