WASHINGTON (Oct. 14, 2011) – The Cloud Foundation exposed inhumane conditions for captured wild horses and burros at the Herriman facility outside Salt Lake City, Utah, in March 2011. The footage and report, shot and compiled by Foundation advocate Lisa Friday, showed horses knee-deep in a mixture of muck and manure. As a result of bringing the inhumane conditions to public scrutiny, BLM will be closing the facility for the winter with plans to close it permanently in the next two years.
“We are pleased BLM is finally taking the formerly wild horses out of the inhumane Utah facility before they would be subjected to another winter,” states Ginger Kathrens, Executive Director of The Cloud Foundation. “But it is regrettable that BLM acted to rectify an inhumane situation only after it was exposed in Lisa’s video.”
Kathrens maintains that further transparency is needed in order for BLM to regain the trust of the American public, which includes allowing the public access to all short term and long term holding facilities on both private and government property. Many facilities, including all long term ones, have virtually no public access.
In Fiscal Year 2011 (Oct. 1, 2010-Oct. 1, 2011) BLM spent over $48 million to hold over 41,000 wild horses and burros in these facilities, many of which are on private property and not available for public scrutiny.
Currently there is no way for the public to verify the numbers or conditions of the animals in many of these facilities. Nor is there any accurate census of wild horses still remaining on the range. Using BLM’s own numbers, wild horse advocates maintain there are far fewer horses remaining on the Western ranges than BLM is reporting.
Concludes Kathrens, “In order to build trust, there must be more transparency in the way BLM is managing America’s wild horses and burros both on the range and off.”
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