To the Editor:
Re “Mustangs Stir a Debate on Thinning the Herd” (front page, July 20):
The Bureau of Land Management is charged with protecting wild horses and burros on the Western rangelands. Faced with budgetary constraints, however, it might put to death some of the 30,000 horses it is holding—a herd as big as the community of free horses still roaming the West. You report that Steven L. Davis, an emeritus professor of animal science at Oregon State University, says the horses “damage” the environment.
A total of 33,000 wild horses are degrading the environment, but around 3 million to 4 million cattle are not? Predator control (yet more killing by our government in the service of ranchers) is to blame for any overpopulation of herbivores.
And no, the mustangs do not need birth control. Animals in nature don’t need to be controlled by a species that has such difficulty in controlling itself.
The mustangs should never have been corralled in the first place. Let them go, and let them be. Allow them the dignity of freedom.
President, Friends of Animals
Darien, Conn., July 23, 2008