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26 MUZZL


Republicans on the Federal Lands Sub-Committee launched a full out assault on wild horses on public lands in the West while Democratic members were con- ducting a sit-in on gun legislation at the Capital. What was supposed to be an


“oversight hearing,” on the “Challenges and Potential Solutions for BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program,” devolved into a vicious political attack on legally Protected Wild Horses and Burros and the only advocate present to represent them. Subcommittee Chairman, Tom McClintock only asked questions that


supported their position that wild horses are to be blamed for the destruction of western rangelands even though they roam on less than 12% of public lands where privately-owned livestock are allocated 82% pf the forage.


Ginger Kathrens, Volunteer Executive Director of The Cloud Foundation and Humane Advocate on BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board, was the lone expert witness, to present the case for the wild horses and burros. Her


fact-based, five minute summary was distilled from a detailed document the Colorado organization presented to the committee. Ginger outlined humane,


financially sustainable and common-sense solutions to the BLM’s self-created crisis.


Kathrens was effectively muzzled as Republicans led a full-out assault on wild


horses in the West; Democratic members were absent and staging a sit-in on gun control on the House floor.


The other “expert” witnesses, Dr. J.J. Goicoechea, DVM, State Veterinarian,


Deputy Administrator, State of Nevada Department of Agriculture; Callie Hen- drickson, Executive Director, White River and Douglas Creek Conservation Districts, Chairwoman, American Farm Bureau Federal Lands Issue Advisory Council; and Keith Norris, Director, Government Affairs & Partnerships, The


Wildlife Society, Chair, National Horse and Burro Rangeland Management Coa- lition, hold pro-slaughter and pro permanent-sterilization positions. The majority of questions were asked of at Dr. J.J. Goicoechea, DVM, State Veterinarian and Deputy Administrator – State of Nevada, who talked of how the horses are


dying on the range of dehydration and lack of forage. He provided a photo of an emaciated mare with a nursing foal but no data to support his claim. When


Kathrens was asked about whether bison and elk were native, she was abruptly cut off when she attempted to tell the Committee why the wild horse is actually more native than most other hooved species.


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