In a controversial decision, the Biden administration approved the roundup of several hundred wild horses in the United States. The decision is in order to preserve, what they say, is a balanced ecosystem. The horses have required extraction from the Midwest.
States like Colorado, Nevada, Wyoming and Oregon, will utilize helicopter assistance as officials gather the horses. They will then require relocating, according to the Daily Mail. By October, projections say that 6,000 of these horses will relocate from the regions.
However, animal activists are calling the move an excuse to allow for cow grazing.
“It’s really unfortunate the Biden administration continues to scapegoat the horses while giving a pass to livestock that have a greater impact on public lands,” Suzanne Roy, executive director of the American Wild Horse Campaign, told the Associated Press.
Ultimately, cows graze on far more land than horses, and in a consumer-demanding society, some think it’s a political move.
“Americans like their McDonald’s burgers. They like their Big Macs. They like all of those things, and all of those things have beef as part of it,” Terry Messmer, professor at the University of Utah said.
Wild Horses and Lack of Water
Amid a “megadrought” in the western side of the United States, an area where dozens of wildfires and rising temperatures exist, water levels are also extremely low. Officials say this is because of rapid climate change all over the world.
The Hoover Dam reached a level of 1,071 feet this summer. This is something that researchers documented last in the 1930s. Moreover, several other lakes and rivers, hit an all-time low this summer. The fear is that the wild animals are foraging on basically nothing to begin with.
Officials began releasing water from upstream this summer. This was in order to supplement these lakes, in fear that the drop in water level would affect hydropower.
The Biden administration promised, however, that the horses will be safe. The horses are going up for public adoption or sent to work for law enforcement.
Additionally, concerns over how the horses would survive with limited resources – and without human interference is another issue.
“In many places where wild horses and burros roam, virtually no vegetation was produced in the spring and early summer growing seasons,” said Jason Lutterman, spokesman for the National Wild Horse and Burro Program in Reno, Nevada.
While all these concerns are valid, advocates for the animals have another solution in mind, however.
Advocates of the animals say that instead of rounding them up, which can be costly and harmful to the animal, fertility treatments should be administered instead.
This solution would be animal-friendly and environment friendly, experts said.