The Burro, or as its domestic cousin is call the “Donkey”, has been in the Americas for hundreds of year. Columbus first imported them into the Caribbean on his second voyage of 1492. The donkey quickly became an indispensable part of the growing Caribbean economy. Used for agriculture, transportation and mining, the donkey was a valuable and crucial part of the colonization of The New World. While there are no specific records as to when the donkey was first brought to North America, there are several historical references to their achievements; including the Spanish Trail, the Catholic Mission System, front runners of the railroad construction and of course, the mining in and around the deserts of the Southwest.
In 1971, Congress passed the Wild Horse and Burro Act, providing protection for our Living Symbols of the West. As quickly as it was passed, it was ignored. As it only applied to federally administered lands, the National Park Service and US Fish & Wildlife Service quickly excluded themselves from compliance. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) became the agency responsible for wild horses and burros, setting up Herd Management Areas, dictating herd size, performing roundups and putting together an adoption program. As of 2018, the BLM has over 42,000 horses and burro in storage at a tax payer cost of $2000 per animal, per year. Because of budget shortfalls and too many animals in storage, the BLM stopped helping other agencies with their burro population problems. As these other agencies can use lethal means to control populations, Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue has since stepped in to help.
At a Board of Trustees Meeting in Las Vegas, NV, Executive Director Mark Meyers laid out his plan to slowly and methodically take over Wild Burro Management in our country. There are untold thousands of wild burros not under the BLM’s authority that continue to overpopulate and will eventually need to be dealt with, usually by lethal means. There is also the threat of the Chinese Donkey Hide Trade that claims the lives of 4,000,000 donkeys worldwide each year. Without PVDR’s involvement, our Wild Burros are in a most precarious situation.
The key to success for our Wild Burro Project is public support. Financially through donations and sponsorships, adopting wild burros into their homes as well as becoming a Satellite Adoption or Satellite Training Center. These Burros share all of our collective history and as much a part of the United States history as any of our Founding Fathers. We The People, owe these burros a debt of gratitude, not a lonely death at the end of a gun or in a slaughterhouse.
Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue’s vast nationwide network of ranch facilities, transportation hubs, training centers, sanctuaries and adoption centers is particularly suited to handle the Wild Burro Management in our country.