The federal government has approved a plan to exterminate all the park’s burros and mustangs on the grounds that they are damaging the habitat and competing with pronghorn antelopes for resources.
However their population is not out of control – there are only about 1,000 wild horses and 200 wild donkeys, although they have been living and breeding in the park for a long time – and the antelopes are not seriously threatened.
Since the humane if slightly slower alternative of fertility control exists, there is no good reason for a round up and probable slaughter. Tell the authorities not to exterminate the most charismatic of the park’s wild herbivores.
We the undersigned ask that you call a halt to the plan to exterminate the mustangs and burros of Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge within the next five years. These wild horses and donkeys have been living in the park for over a century and their population is not suddenly going to explode in the next few years.
If the case for their causing serious conservation problems holds water, and this is not entirely certain, then the far gentler alternative of fertility control exists, allowing the animals to die off naturally.
The wholesale, cruel round up and likely slaughter of animals that form one of the park's attractions is unacceptable on animal welfare grounds. It also does neither the park nor its conservation strategy any good whatsoever in terms of publicity.
Thank you for your attention.