On October 7, the following members of Congress introduced a bipartisan bill on behalf of protecting wild horses and burros: Reps. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), David Schweikert (R-AZ), Joe Neguse (D-CO), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Steve Cohen (D-TN), and Dina Titus (D-NV).
The bill, called the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Protection Act of 2022, is a significant step in the right direction for protecting wild horses and burros from federal mismanagement.
Some of the major reforms to the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) and U.S. Forest Service’s (USFS) Wild Horse and Burro Programs includes:
- Repeal the Burns Amendment, which amended the original 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act to allow for the commercial sale and slaughter of wild horses and burros;
- End the cash incentives for adoption that have resulted in hundreds of wild horses and burros going into the slaughter pipeline;
- Prevent the use of killing as a population control method and restrict the use of euthanasia only to life-threatening situations;
- Prioritize humane population management with tools like fertility control instead of inhumane helicopter roundups and removals; and
- Encourage partnerships with military veterans and non-governmental organizations in order to keep wild horses and burros wild.