Listen Up! The Political Animal Episode #5: Fighting a Diabolical Plan to Round Up Tens of Thousands of Wild Horses

The Political Animal

The Political Animal

WASHINGTON, DC, USA, January 13, 2020 / -- By Marty Irby

Listen to Episode #5 here.

Our iconic American wild horses face an existential threat from the Bureau of Land Management and its excessive focus on round-ups and removals and its inattention to fertility control. In 2020, the agency may attempt to round-up and remove more than 20,000 horses from our public lands, and, astonishingly, with the support of the HSUS and two other animal protection groups. Regrettably, the Congress has allocated $21 million in additional monies for wild horse management to implement this scheme.

Disguised and misrepresented as a “nonlethal” plan, the proposal is a hand-off to an agency that treats wild horses and burros as invaders of our public lands and has a cowboy culture that equates "management" with "round ups and removals". In today’s episode of The Political Animal, host Joseph Grove talks with Animal Wellness executives Wayne Pacelle and Marty Irby about the round-up plan that sets the stage for the return of horse slaughter to the U.S., and brings Suzanne Roy, executive director of the American Wild Horse Campaign (AWHC), into the conversation. Suzanne and her team at AWHC have joined Animal Wellness Action, and more than 60 other groups in a coalition to fight back and protect the wild horses on federal lands. America was built on the backs horses – and these iconic symbols of the West deserve better.

The Political Animal podcast is a weekly segment that not only delivers timely information but offers insights and analysis you won’t hear anywhere else. We’ll offer in-depth discussions of local, state, or federal policy and elections, and the effects of laws and regulations on corporations. We hope you’ll listen today, and also check out Episodes 4: Big Cats: Endangered in the Wild and In Danger as Captives in the United States, Episode 3: Michael Vick and the Continuing Battle Over Animal Fighting, about the renewed attention on convicted dog-fighter and NFL player Michael Vick and implementation of the latest animal fighting law, Episode 2: 2019 Shark finning, horseracing, and the PACT Act that includes a layered discussion of how the committee process works and why it's so difficult to even get a common-sense measures into law. If you missed our first episode, you can listen here Episode 1: 2019 Victories for Animals.

Wayne Pacelle is the founder of Animal Wellness Action, president of the Center for a Humane Economy, and former president of the Humane Society of the U.S. who conceived the idea of the PACT Act. He founded the Humane Society Legislative Fund and prior to that, he was executive director of The Fund for Animals. The Non-Profit Times named him seven times as one of the nation’s top 50 non-profit executives, and in 2005, he was named executive of the year. Pacelle is a two-time New York Times bestselling author of The Bond, and Humane Economy.

Marty Irby is the executive director at Animal Wellness Action. Irby worked in the United States House of Representatives for Congressman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) serving as Communications Director and Animal Protection and Agriculture Policy Advisor. He is a former president of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ and Exhibitors’ Association, where he led the charge to bring an end to the painful practice of “soring” walking horses. Irby is a Heritage Foundation Congressional Fellow, former director of equine protection and rural affairs at the Humane Society of the U.S., and native of South Alabama who grew up on a horse and cattle farm. He graduated from the University of South Alabama with a degree in Communications, attended Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., and was named by The Hill as one of nation’s Top Lobbyists for 2019.

Joseph Grove is a freelance writer and six-time recipient of awards from the Society of Professional Journalists. His background also includes hosting a radio show called Jargon on WQMF FM in Louisville, Ky., and podcasts for Bisig Impact Group and Southern Gaming and Destinations. He began dedicating his volunteer time to animal issues in 2014 and currently works as a court-appointed special advocate for children in family court in Shelby and Spencer Counties in Kentucky.


Animal Wellness Action is helping animals by promoting legal standards preventing cruelty. You can help animals by making a donation today.

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Animal Wellness Action
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Animal Wellness Action is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(4) organization with a mission of helping animals by promoting legal standards forbidding cruelty. We champion causes that alleviate the suffering of companion animals, farm animals, and wildlife. We advocate for policies to stop dogfighting and cockfighting and other forms of malicious cruelty and to confront factory farming and other systemic forms of animal exploitation. To prevent cruelty, we promote enacting good public policies and we work to enforce those policies. To enact good laws, we must elect good lawmakers, and that’s why we remind voters which candidates care about our issues and which ones don’t. We believe helping animals helps us all.

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