The Senate took a step in the right direction with a vote to protect wild horses and burros from slaughter, but the fight to keep them safe on the range is far from over.
America’s wild horses and burros have been federally protected from “capture, branding, harassment, or death” under the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act since 1971.
Tragically, however, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has failed, and continues to fail, to uphold its duties under the law. BLM continues to remove and warehouse thousands upon thousands of wild horses in holding facilities at the behest of ranchers who want to see them erased from the landscape.
Since 2005, lawmakers have prevented the BLM from slaughtering or sending the horses to kill shelters, but the Trump administration may soon change that.
Earlier this year, the House Appropriations Committee passed the Stewart Amendment as part of the 2018 budget, which would allow the BLM to kill 92,000 healthy wild horses who are currently in holding, in addition to those who are deemed excess on the range.
Wild horse advocates have been working hard to raise awareness about the issue, and to stop Congress from passing the Stewart Amendment, and thousands of people have spoken up to oppose the killing.
Now they’re celebrating a major step in the right direction with an announcement that the Senate Appropriations Committee just released its version of the spending bill, and it maintains protections for wild horses and burros from slaughter. It also calls on the BLM to address “humane and politically viable options” for their management.
“The Senate has heard the voice of the Americans loud and clear and rejected the killing of our nation’s iconic wild horses and burros,” said Suzanne Roy, Executive Director of the American Wild Horse Campaign. “America’s mustangs are part of the history and culture of the West.
Clearly, the Senate realizes that killing America’s mustangs or selling them for slaughter is is not acceptable to the American public. The only humane and politically viable path forward is to use birth control to manage wild populations on the range, as recommended by the National Academy of Sciences.”
The House and Senate now need to reconcile their two versions of the spending bill, making it more important than ever to keep the pressure on. Take action to ensure wild horses and burros remain on their rightful home on public lands.
Please sign and share the petition urging your representative to act to ensure that wild horses are protected from further roundups and slaughter, and that they’re instead humanely managed on the range.
For more updates and ways to help, check out organizations including the American Wild Horse Campaign, Wild Horse Education, Cloud Foundation, Equine Advocates, Wild Horse Freedom Federation and Return to Freedom Wild Horse Conservation.
This article was first published by Care2.com on 24 Nov 2017.
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