November 18, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mariana Tosca, Viggo Mortensen and Kevin Nealon join the unified call for an
immediate moratorium on wild horse and burro round-ups.
Without a single dissenting vote, the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horse and
Burro Act was passed by Congress guaranteeing these animals protection from
capture, branding, harassment and death.
CHICAGO,(EWA) Acclaimed Actors Mariana Tosca, Christmas in the
Clouds, Viggo Mortensen, Lord of the Rings, Appaloosa and Hidalgo and
Kevin Nealon, Weeds have added their voice to a growing 150 organizations
and dignitaries from America, Canada, the United Kingdom and South Africa
asking President Obama and Secretary Salazar to halt the round-ups of
America's wild horses and burros.
The assault on America's wild horses and burros must be halted until
range studies can be performed and a solid plan is established for the
management of these magnificent animals that represent our American heritage.
Actor and Social Activist, Mariana Tosca, joined the unified call with the
following statement issued to John Holland, President of the Equine Welfare
"With virtually no oversight, the BLM's maneuvers are methodically
cleansing the land of these animals who have become an inconvenience and
impediment to the goals of the ranching, gas and oil industries.
"It is the action of arrogance and the lowest instincts of man to place greed
above the rights of others and to shape policy to fit private agendas. Millions
of head of cattle are grazing on public ranges - public ranges that
were designated for these wild horses and burros on land that belongs to
American taxpayers, not to private entities.
"These horses are connected to this land; their ancestors roamed unfettered on it
over a million years ago. They represent the basic principal that our nation was
founded on: FREEDOM. These animals are the physical embodiment of all that we as
people and as a nation aspire to: liberty and self-determination. And at
some level that resonates with each and every one of us. With every BLM round up
that is allowed to happen, our heritage is under siege."
Viggo Mortensen adds, "Thanks to all who have contacted their government
representatives on behalf of mustangs, those unique animals that are living
symbols of the nation's heritage and character. Your efforts have paid off,
prompting Congress to strengthen the protections afforded to wild horses and
burros in the United States of America [with the passage of HR 1018]."
Mariana Tosca continues, "We have to stop eroding the law that ensures
their protection, simply to cater to and placate private entities. America faces
a very real risk that the wild horse will go the way of the buffalo, wiped out
by a zealous hunt to make room for commercial interests.
Since the BLM is a government agency, with perceived mismanagement and conflict
of interest issues, the public has a right to call for an independent audit of
the horses in BLM managed short and long term holding facilities, as well as an
independent count of the horses remaining on the ranges. The management of our
remaining wild horses should be moved to another agency."
A lawsuit was filed by IDA (In Defense of Animals) on November 23 aimed
at halting the removal of over 2,700 horses in the Nevada Calico Complex which
is scheduled to start on December 1.
Additional information on the unified call for a moratorium is available on the
Equine Welfare Alliance and The Cloud Foundation websites.