Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Ford Ramps Up Effort to Rescue Wild Mustangs

HOT SPRINGS, S.D. — Ford Motor Company stepped up its commitment to preserving thousands of wild mustangs on Thursday by providing funding to save 2,000 of the horses, along with setting up a "Save the Mustangs" fund.

Company executives witnessed a symbolic release of 51 horses into a new habitat here, on land that was the setting for the recent action movie Hidalgo. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management, along with actress and animal-rights activist Stefanie Powers, participated in the effort.

Powers told Inside Line wild-mustang preservationists wanted schools and urban families to join in "virtual adoptions" of the horses. She urged the public to support companies such as Ford.

"Unless the corporate world can see conservation and preservation making good business sense, it won't happen," said Powers, who said she was not being paid by Ford. "Ford has an altruistic bent, but we can't simply rely on certain leadership in corporations. One day, Bill Ford may not be the CEO of Ford. If their bottom line doesn't look good, the board may say we can't save the mustangs. We have to support these companies by buying their products."

Ford gave $19,000 earlier this spring to save 52 mustangs from slaughter. Congress in December replaced a 34-year-old ban on slaughtering mustangs with a law permitting older and unwanted horses to be sold.

What this means to you: Mustang lovers can visit www.savethemustangs.org to find ways to help head off the demise of these threatened animals, along with Ford.

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