Front Range Equine Rescue Provides Testimony to Ban Horse Slaughter

On January 29th, the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act, H.R. 961, had a hearing in the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health. The S.A.F.E. Act was initially introduced by Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and Vern Buchanan (R-FL) and continues to increase its number of co-sponsors (over 224 at this time).

In short, the S.A.F.E. Act would ban the transport and sale of America’s horses for human consumption. In effect, it stops horse slaughter not because it bans slaughter itself, but because it would not allow their transport. In other words, it prevents American slaughterhouses from opening because it bans the transport and sale of horses for slaughter; and it would not allow horses to be shipped across our borders.

Front Range Equine Rescue has been a strong leader in the prolonged fight to responsibly end horse slaughter. For this subcommittee hearing, FRER submitted a factual, well-detailed comment paper (24 pages plus exhibits) as part of the subcommittee’s testimony filings.

Read our introductory statement here:

Front Range Equine Rescue (FRER) is a Colorado-based nonprofit group incorporated under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. FRER is actively involved in the rescue, rehabilitation, and adoption to good homes of domestic and wild horses found at auctions and destined for slaughter; and in educational efforts regarding the health and safety dangers of horse slaughter. Since 1997, FRER has assisted thousands of horses through its rescue and educational programs.

From their acquisition at livestock auctions and other sources to the slaughterhouse, horses destined for human consumption are subject to mistreatment and cruelty.

While some of FRER’s horses are surrendered by their owners or received after being abandoned, many are rescued from livestock auctions; others are purchased at feedlots before they are sent to slaughter. For over a decade, FRER has been involved in an objective, science- and fact-based analysis of all relevant issues surrounding the discussions of horse slaughter in the public discourse. For example, FRER surveyed horse owners, equine-related businesses, and equine veterinarians around the country in order to compile a list of over 112 commonly-used drugs administered to American horses. In connection with this list, FRER obtained sworn statements from many veterinarians and individuals involved in the equine industry, that most of the drugs on the list of drugs were given to the majority of American horses. The indisputable conclusion from FRER’s analysis of drug administration to American horses is that it would be illegal, and threaten human health, to eat the meat of almost every American horse that goes to slaughter, because of the dangers of ingesting their flesh.

In addition to its rescue efforts, and as part of its analysis of all aspects affecting the slaughter of American horses, FRER has engaged in an examination of the laws, legal principles, and specifically the jurisdiction of federal agencies over horse slaughter. As part of that analysis, FRER representatives have been engaged in discussions with both the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture and its Food Safety and Inspection Service. FRER’s work in this area has also included analyses of the environmental dangers of horse slaughter operations, as well as the economic analysis of the viability of horse slaughter operations in America.

Read a brief excerpt from our written testimony here:

Traditional food animals, such as cows, pigs, and chickens, are raised in a controlled, heavily regulated environment, and their owners, handlers, and all involved individuals know that they were born to be turned into meat. In stark contrast to that controlled environment, American horses are raised for a variety of purposes, none of which is to become meat. While producers of traditional food animals comply with food safety rules, owners of horses do not even consider food safety rules. And whereas producers of traditional food animals maintain complete treatment records, as a good husbandry practice and to avoid producing adulterated food, owners of horses do not maintain these records. Therefore, virtually all American horses lack complete treatment records, are held “under conditions that are so inadequate that medicated animals bearing potentially harmful drug residues are likely to enter the food supply,” and are therefore prohibited from being processed into meat, and deemed “adulterated”.

The SAFE Act is the only guarantee that dangerous horse meat, in violation of FDA and FSIS requirements, will not enter the market. FSIS has a Compliance Guide for Residue Prevention, which is intended to detect dangerous residues of commonly used drugs in food animals. The Compliance Guide recognizes that without information regarding the origins of animals sent for food production, federal agencies, slaughterhouses, and the public cannot possibly obtain the information necessary to protect the food supply. These entities and individuals rely heavily on self-regulating, easily identifiable producers who can be monitored and re-evaluated on an ongoing basis. This does not and cannot happen with horses who go to slaughter, because (as explained above, and is undisputed) they come from a constantly revolving set of unknown and effectively unidentifiable individual horse owners who are not involved in commercial production and who almost certainly have no understanding of the drug restrictions for food animals. Nor do these individuals have any reason to believe they should be concerned with the drugs their horses are given. And because these original owners of horses that end up as food are unknown, the agencies cannot accurately evaluate the drugs given to them in order to compile a reasonable list of drugs for which to test. This difference between commercial animals and horses destroys the most important link in the FDA’s ability to monitor the improper administration of drugs to horses used for meat because the FDA has no ability to ascertain the identities of current owners of horses who will become meat in the future.

Animals Angels Exposes Kill Buyer Activities

In an investigative report released on January 22, Animals Angels details recent findings when looking into a Colorado kill buyer’s actions. It’s not the first time AA has documented abuses to horses by this horse trader/kill buyer. Read more of their first-hand account here.

This poor horse was starved and blind in one eye.

Fabrizius Becomes a Kill Buyer Kingpin Using Social Media

The once small-scale Colorado horse trader is now a large-scale kill buyer funded by an active online and social media following.

Jason Fabrizius, operator of Fabrizius Livestock, has long made money off the backs of innocent horses, but in the last few years, his once modest operation has evolved into a highly-lucrative kill buying enterprise that consists of multiple tractor-trailers actively transporting horses to slaughter and a large kill pen in Eaton, Colorado.

The subject of ongoing Animals’ Angels’ scrutiny over the years, Fabrizius is well known to our investigators for his bad temper and abusive treatment of the poor animals he buys and sells in his merciless quest to make a profit at any cost. We were thus appalled to observe the increasing success of his online business, which exploits the well-meaning attempts of his followers to save horses from the kill pen when in reality their money is being used to fuel Fabrizius’ growing enterprise and perpetuate the cycle of suffering and slaughter.

Horses stood in dirty pens with no shelter from the elements.

So, how does Fabrizius convince people who love horses to help fund his kill buyer operations? He plays on their compassion, asking them to buy a horse online to prevent him from sending the poor animal to slaughter. Unfortunately, the money paid to Fabrizius to “save” a horse is then used to fund and expand his operation, enabling the once small-time horse trader to become a kill buyer kingpin that has the growing resources to buy more and more horses.

CLICK HERE to read the chilling details.

Horse Slaughter Legislation Update

The ban on slaughtering horses

On September 19, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee included a provision in the FY2020 Agriculture Appropriations bill which would maintain a ban on slaughtering horses in the U.S. This effort was led by Senators Lindsay Graham (R-SC), Tom Udall (D-NM), and Susan Collins (R-ME). The bill’s language disallows the use of taxpayer dollars for horse slaughter inspections, which prevents horse slaughter plants from operating.

Similar language was included in the House FY2020 Agriculture Appropriations bill in June. Right now, it is expected the defund will be included in any final spending bill passed by Congress.

Horse slaughter is animal cruelty, unnecessary, and taxpayer dollars should not pay for it. America’s horses are not food animals and are not regulated as such. There are over 115 banned substances for use in food animals which appear in a variety of products and medications used on horses.

America’s horses are unfit for human consumption.

Previously, U.S. horse slaughter plants operated until 2007 and were shipping the meat overseas for human consumption. Some horses were shipped into Mexico and Canada for slaughter as well. When U.S. plants closed, all horses were sent to Mexican and Canadian plants (along with several hundred annually into Japan).

Slaughter is a frightening and torturous ordeal for horses who are victims of this predatory industry. Many horses are severely injured during transport from auctions or kill lots to horse slaughter plants. Some horses regain consciousness after initial stunning or misfired gunshot (2 methods used in the kill box) and are fully aware while being killed.

The language to defund horse slaughter has been maintained via yearly spending bills; however, it is not a permanent solution. At this time only federal legislation which specifically outlaws U.S. horses from being slaughtered on American soil and across our borders will end this vile trade.

The Dark Side of Florida’s Thriving Horse Industry

Several horses did not look healthy. Investigators noted visible ribs, recent scratches, congested noses, and depressed behaviors.

You might think Florida is all about beaches and Disney. However, Florida has a long history as an agricultural state with numerous farming and ranching enterprises. The Sunshine State boasts a large horse population including a wild horse herd in Payne’s Prairie state park and Ocala is known as “the horse capital of the world” and future home to the World Equestrian Center now under construction.

In 2010, then Governor Charlie Crist signed a law which made killing a horse a second-degree felony with a minimum one-year prison sentence.

In addition, some of Florida’s U.S. representatives work at the national level on behalf of horses. Representative Vern Buchanan (R-FL) co-sponsored the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act (H.R. 961/S. 2006) which would prohibit the slaughter of horses in the U.S. for human consumption, as well as the export of live horses for the same purpose.

Florida laws against killing a horse along with proposed legislation like the SAFE Act share a common goal – to make horses safer from threats of abuse, neglect, and slaughter. Unfortunately, recent research and investigation show that Florida horses still end up in the slaughter pipeline.

With Front Range Equine Rescue’s support, Animals’ Angels went undercover in Florida to learn more about auctions and horse dealers potentially involved in this predatory industry. Additional evidence was obtained through FOIA requests.

At a monthly FL horse auction, investigators documented:
Two ex-racehorses (1) a 9-year-old stallion with “bad” knees and (2) a 14-year-old gelding. The owner of the stallion appeared very nervous and immediately approached investigators when they took a closer look at this horse. The owner stated the stallion was retired from the track and was supposed to be used for breeding, but he turned out to be sterile.

When the auction began, there were a few known horse traders in the audience. At the end of the sale, only six horses had sold. Both ex-racehorses were bought by private individuals. Two of the other horses, who were both visibly sick and emaciated, were not brought through the ring for sale. However, both were loaded into a truck that was parked in the back of the pen area, along with other horses the same buyer had purchased during the sale.

You can read Animals’ Angels full report here.

This is a preliminary investigation into Florida’s horse trade. Although Florida can boast of beautiful horse farms, equestrian neighborhoods, and a thriving horse show industry, questionable horse traders operate throughout the state. It is critical that research and investigations continue so that no horse ends up in the wrong hands.

Wild Horse & Burro Fiscal Year 2020 Legislation Update

U.S. House bill prohibits Forest Service from selling wild horses for slaughter, but includes funding toward a BLM mass wild horse roundup and sterilization plan.

At the end of June, the U.S. House of Representatives approved language for the FY2020 Interior, Environment and Related Agencies appropriations budget bill regarding wild horse and burro management.

The House decision appropriates $6 million to implement a plan to remove large numbers of wild horses over several years. This plan has been promoted by special interest lobbying groups and been met with opposition by many wild horse advocates.

Pressure is expected to be put on the U.S. Senate to maintain wild horse protections in their version of the budget bill regarding wild horses and to not allow the proposed plan to move ahead.

Due to the imminent threat of slaughter for wild horses rounded up last year from the Modoc National Forest in California, the House did include appropriations language to stop the U.S. Forest Service from selling wild horses and burros for slaughter. There is also existing law which disallows the BLM from selling wild horses and burros for slaughter.

Chairman of the House Natural Resources, Raul Grijalva, and Nevada Congresswoman Dina Titus championed the important provision to stop the Forest Service from selling wild horses for slaughter.

It is believed that the Senate will take up its version of FY2020 spending legislation late summer or early fall. Constituents are urged to contact their U.S. representatives to ensure America’s wild horses and burros receive full protection under the 1971 law.

You can locate and contact your elected officials thru and to let them know that humane on-the-range management options should be a priority along with safe, proven population control methods such as PZP. They should not vote for plans which promote dangerous, permanent sterilization procedures.

Federal Legislation Announced to Ban Horse Slaughter

“The slaughter of horses for human consumption is a barbaric practice that has no place in America,” U.S. Representative Vern Buchanan said.

Protecting American Horses From Slaughter and Consumption

On January 30th, U.S. House Representatives Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and Vern Buchanan (R-FL) reintroduced the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act to end the slaughter of American horses for human consumption. The legislation would prohibit the sale and transport of equines for slaughter which would prevent horse slaughter plants from operating in the U.S. and also ending the export of U.S. horses across our borders to Mexico and Canada for this purpose.

Over 100,000 innocent horses are exported for slaughter each year with intense suffering occurring even before they reach the kill box. Kill buyers cram horses into semi trucks usually obtaining them from low-end auctions or owners looking to re-home or sell their horse for free or cheaply. Very often they (or their workers) pretend to be a safe home or even a rescue.

The horses who are not immediately shipped to slaughter often spend time at “kill lots” where they are in filthy conditions with many becoming dangerously ill from contagious diseases. Those in transport often go for over 24 hours without food, water, or rest. Depending upon point of origin, they can be transporting within the U.S. long before reaching the border into Canada or Mexico.

At the slaughter plant, the horror intensifies as the exhausted, sick, injured and terrified horses endure multiple blows to the head in attempts to render them unconscious via the captive bolt method. Gunshot methods for killing regularly involve numerous shots as the panicked horse moves frantically around in the kill box.

Years worth of public polls show a strong percentage (at least 80%) of Americans wanting to ban horse slaughter.

“Horses have a special place in our nation’s history, and these majestic creatures were not raised as food for humans,” U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky said. “The SAFE Act would prohibit any horse slaughter plant from opening; and also end the sale or transport of horses and horse parts in the U.S. and abroad for the purpose of human consumption. I am proud to reintroduce this bill and work with Congressman Buchanan to put an end to this practice.”

“The slaughter of horses for human consumption is a barbaric practice that has no place in America,” U.S. Representative Vern Buchanan said. “I will continue to lead the effort with Congresswoman Schakowsky to ban domestic horse slaughter and end the export of horses abroad for slaughter.”

Horses are not raised as a food animal in the U.S., and they receive a number of medications and other drugs during their lives that make them unfit for human consumption. Front Range Equine Rescue’s legal actions at the state and federal level during 2012-2013 were based upon these facts.

The SAFE Act would prevent millions of taxpayer dollars from being wasted to allow plants to operate in the U.S. where numerous violations were documented when these facilities were open in the past. Regulations and methods for killing at a U.S. plant would not have any significant difference. Horses cannot be slaughtered humanely. Opening U.S. plants does not stop horses from crossing the border as kill buyers have contracts with various slaughter operators. Just like in the past, they would work to fill quotas for each facility whether it’s in the U.S. or in Mexico and Canada.

A similar bill in the Senate is expected to be introduced.

Legal Action Continues to Protect California Wild Horses

Photo credit: S. Paige for Return to Freedom

Updates on U.S. Forest Service’s Plans for Wild Horses

The latest update to our lawsuit filed over the Forest Service’s plans to sell Devil’s Garden wild horses without limitations (which would result in wild horses going to slaughter) is that the Forest Service has now announced that it will not begin those sales until at least February 18.

As of December 10th, 190 wild horses (ages 10 and older) captured during the month-long helicopter roundup remain in danger of being sold for slaughter. Our Federal district court case filed to stop the sale of the older horses is ongoing with an expedited briefing schedule.

In total, 932 wild horses were removed from the Modoc National Forest during the roundup. About 260 of them (ages 10 and up) have been put up for adoption or sale with a restriction against slaughter at the Forest Service’s Double Devil Corrals located at Modoc National Forest near Alturas, CA. Currently, about 70 of the horses have found homes.

The remaining captured horses (ages 9 and under as well as mares with foals) were moved to the BLM’s Litchfield corrals located near Susanville, CA. Weather conditions have slowed efforts to prepare these horses to be available for adoption. The adoptions are likely to begin sometime this month, at the earliest, according to information from the BLM.

The horses at the highest risk of going to slaughter are those to be offered for sale “without limitations” at a price of $1 each. It is hoped that lawsuits filed in Federal court will stop this from occurring as it violates state and federal laws. There are other humane alternatives the Forest Service can consider.

The Pursuit To Stop “Sale Without Limitation” Continues

Updates On U.S. Forest Service’s Plan for California’s Wild Horses

The Forest Service’s roundup of the Devil’s Garden Wild Horse Territory has ended with the permanent removal of over 900 horses from their federally-designated habitat on our public lands in California’s Modoc National Forest. We’ve learned that at least 13 horses have died, including a foal. Three mares aborted foals likely due to the trauma of the roundup.

The Forest Service reported euthanizing 7 horses who showed symptoms of pigeon fever, a contagious but usually non-fatal bacterial infection. In spite of the outbreak, the Forest Service held an adoption/sales event this past weekend knowing that pigeon fever is communicable to other livestock.

At this time, the Forest Service intends to sell older horses by the truckload for $1 a piece without limitation on slaughter beginning January 15 or after.

California’s Attorney General Xavier Becerra has spoken out about this clear breach of state law noting that it is a felony punishable by up to 3 years in prison. However, the Forest Service is exploiting a legal loophole that puts hundreds of horses in grave danger.

Our lawsuit to stop the “sale without limitation” of the remaining horses is on an expedited briefing schedule with filings due at Thanksgiving and on Christmas Eve day. It is our goal to ensure none of the horses end up in the slaughter pipeline.

Photo credit to Steve Paige for Return to Freedom, 2016 Roundup.

U.S. Forest Service Warned Against Selling Wild Horses For Slaughter

2016 roundup of Devil’s Garden wild horses. Photo Credit: Steve Paige, Return to Freedom

Attorney General Becerra Speaks up

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has recently submitted a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary and Chief of the U.S. Forest Service urging them to reverse their decision to sell  California wild horses without restriction. The U.S. Forest initially rounded up 1,000 protected wild horses in October from the Devil’s Garden Plateau Wild Horse Territory to reduce the horse populations within the Modoc National Forest. The Forest service will prioritize the adoption of wild horses by members of the public until January 10th, 2019.

After January 10th, 2019, any horses that remain from the October roundup will be for sale without restriction. This Forest Service policy change not only risks violating state law but also contradicting federal law in the Department of the Interior. Attorney General Becerra explains, “To slaughter for commercial consumption mustangs that have roamed California for over a century is not only atrocious, but unlawful. These majestic animals captivate the imagination and symbolize the rugged independence of the American West. We urge the federal government to treat the Modoc National Forest and its wildlife with the respect that it is due by protecting these beautiful wild horses from the commercial slaughterhouse.”

Read the Article Here



Lawsuit Filed to Stop Wild Horse Sale Without Limitation on Slaughter

2016 roundup of Devil’s Garden wild horses. Photo Credit: Steve Paige, Return to Freedom

Advocates Continue Working to Protect Wild Horses in Devil’s Garden

Front Range Equine Rescue has partnered with other advocates to protect captured wild horses from the Devil’s Garden Wild Horse Territory (Modoc National Forest, CA) from being sold by the truckload for $1 each by the U.S. Forest Service.

The lawsuit states, in part, that the U.S. Forest Service has “abruptly and inexplicably reversed the long-standing policy of two different federal agencies concerning the disposal of wild horses removed from federal public lands, all but guaranteeing that federally protected wild horses will now be slaughtered for human consumption in violation of the California Penal Code and multiple federal laws, as well as the expressed will of Congress and the American people.”

Furthermore, “…after a short period when the wild horses could be adopted, the Forest Service has announced that any older horses or horses not successfully adopted will be offered for sale “without limitation.” Sales of wild horses to commercial slaughter are anticipated to begin as early as January 2019.”

The lawsuit charges violations of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 (Wild Horse Act) and the National Forest Management Act.

Plaintiffs in the case are Front Range Equine Rescue, The Humane Society of the United States, Marin Humane, Humane Society of the Sierra Foothills, Return to Freedom, humane law enforcement officers Cindy Machado and Rosemary Frieborn.

Advocacy organizations are working hard to find safe, qualified adoptive homes for horses up for adoption as well as humane options for those facing the danger of sale to slaughter. The Forest Service needs to cooperate and do the right thing for the 1,000 horses it removed by adhering to laws protecting wild horses.


U.S. Forest Service Condemned for Wild Horse Slaughter Plan

The Forest Service’s plans to sell wild horses without limitation are in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act as well as other federal and state laws.

Front Range Equine Rescue (FRER) and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) have put the U.S. Forest Service on notice regarding the sale without limitation of horses rounded up from California’s Modoc National Forest.

FRER and HSUS sent a strongly worded letter to the Forest Service (under the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture) which reads in part that they:

are writing to put you on notice with respect to violations of federal and state law in connection with the Forest Service’s plan to sell wild horses “without limitation” after it captures them from the Devil’s Garden Plateau Wild Horse Territory, found in the Modoc National Forest in northeastern California. It is commonly understood, and can certainly be proven, that the sale of wild horses without limitation (especially at the announced $1/per horse price) will result in their sale to purchasers who will ship them to Canada or Mexico, where they will be slaughtered for human consumption. 

The Forest Service’s plans to sell wild horses without limitation are in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act, 42 U.S.C. § 4321 et seq. (NEPA), the Council for Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations, 40 C.F.R. parts 1500-1508, the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. § 551, et seq. (APA), California Penal Code section 598c, the spirit of the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 (“Wild Horse Act”), 16 U.S.C. § 1331 et seq., Congressional sentiment, and the desire of the majority of the American people. We hope that after review of this letter, the Forest Service will withdraw its decision to sell any wild horses “without limitation” in connection with this gather. If the Forest Service is not willing to change its decision, we will consider all other legal remedies available to our clients and their supporters, to stop the Forest Service’s actions.

FRER and HSUS have given the Forest Service until October 23 to provide a response.

Stop BLM’s Barbaric Sterilization Plans for 100 Wild Mares in Oregon

The BLM plans to conduct inhumane and pointless surgical sterilization experiments on 100 wild mares from the Warm Springs herd management area (Oregon) in conjunction with Colorado State University researchers.

In 2016, the BLM attempted cruel and dangerous sterilization experiments on wild mares with Oregon State University.

Public outcry and lawsuits filed by wild horse advocacy groups like FRER helped to stop this horrific plan…but now, the BLM is at it again. With a few changes, their current proposal is similar to the gruesome plan of two years ago, but this time CO State University applied for the research grant money to participate.

Most of the wild mares will be in various stages of pregnancy. They will use a surgical procedure known as ovariectomy by colpotomy which has known high risks of pain, bleeding, infection, abortion of foals and evisceration where the intestines protrude through the surgical incision. Even the National Academy of Sciences has concluded this procedure is “inadvisable for field application”.

The surgery itself is described graphically by BLM as follows: 

The surgical procedure would involve making an incision, approximately 1–3 centimeters long, in the anterior-dorsallateral vagina. Both ovaries are accessed through this one incision. The incision would be enlarged with blunt dissection to perforate the peritoneum and allow the surgeon’s hand to enter the abdomen. . . . The ovary and associated mesovarium are isolated by direct manual palpation and local anesthesia (5 ml 5% bupivacaine and 5 ml 2% lidocaine) is injected into each ovarian pedicle. . . . The ovarian pedicle would be transected with a chain ecraseur.

Given the serious risks to the mares subjected to this experiment, the BLM has not sufficiently justified the need for the research when (in their own assessment) all the experiment “may” do is provide “more details” about a surgical procedure. This amounts to first-line experimentation on the very horses that BLM is required to protect from harm and suffering which goes against the agency’s obligations under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act to protect wild horses from harm and suffering.

The BLM has numerous alternatives for population management of wild horses including PZP (a safe form of birth control which BLM has not widely used).

Comments on the Environmental Assessment are due July 30th. You can submit them directly to the BLM at  [email protected]

New Sale Policy Puts Wild Horses at Risk of Slaughter

Slaughter must be taken 100% off the table! America’s wild horses and burros are national treasures.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Has A New Sale Policy, Take Action Now!

BLM has revised their sale policy to allow agency officials to increase the number of wild horses and burros sold to individuals and organizations from a limit of 4 now to 25.

The prior policy from 2012 limited individuals and organizations to purchase just four horses in a six-month period. This policy emerged after investigations showed that the BLM was selling horses to a known kill buyer who then sent them to slaughter.

This has left the door wide-open for kill buyers to come and fill their trucks with no regard for the lives of America’s wild horses and burros.

The Department of the Interior must act on behalf of the horses immediately when humane options for wild horses and burros exist.

Responsible management means focusing on finding more humane homes for captured horses with more gentling programs to improve adoption rates. Large-scale fertility control on the range using already developed humane, safe methods (PZP) need to be more widely used. The BLM should make better use of the numerous public-private relationship offers to better manage the horses.

No government agency should be allowed to kill them off to manage their budget or correct a poorly run wild horse and burro program.

Contact your elected officials in Congress to stand up to the BLM and Interior Department which oversees the BLM. Tell Congress to ensure wild horse and burro protections remain in place and slaughter is not an option. Locate your Congresspeople via 202-224-3121.

Wild Horses’ Lives Are in the Hands of Congress

Help us keep wild horses and burros protected as Congress reviews the budget for the fiscal year 2019!

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.
  • developing eco-sanctuaries.
  • forming public-private partnerships to monitor the herds.

Fate of America’s Horses in the Hands of Congress

Remember, horse slaughter is never humane and the former U.S. regulated plants had numerous and horrific violations.

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.


If your Senator sits on the Appropriations Committee contact him or her today to vote in favor of the amendment to stop funding for horsemeat inspections which keeps a ban on horse slaughter plants in America.

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.

BLM Releases Plan to Gut Wild Horse & Burro Herds

The BLM wants an Appropriate Management Level (AML) of 26,715 which mirrors the “drastically low” number of wild horses on the range when Congress unanimously passed the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act to protect them.

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.

Congress Leadership Needs to Hear from You on Behalf of Wild Horses!

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!

Wild Horse Crisis – How Will It End?

We are at a crossroads for saving America’s wild horses and burros.

We stand by our flag. We stand by our horses.

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.

Wild Horse Crisis Update

Senate Appropriations Committee Takes Up Interior Department Budget Bill

Wild Horse and Burro Lives Are On the Line!

We are NOT food.

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.

Current Status:
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.

Find out who your elected officials are at or reach them through the U.S. Capitol operator, 202-224-3121.

Continue to speak up for horses to your House Rep via or through the Capitol operator, 202-224-3121.

Wild Horse Crisis Continues

We The People Must Stand Up To Save Them

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.”

Read more here from The Hill.