Mr. Craig C. Downer is a well respected Wildlife Ecologist and Author with whom I am privileged to maintain contact with. Craig’s battle to protect the wild horses and burros throughout the US is well known, his expertise, knowledge along with his determination, commitment and pro-active undertakings need be commended. Craig’s most recent publication “The Wild Horse Conspiracy” presents more than enough evidence of the evolution of and the survival of the first wild equids throughout North America. A fact that is highly contested and denied by the BLM and the US pro-slaughter advocates in Office. In reading Craig’s book, it is clear to me personally and to others who have read it, that there is indeed a conspiracy to exterminate wild equids across the US, and while oumay draw your own conclusions as to why, I for one believe it is to serve the cattle industry and big business.
Craig has defended wild horses and burros for over 40 years and continues to do so. He presents “new evidence concerning their history and evolution in North America”. Craig is also a “member of the IUCN Species Survival Commission, President of the Andean Tapir Fund “which is also dedicated to saving wild horses/burros” www.andeantapirfund.com and Board Member of The Cloud Foundation: http://www.thecloudfoundation.org/ The Cloud Foundation,107 South 7th St,Colorado Springs, CO 80905
Canada is just as guilty, by way of importing these captured mustangs into Canada, destined for Canadian horse slaughter plants where these magnificent animals are brutally and inhumanely slaughter, their meat products being shipped out to foreign countries. Note that undercover videos of what takes place in these slaughter houses in Canada have been made public….it is disgusting, sickening and beyond comprehension. Furthermore our own wild horses are being rounded up and slaughtered as well.
Craig has given me permission to copy and paste word for word his most recent letter:
June 5, 2012
Carson City District Office
Bureau of Land Management
5665 Morgan Mill Road
Carson City, NV 89701
The brutal helicopter roundups that your agency engages in have many adverse effects upon the wild horses and burros that are their victims. They cause physical injuries and even deaths in a significant number of the wild
equids so pursued (5% or more). They break up the family (band) social structures and actually result in more uncontrolled breeding among those left in the wild. This is because the equid societies when in tact keep breeding suppressed especially in subdominant and younger members. This has been well documented (ref. Karen Sussman of ISPMB).
Additionally, the brutal roundups cause great anguish among the wild equids. Those wild horses and burros who lose their freedom in this insensitive manner suffer an equid form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for the rest of their lives, as attests how violently they react when a helicopter approaches overhead.
Other brutalities suffered during the penning and sorting process and standing around in crowded feedlots often for years on end also leave an indelible mark on theirpsyche. I consider your massive roundups by helicopter then chucking the horses and burros off to the holding pens to be a very insensitive and unintelligent way of dealing with them. It shows that whoever is running this program is from a livestock background and has little appreciation of the horse or burro in the wild — in fact its truer nature given its ancient, multi-million year development as a wild and free species.
These animals quickly revert to the wild when given the chance, and North America is their evolutionary cradle and place of long-standing development, though they also fit in well in the Old World. The equid is not an ruminant, but a post-gastric digester and as such contributes by building soils and dispersing intact seeds to a much greater degree than is the case with ruminant grazers – practically all the others in North America.
I urge you to study my book The Wild Horse Conspiracy, especially the part concerning Reserve Design for naturally self-stabilizing populations and how to achieve this. This would comply with the true intention of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, not the mayhem and suffering, social and ecological disruption that your draconian helicopter roundups and grossly unjust Appropriate Management Levels for the herds are presently causing. Please contact me for a copy of my book or portions concerning Reserve Design.
Best Wishes in fulfilling your important duty under this noble law that represents the will of the General Public,
Craig C. Downer, Wildlife Ecologist
Bloggers Note: Craig’s newest book “Wild Horse Conspiracy” may be ordered via Amazon.com