Whole Foods Letter Final

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  • American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, 1025 Alameda, #633, Belmont, CA 94002 WildHorsePreservation.org

    October 21, 2015 To: John Mackey Chief Executive Officer, Whole Foods Market 550 Bowie Street Austin, TX 78703 Walter Robb Co-Chief Executive Officer, Whole Foods Market 550 Bowie Street Austin, TX 78703 Via Email and Overnight Mail Dear Mr. Mackey: The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign is dedicated to protecting and preserving Americas remaining wild horses and burros as part of our national heritage for generations to come. Our mission is supported by a national coalition of more than 60 horse advocacy, conservation and public interest organizations. Wild horses are cherished by millions of Americans across the country. Yet, they are targeted for removal from our public lands to make way for private livestock. We greatly admire Whole Foods leadership as an ethical corporate citizen presenting healthy and environmentally responsible food and other product choices to consumers. Since we know that Whole Foods is committed to responsible sourcing of your products, we believe that you will want to be aware of a serious problem regarding some of the beef that is sold as humane in your stores. We write this letter in hopes of beginning a dialogue with you on this subject that is important to millions of citizens, because it impacts our beloved national icons -- Americas mustangs. Although you may not be aware of this fact, Whole Foods is selling beef certified under your Animal Welfare standards that is provided by ranchers who are behind the massive and brutal round up and removal of thousands of wild horses from public lands In Oregon. These ranchers graze livestock on public lands in federally designated wild horse and burro habitat areas. One such supplier certified is Country Natural Beef (CNB) of Burns, Oregon.

  • American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, 1025 Alameda, #633, Belmont, CA 94002 WildHorsePreservation.org

    At least four suppliers of beef to the Whole Foods partner CNB graze cattle on U.S. Bureau of Land Management Land (BLM) in designated wild horse habitat, known officially as Herd Management Areas. These suppliers are as follows:

    Roaring Springs Ranch managed by Stacy and Elaine Davies and owned by the Sanders family, (whom also owns Pacific Northwests RSG Forest Products),

    The Fitzgerald Group owned by Eleanor and Rosanne Fitzgerald and Larry Utley

    Fitzgerald Ranch owned by Con and Sally Fitzgerald.

    Otley Brothers Ranch Larry, Susan, Dan, Katie, Mary, Fred, Debbi and Harry Otley and Sherri Stott.

    Pressure from ranchers who graze cattle and sheep on public lands in designated wild horse habitat areas and view mustangs as competition for cheap, taxpayer-subsidized livestock grazing, leads to brutal government helicopter roundups and the removal of thousands of wild horses from their homes on the range each year. Thanks to policies driven by livestock interests, the government today stockpiles as many wild horses in holding facilities as remain free in the wild. Stacy Davies, marketing director of Country Natural Beef, manager of Roaring Springs Ranch (a major CNB supplier), is also the head of the Beatys Butte Grazing Association, which is a primary force behind a massive mustang roundup of 1,500 wild horses, scheduled to take place in the BLM Beatys Butte Herd Management Area in less than two weeks (November 2-11, 2015). Over 13,000 citizens in just six days have signed a petition opposing this mega mustang roundup. In addition to Beatys Butte, the CNB suppliers listed above also hold permits to graze livestock in other Herd Management Areas in Oregon where roundups took place earlier this year. In total, 2,000 wild horses nearly half of the states remaining wild horse population -- will be removed from our public lands in Oregon this year. Photographs and video of wild horse families stallions, mares and their tiny foals being chased in terror by helicopters and stampeded into traps have prompted national media coverage and public outrage. The mustangs that survive the roundups are transferred to holding facilities. Some of these noble animals will be adopted. Others will be sold for as little as $10 a piece. Many end up in slaughter auctions. Most will be warehoused for life at taxpayer expense. The sight of these majestic mustangs protected under federal law as living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West - being hunted down by helicopters then stockpiled in feedlots their families shattered, their spirits broken is deeply disturbing. We do not believe it is an image with which Whole Foods wants to associate. Whole Foods sale of beef from entities that graze cattle on public lands in designated mustang habitat fuels a system that brutalizes these iconic animals and denies them

  • American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, 1025 Alameda, #633, Belmont, CA 94002 WildHorsePreservation.org

    federally-declared right to be free on our public lands. Clearly this is not in line with Whole Foods customer values or principles of Environmental Stewardship. As a result, we would like to meet with you to discuss our proposal that Whole Foods take steps to address this problem and our request that Whole Foods decline to sell beef or lamb sourced from animals grazed in federally designated wild horse and burro habitat areas. Livestock grazing on public lands is highly controversial and the environmental consequences are undeniable. However, wild horses and burros graze on less than 20 percent of public land available for livestock grazing, so conflicts between mustangs and ranchers are resolve-able. Support and action from Whole Foods would create a force for change to protect these national icons and secure fairer and more humane treatment of them by our federal government. Given the urgency of the pending removal of thousands of wild horses from areas where Whole Foods sources its beef, we request a time to meet and discuss this issue with you as soon as possible. Thank you for your consideration. Truly yours,

    Suzanne Roy Director, American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign sroy@wildhorsepreservation.org 919-697-9389