Your calls, emails and other contact with Senators helped save wild horses and burros!
On June 15, we learned that the Senate Appropriations Committee voted to keep protections to stop plans for mass killing and slaughter of wild horses and burros in the Fiscal Year 2019 Interior Department budget bill.
And just as importantly, they said “NO” to allowing dangerous sterilization procedures.
A reconciliation committee will need to iron out differences between the Senate and House versions of this budget bill before the entire U.S. House and Senate vote on the overall federal budget bill for FY19.
Remember, the House of Representatives committee did not spare wild horses and burros from cruel sterilization plans.
It will be critical for wild horse and burro advocates to contact their elected officials before the final vote on the overall budget bill. It is anticipated this could happen late summer/early fall.
In the meantime, we are deeply grateful to everyone who called, emailed or met with their member(s) of Congress on this critical issue.
Will massive sterilization plans eliminate wild horses and burros from public lands as allocated to them by law?
The U.S. House Appropriations Committee has approved the Stewart Amendment in the Interior Department’s budget bill for Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19). This amendment supports sterilization for wild horses and burros using invasive, unsafe and inhumane methods (i.e., colpotomy and ovariectomy).
Any form of “spaying” a wild horse or burro is cruel, dangerous and even deadly. These animals will be highly traumatized and their health (even lives) endangered if permanent sterilization methods are allowed for their “management” by the BLM.
In 2016, advocates fought off the BLM’s attempt to use these barbaric procedures when proposed experiments were announced for wild mares in Oregon.
The only positive aspect of the current House vote is that the amendment did not call for any killing of wild horses, which is a change from last year’s approach.
The BLM has many humane management options including:
strategies to manage the herds through expanded use of PZP, a fertility control vaccine already in use.
improving adoptions through gentling programs.
public-private partnerships and sanctuary.
These alternatives are safe, effective and can be further expanded upon especially with the House committee having agreed to a $15 million increase for the BLM to manage wild horses and burros.
The Senate Appropriations Committee holds the future of wild horses and burros in their hands.
Please call your Senators and politely urge them to support the humane management of wild horses and burros which does not include permanent sterilization methods for population control.
The names of your Senators and their office phone numbers are available via www.senate.gov and it is critical the final federal budget bill for FY19 does not provide for measures to have non-reproducing herds.
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.
The Bureau of Land Management just released another disastrous plan to manage America’s treasured wild horses and burros.
Just this week the BLM released their latest agenda to destroy America’s wild horse and burro herds by decimating their populations on our Western taxpayer funded public lands. The agency failed to include the many humane and politically viable management choices requested by Congress. Instead they produced an outrageous plan which ignores massive public support for the horses, recommendations by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report which BLM itself had commissioned as well as a Unified Statement with humane and common sense recommendations supported by over 100 equine welfare and advocacy organizations.
The plan would cut wild horse and burro populations to an AML of 27,000, the number that existed in 1971 when Congress unanimously passed protections for wild horses and burros because they were “fast disappearing.” The unscientific AMLs listed are pathetically low in most Western states. For example in New Mexico, the BLM wants an AML of just 83 horses when the state has more than 14 million acres of BLM-managed public land.
The NAS report even stated the BLM’s AML levels are “not transparent to stakeholders, supported by scientific information, or amenable to adaptation with new information and environmental and social change.”
To achieve their manage-to-extinction goal, the BLM has proposed a variety of cruel, unscientific and completely unacceptable methods including:
Removing more than 50,000 wild horses and burros from the range;
The mass killing or sale for slaughter of up to 100,000 mustangs and burros, including those currently in holding facilities and those to be removed from the public lands;
Mass sterilization of wild horses and burros left on the range — an option previously rejected by the NAS due to suggested dangerous sterilization methods.
BLM’s decades long mismanagement of the Wild Horse and Burro program led to their budget problems in the first place. Yet they continue proposing more abusive plans, including mass roundups and slaughter to hide years of incompetence while catering to powerful and wealthy special interests which are against the wild horses and burros.
Legislation-wise nothing new should happen until October 2018 when the FY2019 federal budget could be voted on. In the meantime, the BLM continues to promote their “overpopulation” and “dire situation” propaganda to lawmakers. Lawmakers need to be educated now that cries of overpopulation are wrong when speaking about wild horses and burros. Livestock dominate and destroy our public lands outnumbering horses at times by 50:1. Many wild horse herds are not large enough to be considered genetically viable.
Estimates of up to 75,000 wild horses and burros on public lands are nothing compared to the millions of head of private (and corporate) livestock damaging and overgrazing our public lands.
It should be noted that wild horses and burros in holding cost about $50 million annually while livestock grazing on public lands costs taxpayers $144 million with a net loss of at least $123 million per year according to the Government Accountability Office.
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!
Keep Dirty Politics Out of Wild Horse and Burro Lives!
In 2017, the BLM’s war against wild horses and burros escalated further with the current administration proposed “cut and kill” policy to manage wild horses and burros of the West.
With overcrowded government holding facilities and plans to decrease the BLM’s budget, opponents of wild horses increased political pressure to allow unlimited sale, mass killing and slaughter of at least 44,000 wild horses.
The U.S. House of Representatives approved this measure in its version of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s proposed budget bill. The U.S. Senate did not include approval in its version of the same budget bill. Both bills must be reconciled before a new FY2018 federal budget can pass.
At this time, the FY18 budget bill has been delayed numerous times for a final vote. But the current administration’s suggested budget bill for Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) would allow the destruction of wild horses.
The BLM claims its holding facilities are beyond capacity and its largest expense is to feed captive horses. Ironically it continues to remove horses (and burros) to the tune of millions of dollars in taxpayer money keeping its cycle of budget crisis going.
Winter roundups to date have resulted in dozens of injured horses with at least 13 deaths by early February. Witnesses to brutal winter roundups have documented horses in very good body condition which contradicts the BLM’s ongoing excuse of “starving on the range” as a reason for roundups.
It is up to the American public to stand up for wild horse and burro protections allocated to the horses by law. Congress needs to hear from voters that they oppose any legislation which allows unlimited sale, mass killing or slaughter of these national treasures, our icons of the West.
The BLM’s budget should focus on appropriate management on the range strategies, increased public-private partnerships, expanded safe/effective population control (PZP use) and gentling programs to help increase adoption rates and success for captured 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.
Last week’s meeting of the BLM’s National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board resulted in the following recommendations:
phase out all wild horses and burros in long-term holding facilities within 3 years;
achieve an on-the-range population goal of 26,715 wild horses and burros within 3 years (meaning tens of thousands would have to be killed);
allow international adoptions and sales (which have never been allowed). Several board members repeatedly referenced a proposal to ship 20,000+ wild horses to Russia to serve as prey for big cats. U.S. taxpayers would fund the cost to ship the horses to Russia.
If Congress allows the BLM to follow through on the board’s recommendations, the government could be killing off at least 90,000 healthy animals.
This isn’t the first time a majority of the BLM’s advisory board has made irresponsible and inhumane recommendations. We must ensure it is the last!
It is not too late to send your own written comments pertaining to the October 18-19, 2017 Advisory Board meeting.
Our tax dollars should never support the mass killing (or any inhumane killing) of America’s wild horses and burros!
The BLM needs to manage budget cuts with practical, humane solutions which include alternatives such as:
Management on the range utilizing the millions of acres of public lands allocated to them by law;
Reintroducing captured horses to previously zeroed out areas;
Moratorium on further roundups and allocate funds to humane, safe population control (PZP which has a proven success rate and has been under-utilized by the BLM);
Allocate more funds to gentling/training programs to increase adoption rates;
Increase the number of public-private partnerships based on successful models already working.
Mail comments to the National Wild Horse and Burro Program,WO-260, Attention: Ramona DeLorme, 1340 Financial Boulevard, Reno, NV 89502-7147.
You can also email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please include “Advisory Board Comment” in the subject line of the email.
Continue to speak up for wild horses and burros to Congress.
Contact the Senate Appropriations Committee members to oppose any language in the FY2018 Interior Department’s budget bill which would allow unlimited sale, killing or slaughter of wild horses and burros.
The markup on this bill is coming anytime now (it has been postponed several times already).
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).
We commend Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF) for their multi-year investigation into the BLM’s short- and long-term holding facilities.
The link below reveals details of wild horse (and burro) records which tell a chilling truth for those in captivity. In short, the numbers claimed to be in holding do not match up with those viewed and recorded, at times less than half for some locations.
And be sure to download the Exhibit section where Exhibits 9 and 10 reveal the disturbing details of mortality at two facilities, including deaths due to broken necks, gelding complications, respiratory issues, strangles, and more.
America’s wild horses and burros do not belong in captivity. They can be successfully managed on the range where millions of acres have been allocated for their use by law (1971 Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act).
The current government intends to destroy what’s left of wild horse (and burro) herds in captivity and on the range through a horrific proposal in the Interior Department FY2018 budget bill. The plan is to allow unlimited sale (to slaughter) and killing of the animals as a way to balance the BLM’s budget.
Congress needs to hear from everyone now to stop this reckless and inhumane plan.
Tell your elected officials (2 U.S. Senators and 1 U.S. House Rep) to vote “no” on the Interior Department’s appropriations bill for 2018 if it contains language to allow unlimited sale, slaughter and/or killing of wild horses and burros.
Reach them via the U.S. Capitol operator at 202-224-3121.
The 1971 Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act allocated 242 million acres for use by wild horse (and burro) herds. Over the years, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has reduced their land use to 27 million acres. The BLM has catered to special interests like the livestock industry which has depleted and overgrazed public lands with a million cattle and tens of thousands of sheep. For decades they’ve lied and used wild horses as scapegoats for issues of range degradation and over grazing.
In a nutshell, the current administration intends to allow the mass killing of wild horses so that the BLM can balance its budget. There are numerous humane solutions to managing the Wild Horse and Burro Program and bringing fiscal responsibility to the budget. To date, “cut and kill” remains their primary solution.
Taxpayers should be outraged at this horrific use of tax dollars. We stand by America’s flag and don’t burn it. We stand by our wild horses and burros — living symbols of our history — we don’t murder them!
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: email@example.com
Wild horses, often called “Icons of the West”, deserve to be treasured as a vital part of American history!
However, wild horses are now part of a “cut and kill” budget plan in a feeble attempt to solve decades of mismanagement by a government program set up to protect them. The budget proposes “humane euthanasia and unrestricted sale of certain excess animals” to help control rising costs of long-term holding corrals and other expenses.
The proposed budget will save $10 million annually but at the cost of thousands of innocent horses’ lives.
Have your members of Congress signed on as co-sponsors for ending horse slaughter?
Check this link below to give your member a thank you or urge them to sign on to end this brutal industry!
H.R. 113 – Safeguard American Food Exports Act of 2017 is an attempt by members of the House of Representatives to “…amend the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to deem equine (horses and other members of the Equidae family) parts to be an unsafe food additive or animal drug. The bill prohibits the knowing sale or transport of equines or equine parts for human consumption.”
If this passes it will mean great things for horse advocates in the United States!
2017 does not bode well for America’s horses, domestic or wild.
Their friends in Congress will be less than ever. We expect a full on assault for the return of horse slaughter and also the final decimation of wild horses and burros on public lands and in government holding facilities.
We know that those who truly care about the welfare of horses in this country come from all political views. It will be imperative for everyone to put strong pressure on elected officials to keep in place the defunding of horse slaughter inspections while pushing for federal legislation to ban horse slaughter, and to change the current, ineffective management of wild horses and burros to a plan which truly protects them on our taxpayer funded public lands and provides humane solutions for those in captivity.
With your help, we will escalate the fight for America’s horses!
You can help save abused horses like Sammie (pictured) with a tax deductible contribution to Front Range Equine Rescue by clicking here.
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.