Cloud's Herd is in Danger of BLM Roundup

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Cloud's Herd is in Danger of BLM Roundup

[Ed. Note: To take action, see Stop the Massive Removal of Cloud's Wild Horse Herd.]

By Alicia Graef on Care2.com
August 2009

Some people have been following Cloud, a wild stallion living in the Pryor Mountains in Montana, and his herd since the day he was born thanks to the work of emmy-award winning filmmaker Ginger Kathrens.

Kathrens, who was concerned with what is happening to our wild horses, also founded the Cloud Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to protecting cloud’s herd, and other wild horses, through education, the media and public involvement.

Unfortunately, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) plans to remove 70 of the 190 wild horses living in the Pryor Mountains with helicopter roundups starting September 1st, which not only places even more horses in danger of slaughter, but also threatens the genetic viability of the Pryor Mountain herd.

From the Cloud Foundation:

Since 2000, BLM has conducted massive round ups, removing over 75,000 horses from the range, driving the wild mustang population to the brink of extinction. Currently, there are few wild horse herds large enough to maintain their long-term viability. “The Pryors is the next case in point,” said Kathrens. “BLM is proposing the removal of all but 90 animals, a level that will jeopardize the horses’ long-term health and viability. Even though the Pryor herd traces directly back to the horses of the Conquistadors, they have targeted them for removal. Older horses on the Pryors would likely go into long term holding where they could face a death sentence if BLM proceeds with their plans.” Even the famous Pryor stallion, Cloud, falls within the so-called “older” horse category at 13 years of age.

BLM’s drastic removals have swamped their own Adoption Program, which has, in the best of years, placed 5,000 wild horses with private owners. As a solution to the growing backlog of unadopted wild horses the BLM came up with a long term holding program in which wild horses would be cared for until death. That death could now come from a bullet, rather than from natural causes. The BLM refers to this as Euthanasia.

Any horses over 10 years of age can be bought directly by killer buyers and transported over the Northern border to Canadian slaughterhouses or south into Mexico. Younger horses not adopted would be put into government holding with 33,000 others that the BLM has removed from the wild and has proposed killing because they can no longer afford to feed them.
BLM cites poor range condition as the reason to remove the horses but abundant snow and rain for the past two and a half years has produced wonderful range conditions according to all who have visited Cloud and his herd. The Agency is not listening to anyone. They want this herd gutted.

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