07 January 2005

From Today's New York Times

To the Editor:

Judy Blunt takes aim not only at free-roaming horses and burros but also at the defenders of wild horses, whose positions she caricatures ("Live Free and Die," Op-Ed, Jan. 4).

It is fatuous to argue that 30,000 wild horses roaming the West are degrading the region's arid lands when there are more than four million livestock grazing on those same lands.

Her claim that livestock grazing is "under strict regulations" is laughable.

Groups like the Humane Society of the United States have advocated for fewer roundups of horses and helped develop a contraceptive vaccine as a centerpiece of an active, nonlethal management strategy.

Where population reductions are well justified, nonlethal strategies like contraception should take the place of costly roundups, which are now just an antecedent to the slaughter of horses for export to foreign markets for human consumption.

Wayne Pacelle
President and Chief Executive
Humane Society of the U.S.
Washington, Jan. 4, 2005

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