Thursday, February 4, 2010

An Open Letter to President Obama

An Open Letter to President Obama

By Laura Allen, Animal Law Coalition
wild horsesI did vote for you. I was intrigued by your call for "change". You signaled a dramatic new course, one of openness and inclusion.  Certainly I applauded your choice of Joe Biden as vice president, a staunch animal welfare advocate.

The promises
During the 2008 campaign you said, "Federal policy towards animals should respect the dignity of animals and their rightful place as cohabitants of our environment. We should strive to protect animals and their habitats and prevent animal cruelty, exploitation and neglect.... I have consistently been a champion of animal-friendly legislation and policy and would continue to be so once elected." You announced that you had co-sponsored legislation to stop the sale for slaughter of wild free-roaming horses and burros. During the election you signed on as co-sponsor to the bill to ban horse slaughter for human consumption.  When asked specifically during the campaign, "Will you support legislation ...to institute a permanent ban on horse slaughter and exports of horses for human consumption", you gave an unqualified "Yes". (HSLF questionnaire)
Today, in January, 2010, you are presiding over one of the deadliest, most cruel and unnecessary government roundups of wild horses ever documented by BLM. 

As of this writing, more than 2 dozen horses have been killed by helicopters used by your administration to run them off their legally protected herd areas and corral them in long term holding pens. The hooves of two little foals have literally torn off as they ran for their lives from the BLM. BLM's Richard Sanford DVM reported on one, "Multiple hoof sloughs were noted and the foal was euthanized for humane reasons. The cause of these hoof abscesses/sloughs was most likely hoof trauma from the gather operations."

Several mares have also aborted spontaneously or miscarried. This after being forced to run miles from a helicopter and trapped in a corral, terrified, traumatized and forever separated from their herds, their families. A long time BLM official whom you promoted to the job of Assistant Director for Renewable Resources and Planning in the BLM, Edwin Roberson, claims the spontaneous abortions are "the result of the poor condition of many of the older mares and ... directly related to lack of forage on the range." Except that they weren't miscarrying on the range and didn't do so until after they were forced to run hundreds of miles, extremely afraid, and lost their families and freedom forever. Your administration would have us believe that the mares all miscarried in the past few days because of years of eating the forage on the range and it had nothing to do with the severe trauma of the roundup they had just endured?

The nearly 2,000 horses that have now been removed from their herd areas are contained in an open, dirt arena, basically a feedlot, with no windbreaks or other protection from the weather. Visit Saving America's Horses - A Nation Betrayed, for more information on this deadly roundup.

(Cont'd) 

Youtube Question to the President: 
“What’s it Going to take Mr. President, to Save America’s Horses?”
AAHS & WFLF Joint Statement: Rise Up America!

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