Some horses and burros that survive the roundups are adopted or sold for as little as $10 a piece, with untold numbers entering the slaughter pipeline. The vast majority are warehoused for life in government holding facilities where nearly 50,000 wild horses and burros are stockpiled - more than remain free on the range!
Taxpayers fund this program to the tune of $80 million annually. But, what does it say about us as a nation, when our government uses our tax dollars to violently destroy an animal that represents the freedom and untamed beauty that makes America great?
It was not supposed to be this way. In 1971, Congress unanimously declared wild horses and burros as "living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West" to be "protected from capture, branding, harassment and death." But the law passed to protect these national icons has been turned on its head by the BLM, which has systematically eliminated nearly half the originally designated mustang habitat - only to allow commercial interests to dominate those lands. The biggest threat to wild horses and burros remains the livestock industry, which views these animals as competition for cheap, taxpayer subsidized grazing on our public lands.