Establishing Language that Protects America’s Wild Horses and Burros
The U.S. House Appropriations Committee is considering the Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) budget bill for the Interior Department. This bill includes funding for the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program.
A current draft of the bill protects wild horses and burros from mass killing and slaughter. However, it is expected that Rep. Chris Stewart of Utah will introduce an amendment to remove these protections.
If the House fails to keep protective language within the FY19 Interior Department budget bill, it will be critical that the Senate version provides these protections. And, that the Senate version prevails during a reconciliation of differences between the two bills.
Contact your U.S. House Rep and two Senators through the Capitol operator at 202-224-3121 to keep language which protects America’s wild horses and burros in the Fiscal Year 2019 budget bill.
There is no need for unnecessary roundups to stockpile more horses in holding facilities or seek out untested, dangerous, and even deadly “sterilization” techniques.
The BLM has humane options available, which include:
managing horses on the rangelands allocated to them by law.
keeping populations in check through the use of PZP (a proven birth control method).
improving adoption rates.
forming public-private partnerships to monitor the herds.
Amendment to Prevent Funding for Horsemeat Inspections Fails to be Passed
Last week, the U.S. House Appropriations Committee failed to pass an amendment to prevent funding for horsemeat inspections which would open the door for new U.S. horse slaughter plants. This funding is part of the Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) budget for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The Senate Appropriations Committee will work on their version of this budget bill shortly. It is critical that they vote in favor of an amendment to stop funding for horsemeat inspections which means horse slaughter plants could not operate in the U.S.
America’s horses are not raised as a food animal. They are not regulated and have multiple owners during their lives. Horses are given medications and other products which contain substances banned for use in food animals. America’s horses are unfit for human consumption.
America’s Mustangs Face Roundups, Mass Sterilization and Killing to Cut Population and Destroy Herds
Wording from the BLM’s plan to drastically cut wild horse and burro populations provides clear evidence of their “manage to extinction” goal:
Option I: This option focuses on achieving national AML in 8 years, while reducing off-range holding costs dramatically over the first 4 years… this would require making use of all legal authorities contained in the Act (especially sale without limitation and euthanasia of unadopted or unsold animals), including use of contraceptives and limited sterilization techniques.
Option II: This option focuses on achieving national AML in 10 years using contraceptive fertility control treatments… and minimal permanent sterilization of mares or stallions.
Option III: This option focuses on achieving national AML in 6 years using an aggressive removal operation in conjunction with sterilization of 3,000 mares and stallions gathered annually… animals that are gathered and not sterilized would be moved to off-range facilities.
Option IV: This option would achieve national AML in 2030 by using an aggressive effort to gather, sterilize and return wild horses and burros to the range… off-range populations would begin to decrease almost immediately through natural mortality and efforts for private care placement… Fertility control treatments would focus on permanent sterilization through FY24 when more than 80 percent of the animals on the range would be permanently sterilized.
While the plan mentions increasing adoptions via a financial incentive, it also states that the BLM should have authority to “sell without limitation all excess wild horses and burros and euthanize horses for which an adoption demand does not exist.” Proposals also include lowering sale-eligibility from over age 10 to over 5 years of age; reduce the one year period to gain title from an adoption to six months and allow adopters to obtain more than 4 animals in a year.
The administration’s budget for Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) does not include protections for wild horses and burros. In a few short months Congress will need to review and vote on that budget.
It will be up to wild horse advocates and the general public to fight on behalf of protecting America’s fast dwindling wild horse and burro herds. Let Congress know that tax dollars should not be wasted on inhumane proposals to kill off wild horses and the 1971 Act should not be amended to allow for their unlimited sale, mass killing, permanent sterilization or slaughter. Reach Congress at 202-224-3121.
To avoid a government shutdown, Congress is poised to vote on the FY2018 budget bill by midnight Friday.
The good news is that the current Omnibus spending bill uses the Senate’s version of the Agriculture Department and Interior Department budget bills which (1) prevent funding for horse meat inspections, and (2) keeps language to protect wild horses and burros from unlimited sale, mass killing or slaughter.
But it is not a done deal until the final vote by Congress!
Call now to urge Congressional leaders to keep America’s horses safe by ensuring the final Omnibus budget bill does not allow for funding of horse meat inspectors and keeps protections for wild horses and burros against any unlimited sale or slaughter.
Contact your own elected officials to ensure they will not vote for any budget bill allowing funding for horse slaughter or the mass killing, unlimited sale and slaughter of wild horses and burros. Find your Reps and Senators via Capital switchboard 202-224-3121.
America’s horses are NOT raised as a food animal. They are not regulated as a food animal. There are many humane alternatives in place for both domestic and wild horses. We stand by our horses!
We are at a crossroads for saving America’s wild horses and burros.
The American people must decide whether lethal management destroys tens of thousands of wild horses or humane solutions are properly funded and implemented.
For decades the BLM has chosen a “manage to extinction” policy for its Wild Horse and Burro Program. Millions of taxpayer dollars have been spent on annual roundups and warehousing of the mustangs (and burros). Powerful and wealthy special interests (livestock, oil & gas, mining) have relentlessly pursued the elimination of the American mustang.
Terror, injuries, and death have resulted from roundups as well as the destruction of tightly bonded family bands. Too many herds have fallen below genetic diversity threatening their viable existence.
Can it all be turned around?
But not without tremendous public pressure and support.
Humane solutions are readily available. Many have already been proven safe and successful, but remain ignored or underutilized.
They include but are not limited to, PZP darting for population control, eco-sanctuaries, management on the range, public-private partnerships and more gentling/training programs to increase adoption rates.
Where do we stand now?
The 2018 fiscal year (FY18) budget is being marked up now. The House of Representatives and the Senate each have versions of budget bills submitted by government agencies for 2018.
The Department of Interior’s budget funds the BLM and its wild horse program. Currently, the House version of this bill has no language to protect wild horses and burros from unlimited sale, mass killing or slaughter.
A majority of the BLM’s wild horse and burro advisory board recently recommended “lethal options” to kill off tens of thousands of wild horses and burros including a proposal to send thousands of them to Russia as prey for tigers.
The Senate Appropriations Committee is poised to vote on their version of this bill which needs language to protect the horses.
We cannot let the BLM kill their way out of a self-inflicted budget crisis.
At least 80% of the public stands by wild horses and their protection. Too many are still unaware of this critical issue.
Don’t let time run out for America’s living symbols of our freedom.
Contact members of the Senate Appropriations Committee and urge them to vote on behalf of protecting wild horses and burros from unlimited sale, mass killing or slaughter when they review the FY2018 Interior Department budget bill. Tell them you do not want your taxpayer dollars spent to kill innocent horses when humane and financially responsible options exist.
Senate Appropriations Committee Takes Up Interior Department Budget Bill
Wild Horse and Burro Lives Are On the Line!
The federal government’s fiscal year runs October 1 to September 30. Each year an omnibus budget bill is developed, reviewed, edited, and voted on to fund the government. A new approved budget is often delayed meaning the prior year’s bill often carries over into a new fiscal year.
Government agencies submit their appropriations budget bills to make up the omnibus package.
The 2018 Fiscal Year (FY18) budget is currently in the reconciliation phase with final voting expected in early December.
Horses and the Budget:
The U.S. Department of Agriculture appropriations bill determines whether funding for horsemeat inspections (i.e., horse slaughter) is allowed or not.
The Interior Department’s budget bill is where funding is allocated for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to manage programs like the Wild Horse and Burro Program.
The House of Representatives Appropriations failed America’s horses not once, but twice, when (1) failing to vote “NO” on funding for horsemeat inspections by USDA and (2) by not including an amendment to stop the killing and sale to slaughter of America’s wild horses and burros.
Note: The House Rules committee also refused to allow the introduction of amendments to the House Appropriations bills which would protect wild horses and burros from killing and slaughter (Titus-King-Polis amendment) and to prevent funding for horsemeat inspections (Buchanan-Roybal/Allard amendment).
Fortunately, the Senate Appropriations Committee had already voted “YES” on the Udall-Graham amendment to prevent tax dollars from being used for horsemeat inspections (no horse slaughter).
At this time it is critical that the Senate Appropriations Committee allows an amendment to include language in the budget bill to protect wild horses and burros from unlimited sale, killing and slaughter because the House version has stripped away these protections.
It is also critical that the Senate’s version of the Agriculture Appropriations bill which includes language not to allow funds for horsemeat inspections remains in the final budget bill.
The reconciliation process involves keeping the House and Senate versions of budget bills which are in agreement, but it must reconcile the differences. Right now, the fate of America’s horses depends on the U.S. Senate as the budget heads into its final version.
What You Need To Do To Save Horses Now:
Call, write and/or email your U.S. Senators. If your elected official is on the Senate Appropriations Committee, he or she needs to hear from you asap.
With all of the crises in this country and desperate need to use taxpayer dollars wisely, the idea of butchering America’s horses is not only cruel and appalling but clearly a fraudulent waste of tax money.
This article from The Hill states that the special interests lobbyists, many of whom are millionaire cattle ranchers, are pushing to slaughter America’s wild horses. The goal of the horse slaughter lobby is to clear public lands of wild horses and replace them with cattle.
“Thanks to the greed of tiny but powerful industry lobby, congressional Republicans are about to legalize the slaughter of America’s wild horses – and commit political suicide in the process. Polls show that 80 percent of men, 90 percent of women and 86 percent of Trump supporters oppose horse slaughter. With nine Republican House seats up for grabs according to the Cook Report, opposition should be a no brainer. But this hasn’t stopped Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke from leading the charge, while House Republicans have already passed legislation that would legalize an inhumane practice that has been outlawed for fifty years.
The push to slaughter wild horses is coming from a narrow – but powerful – special interest lobby in the D.C. swamp made up of millionaire and billionaire cattle ranchers on America’s federal lands. Public-lands ranchers make up just 2 percent of U.S. cattle operators, represent just 0.06 percent of total employment in 11 western states and produce only 3 percent of American beef.”
On September 5 and 6, the U.S. House of Representatives’ Rules Committee rejected bi-partisan amendments which would have stopped the use of tax dollars to (1) fund horsemeat inspectors and (2) protect wild horses and burros from being killed or sent to slaughter.
It was clear the votes were there on the House floor to have passed these amendments if the Rules Committee had allowed the introduction of these amendments to the FY2018 appropriations budget bill.
While this is a shameful act displaying “dirty politics” at its worst, it is not the end of the issue.
The Senate version of the appropriations budget bill contains language to prevent any funding for horsemeat inspections. However, the Senate has not yet taken up the issue for wild horses.
Our tax dollars should be used to help disaster victims (hurricanes, wildfires), veterans, health care, infrastructure, the opioid crisis and more — NOT to brutally kill America’s wild and domestic horses to please a profit-driven livestock/agriculture industry or oil/gas interests wanting to take over our public lands!
Tens of thousands of horses’ lives depend on us to speak for them today.
Contact your two Senators and House Rep through the U.S. Capitol operator, 202-224-3121. Tell them politely, but firmly, that you oppose the use of tax dollars to slaughter America’s domestic or wild horses. Tell them to support language in the FY2018 appropriations budget which prevents funding for horsemeat inspections and language which does not allow the mass killing or sale to slaughter of wild horses.
There are numerous humane and successful alternatives for domestic and wild horses other than slaughter.
America’s horses are not raised or regulated as a food animal. They are unfit for human consumption. That includes captured wild horses which have received medications or other treatments which contain substances banned for use in food animals (wormer, vaccines, oral or topical medications).
Your help is urgently needed to protect horses against the cruel fate of horse slaughter in our country.
If your U.S. Representative sits on the House Appropriations Committee (check here ), please call her/him immediately and urge a YES vote on the Dent/Roybal-Allard Amendment to keep horse slaughter plants out of our country.
Horse slaughter plants are rearing their ugly heads to re-open, and they most certainly will if this amendment fails in committee where it will be voted on as soon as next week.
Take two minutes today to place a quick call to your member of Congress if he/she serves on this committee to ensure that no U.S. tax dollars are wasted on propping up this horrific and foreign-owned industry.
America’s horses are not raised for food! Population control, retraining, and re-homing are just a few practical alternatives to slaughter.
We thank the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition for working hard to expose and stop the horror of horse slaughter in Canada.
Tens of thousands of American horses are shipped to Canada each year.
However, their suffering begins long before reaching the border as we (and many others) can testify to. There are four horse slaughterhouses in Canada, and horse slaughter is legal. Some of the meat is shipped to Japan, which we’ve covered before.
There is NO excuse for horse slaughter. Not now, not ever!
The current administration’s budget for the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Wild Horse and Burro program proposes a “cut and kill” agenda.
The federal budget looks to cut $10M from the BLM’s budget. Other decreases in spending would occur from reducing roundups and population control measures, but also from gutting wild horse numbers by allowing their sale for slaughter.
Act now before it’s too late to stop this inhumane and reckless attempt at budget management. Practical solutions already exist to responsibly protect and care for wild horses such as management on the range, use of PZP for population control, gentling/training programs to improve adoption rates, eco-tourism and sanctuaries.
Contact your Congressional representatives today to voice opposition to the cruel and irresponsible treatment of America’s wild horses. America’s mustangs are not numbers on paper, but are living symbols of our history! www.house.gov and www.senate.gov
Voice your opposition to Ryan Zinke, head of the Interior Department which oversees the BLM: firstname.lastname@example.org
Details of the federal government’s large Omnibus spending bill to cover the rest of Fiscal Year 2017 (through September 30) were released early this week.
Some good news — the bill includes language to prohibit funding for horse slaughter inspections.
This means no horse slaughter plants can operate in the U.S. However the “reprieve” is only for the next few months when a new budget bill must be passed.
And mixed news for wild horses — the bill contains language to prevent the BLM and its contractors from sending wild horses to slaughter. However, there is concern that some language in the bill could be used to argue for the illegal transfer of mustangs into the slaughter pipeline.
Advocates are very concerned about Section 116 of the spending bill which allows the BLM to remove federal protection from wild horses and transfer them over to states and local governments to use as “work animals.”
Up to 50,000 wild horses could lose protection under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act due to this provision.
We need to thank and support those in Congress who stand up against horse abuse!
Be sure to contact your Congressional representatives to get on board with ending horse slaughter now.
According to a recent article on Tuesday’s Horse, Representative Earl Blumenhauer (D-OR) issued a statement about his work with the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus and the recent March Against Horse Slaughter.
His statement was highly encouraging to animal rights advocates, and he has great hopes that the SAFE Act will pass.
“Whether it’s fighting to strengthen existing laws, or working to push forward new ones, we must continue to fight for policies that protect animals in the United States and abroad. Today’s briefing was a small, but significant step in this Congress, and I am proud to have worked to provide a glimmer of light amidst this strange and unusual time.” – Rep. Earl Blumenhauer
Horsemeat is not just consumed by some European countries. Japan has put its own twist on this disgusting industry.
Japan is one of the world’s leading importers or horsemeat, and apparently they are now importing horses from Canada. The horsemeat is used in a specialty sushi, and oils from the horses’ bodies are used in beauty products.
U.S. Government’s Horrific Treatment of America’s Wild Horses Isn’t Just Inhumane—It’s Against the Law
Earlier this month, the federal Bureau of Land Management decided to withdraw its plan to perform sterilization experiments on 225 wild mares, rather than face multiple lawsuits. On the heels of this victory came a shocking announcement: The BLM Advisory Board recommended killing approximately 45,000 wild horses now held captive in government corrals.
Public outrage and the outpouring of opposition were immediate and overwhelming. After just a few days, a BLM spokesperson stated the agency would continue its current practices and not euthanize the horses as recommended. (Being all too familiar with BLM’s double-talk, we must add the caveat “for now” to that statement.) Click here to read more from Hilary’s article on AlterNet.
Horses have played important roles in human history.
Where human footprints are found, so too are hoof prints.
Equines were our primary mode of transportation helping to settle ancient lands as well as sending Americans westward.
The Pony Express delivered the mail as other horses and mules worked on ranches and farm lands. Paddy wagons and fire trucks were pulled by horses. Thousands of horses were injured or died as they carried brave soldiers into battle.
From the right, from the left, and from the front, shot and shell poured in upon us. Many a brave man went down, many a horse fell, flinging his rider to the earth; many a horse without a rider ran wildly out of the ranks: then terrified of being alone with no hand to guide him, came pressing in amongst his old companions, to gallop with them to the charge. Fearful as it was, no one stopped, no one turned back.
-‘Captain, An Old War Horse’ from Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
Today, horses are used for pleasure, sport/competition, ranching, and as companion animals. Their therapeutic benefits have aided countless special needs children and adults including great advances with autistic youth. Programs using horses with wounded warriors are producing extremely positive results.
We honor those who serve our country.
My father, a retired Army captain, used to drive past the stables at Fort Myer in Virginia so his horse crazy daughter (me) might catch a glimpse of the horses kept there. It was a bittersweet day decades later as we walked behind the horse drawn caisson to bury my dad at Arlington National Cemetery.
In Loving Memory
Front Range Equine Rescue’s work is both heart-warming and heart breaking. We want to thank all of our loyal donors for allowing us to save the lives of horses in need, particularly those in danger of slaughter both domestic and wild.
To the “forgotten ones” where the suffering and abuse have gone on too long or to an extreme where humane euthanasia is the only option…
To the track horses who are over-drugged, raced too young, breakdown, die or end up at slaughter…
To stopping the war on America’s mustangs with cruel roundups taking away their freedom and destroying family bands forever…
To those rescued, rehabilitated and with a happy ending…
And we honor our brave horses whose lives we seek to change for the better. We salute the brave men and women of our military this Memorial Day weekend.
The pro horse slaughter agenda remains active, yet again, as a move was made to reinstate funding for horse meat inspections in the appropriations budget.
The Senate Appropriations Committee just adopted an amendment, advanced by Senators Tom Udall (D-NM), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Christopher Coons (D-DE), to stop horse slaughter plants from opening in the United States. The Senate action reflects last month’s House of Representatives vote on its version of the agriculture spending bill to deny funding for inspections of horse meat by USDA inspectors.
The House vote was a hard fought win, with Representatives Sam Farr (D-CA) and Charles Dent (R-PA) securing their amendment by a narrow margin, a 25-23 vote.
Kill buyers and others behind the horse slaughter industry pretend they are providing “help” for horses by shipping them to slaughter, but there is nothing commendable about this gruesome business. Horses are whipped, beaten, even dragged into trucks and suffer long transport without food, water or rest just like they did when U.S. plants operated. Long before they reach the kill box, many die or sustain injuries during transport, including broken limbs, backs, and punctured eyes.
Providing veterinary care to a slaughter-bound horse is unthinkable to these profiteers because horse slaughter is only about greed, corruption, cruelty, cheap disposal and making a fast buck.
Our horses deserve far better than this and alternatives to slaughter already exist. Federal legislation must be passed to close the borders and end this brutal, unnecessary practice. There is a nationwide coalition ready to do better for the one-percent of the horse population which ends up brutally killed annually.
A kill buyer had “Klara” dropped off to us in Colorado.
She was humanely euthanized due to severe injury to her hip and right hind leg joints (hock and stifle).
America’s horses are not raised as a food animal. Their meat is dangerous, even toxic, for human consumption as they are given numerous banned substances/drugs over the course of their lives.
As you know, Front Range Equine Rescue secured additional victories in NM federal court in recent months on outstanding lawsuits to stop new U.S. plants from opening. The formerly proposed NM plant intends to appeal to the 10th circuit on one of their losses.
SANTA FE, NM, February 5, 2016 – Front Range Equine Rescue (FRER), a national nonprofit working to end the abuse and neglect of horses through rescue and education, in collaboration with the Attorney General of New Mexico, has obtained a court order that permanently ends any possibility of horse slaughter for the purpose of human consumption at Valley Meat slaughterhouse in Roswell, New Mexico.
The court’s order, issued by Judge Francis J. Mathew in Santa Fe yesterday, is the culmination of three years of legal efforts by FRER, local residents, and the state to prevent horse slaughter in New Mexico.
The order permanently banning Valley Meat and any associated company or individual from slaughtering horses originated in a 2013 lawsuit initiated by the Attorney General’s Office, joined by FRER and four residents of Roswell whose health, safety, and enjoyment were threatened by Valley Meat’s operations.
This suit successfully obtained an injunction against Valley Meat’s horse slaughter operations. FRER was the first group to discover that Valley Meat was applying to slaughter American horses, and FRER’s investigations exposed the company’s decades-long record of violating environmental and animal welfare requirements. Over the course of two decades, Valley Meat has accumulated more than 5000 violations of state laws protecting the environment, groundwater, rivers, and other waterways.
Among the most egregious of its misconduct, Valley Meat operated a cow slaughterhouse for nearly three years without any state approval to discharge water at all, thereby avoiding any oversight that might have helped monitor any damage being done. For years, Valley Meat illegally dumped and buried cow carcasses and pieces of dead animals, despite repeated requests from state regulators to cease and desist and clean up its mess.