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JOIN US FOR A WILD HORSE & BURRO FREEDOM RALLY
WHEN: Friday, July 2, 2021: 10:00a.m. MST
Protesters should plan to begin showing up between 8:30 and 9:00 a.m.
WHERE: South steps of Utah State Capitol
350 North State Street, Salt Lake City, Utah 84114 :
CLICK HERE FOR MAP/PARKING
KEYNOTE ADDRESS by actress KATHERINE HEIGL
Actress Katherine Heigl, Animal Wellness Action, Center for a Humane Economy, Jason Debus Heigl Foundation, Red Bird Trust, Wild Horse Photo Safaris, and the Cloud Foundation, have announced a rally to be held on Friday, July 2nd, 8:30-11:30 MST. on the south steps of the Utah State Capitol to raise public awareness of the plight of Utah’s famed Onaqui wild horses, who face a devastating mass helicopter roundup beginning July 12 that will send the majority of the herd to an uncertain future. Heigl and leaders of the groups involved will speak to rally attendees.
THE BLM PLANS TO ROUND UP AND REMOVE THE MAJORITY OF THE ONAQUI HORSES THIS SUMMER
The Onaqui horses of western Utah, one of America’s most beloved and iconic wild herds, are facing the imminent loss of their families and freedom under a plan by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Beginning July 12, the agency will use helicopters to chase the Onaqui horses into traps, separate them, and remove 75 percent of the herd from their Herd Management Area (HMA) on the Great Basin Desert of western Utah. While the BLM claims there isn’t enough food or water for the horses, the agency has approved the HMA to be grazed by over 25,000 livestock owned by corporate livestock interests. The BLM plans to leave only about 100 horses on the range, a number too low to guarantee the genetic health and survival of the Onaqui herd.
We are working to stop the roundup and persuade the BLM to manage these horses humanely on the range they call home. Please take a moment to TAKE ACTION here.
HELICOPTER ROUNDUPS CAUSE INJURIES, DEATH, AND HEARTBREAK
While the BLM claims to care about the welfare of the horses, helicopter roundups are deeply traumatic for the horses. The helicopter “gather” process involves terror, confusion, and chaos. Helicopters often chase horses to the point of exhaustion, some are inevitably injured, and some are even killed in the process. The BLM kills by gunshot horses with the slightest health or physical problem, such as being elderly, underweight, or having an overbite. Mothers will be separated from their foals, stallions will be castrated and will never see their families again.
FERTILITY CONTROL IS THE BETTER WAY TO MANAGE THE ONAQUI POPULATION
Many of the Onaqui horses are already treated with proven fertility control to slow their rate of reproduction. The immunocontraceptive PZP, administered by dart, keeps the mares from being fertilized and remains effective for one to two years, after which the mares must be re-treated. PZP doesn’t interfere with the normal social behaviors of the horses; mares still come into season and mate with their stallions, but they don’t become pregnant. Mares can continue to nurse and unborn foals are unaffected. Rather than eliminate 75 percent of the Onaqui herd, the BLM should instead create a management plan for the Onaqui horses that reduces or eliminates livestock grazing on the HMA, manages the horses for genetic health by fertility control, and emphasizes a humane, sustainable approach that acknowledges the public’s love and admiration for this iconic herd.
THE ONAQUI HORSES ARE IMPORTANT TO UTAH
Wild horse photographers and enthusiasts travel from all over the country and the world to see, photograph, and spend time with the Onaqui horses. They spend their money at local hotels, restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, and other businesses, thereby contributing to the economies of nearby communities. By eliminating most of the herd, the BLM’s plan will have a direct negative impact on these businesses.
Photography by : Jen Rogers | https://www.WildHorsePhotoSafaris.com