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August 04, 2010

Talk Back: Killing of Wild Horses and Canada Geese

Last week I asked you to take action on two urgent matters of wildlife mismanagement by the federal government—urging the Bureau of Land Management to stop the cruel and senseless roundups of wild horses, and encouraging Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to have no part of the reported plans to kill more than 150,000 geese in New York state. Today I share some of your responses, but first I have an important update on the Bureau of Land Management situation.

Because many of you had difficulty using the BLM’s online comment submission system, we contacted the agency immediately on your behalf and asked them to provide advocates the opportunity to submit comments via email and also extend the deadline for public comment. I’m pleased to say the BLM has granted both requests; the new deadline for public input is Sept. 3 and they are now allowing comments by email. If you previously had difficulty submitting comments, please try again using our email form.

Some of your thoughts on the BLM’s broken policy for managing wild horse herds and the opportunity to provide input on the agency’s new policy proposal:

We are losing our precious few wild horse herds that are still in existence to make room for free range grazing. These horses should be protected just as any other endangered wild animals are. … Please allow them to live and thrive as they were meant to be. Let's not destroy the beautiful wild horses and their place in American history in order to save the beef industry a few dollars. —J Thomas
The Bureau of Land Management policy [has] always mystified me; it exists only for the benefit of ranchers and believes that every other living thing must be exterminated in the interest of their beloved livestock. Nothing is safe in their path and unfortunately the taxpayers foot the bill for its weapons, ammunition, traps, corrals, and poisons. —Tia Kuchik
Please help the wild horses. I remember watching them on the range as a child on vacation… some of my best memories. Stop the suffering! —Robin Rosenthal
The process for commenting on the BLM policy is ridiculous. No doubt the BLM set it up so that people would become frustrated or confused with the process of trying to comment and give up. Thanks HSUS, for the detailed instructions. If a tech-savvy person like me had to keep clicking back and forth from the instructions, I can only imagine the trouble others will have. —Amy

And a sample of your comments in response to my blog about the slaughter of geese in New York (if you haven’t done so already, please call 202-720-3631 and urge Secretary Vilsack to adopt humane population control techniques; New York City residents can also dial 311 to encourage the Mayor’s Office to work with The HSUS on a more humane, effective, transparent plan):

Why is killing always the first move to controlling animals' populations? It's cruel and unfair, and unnecessary. —Clara Sharp
Thank you for your support for those who cannot speak for themselves. Please keep fighting for the Canada geese. —Jan
I can't believe that my tax dollars are going to such a horrible endeavor. This is absolutely disgusting. The geese are a beautiful part of nature and I enjoy having them around. If there is a need to cull the number of geese it can be done in a more humane way, as suggested by the HSUS. —Diane Koenig
We saw this firsthand in Scotia, N.Y. We are a great example of humane solutions working, both in the short- and long-term. We heard all the excuses, did it anyway and the deafening silence of the naysayers is golden! It can be done! Communities must roll their sleeves up, do not wait for permission, and then organize politically to elect more reasonably minded people into office. IT CAN BE DONE! —Laura Brown
I was logging on to write to HSUS about the gassing of the geese. I was horrified about the first 400 and even more horrified when I read in yesterday's paper that they are planning to do it again. Thank you for giving me the resources of who to contact about stopping this. Why aren't more people enraged? —Jeannine Harris
Message has been sent to the Secretary. What is wrong with these people! It appalls me to think they would even consider mass killing these majestic birds for the convenience of New Yorkers who find them a nuisance. This story will be shared with friends and encouraged to pass it on to show not everything is bright lights and fun in New York. Shame on them! —Nancy

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