Thursday, January 22, 2009

Finally a response from Senator Durbin about the BLM and wild horses

Below is the response to my email that I got from Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois. I wrote him when the BLM was talking about killing the wild horses because of lack of funding. You can see by his response that he thinks the BLM is doing a good job. At one time Senator Durbin was a co-sponsor for anti slaughter bills. I wonder who got to him.

January 21, 2009

Dear Mrs. Jirik:

Thank you for contacting me regarding the treatment of wild horses and burros by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). I appreciate hearing from you.

A number of animal rights and conservation groups have expressed concerns about the BLM program that removes wild horses and burros from our federal lands.

For more than 35 years, the BLM has managed wild horses and burros on public lands. When populations of wild horses and burros are found to exceed the appropriate management levels for a given area, selected animals are gathered by the Bureau of Land Management and put up for adoption.

In recent years, adoption rates have declined due to the skyrocketing costs of feed and fuel, leaving an increased number of wild horses and burros under the care of BLM. Unfortunately, funding for the Wild Horse and Burro program has not kept pace with the increasing demands on its resources.
BLM's July 2008 announcement of a proposal to euthanize horses and burros that are not adopted drew strong public criticism.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO), the nonpartisan investigative arm of Congress, has conducted an investigation into BLM's management of wild horses and burros. GAO found that the program will be sustainable over the long term only if BLM revises its current practices and considers a broader range of available options, including euthanasia and sales without limitations, for dealing with those animals unable to be adopted.

The agency's National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board has recommended a number of alternative ways to manage the number of animals currently in BLM holding facilities. The advisory board also recommended that unadopted animals be offered for sale without limitations or humanely euthanized only as a last resort.

BLM has not made a final decision regarding the use of euthanasia or alternative methods to manage the animals under their care. I will keep your concerns in mind.

Thank you again for sharing your views with me. Please feel free to keep in touch.

Richard J. Durbin
United States Senator


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