Wild horse roundups and gatherings are the chosen methods of removing what BLM considers “excess” animals off the range. The stark reality, however, is that horses are run over rough terrain in sheer terror for their lives as this loud, strange beast of a helicopter swooshes and drives them off their familiar lands until they are finally corralled into a fenced enclosures. The frightened, exhausted horses – old, young, mares, stallions, injured – are thrown together with strangers from other herds and their stallions. And their terror is not over by a long shot.
We know enough about gathers to realize that horses are frequently run to exhaustion. Many young foals become separated from their mothers and others fall behind and are lost. Some animals stumble and fall, some are injured in their efforts to escape the beast in the sky, and still others break legs.
There is the nagging question hanging over each gather – isn’t there a better, newer, kinder way in this day and age? Our country has great minds that come up with viable solutions for countless problems and seemingly impossible difficulties. Let us pool people into a working think tank to come up with humane solutions. Let us honor our living legend wild horses. Let us show our humanity to a magnificent creature that embodies the very thing on which our nation is founded – liberty.
There are many concerned individuals that could be enlisted in the effort to work out solutions. We do not need those with extremist views at controversial ends of the spectrum. Rather, we should look to sensible, thoughtful people who truly wish to work out a solution.
Now that the Navajo Nation has made a huge move toward a moratorium on roundups, and they have expressed the desire to seek beneficial solutions for horses, people and lands, we should follow their lead.
Let us commend the Navajo Nation for publicly endorsing alternative methods to manage horse populations. People who desire and are able to work on a solution should be identified and put to work on the horse issues. Not for a minute should we doubt that a humane and viable solution can be developed. Together, people can and will prevail with a proper solution.
The project needs willing participation from caring, knowledgeable and unbiased individuals under the capable leadership of a savvy, humane horse person. For once, the welfare of the animals, the lands of impacted people, and no monetary concerns should prevail in the effort.
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