Save the Wild Horses


Save the Wild Horses

Front Range Equine Rescue works to end the abuse and neglect of horses, both domestic and wild, through rescue and education programs. Late in 2004, former Senator Conrad Burns slipped an amendment into an appropriations bill which eroded protections to mustangs provided by the 1971 Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act. The Burns Amendment allowed for wild horses over the age of 10 and those put up for adoption at least three times, but not placed, to be removed from the adoption program and into a sale program. This left the door wide open for wild horses to be sold for commercial purposes such as slaughter.

It was quickly discovered that wild horses were being bought and sent to slaughter.

In response, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) made an adjustment to their sale documentation where potential buyers signed to indicate they did not “intend” for the horse(s) to go to slaughter. However, horses continued heading to slaughter and it was discovered that one buyer had sent well over 1,000 mustangs to their deaths. The sale program was further changed to then allow buyers to purchase only four horses every six months unless they receive special approval from top BLM officials. Buyers also must tell the BLM where agents can find the horses for six months after the purchase.

In 2005, Front Range Equine Rescue launched its “Save the Wild Horses” campaign in direct response to the Burns Amendment and has expanded this program as wild horse and burro protections continue to be abused and eroded. This national campaign assists mustangs with direct rescue from the slaughter pipeline, educates FRER supporters and the general public on wild horse issues, advocates on behalf of increased protections for wild horses especially with regard to ending unnecessary and brutal round ups, coordinates supporters in petition drives directed at government agencies or officials on behalf of wild horses, submits responses to BLM proposed wild horse and burro actions during required public comment periods, and engages in legal actions where violations of the 1971 Act occur.

Starting in 2006, Front Range Equine Rescue was able to begin assisting wild horses and burros through legal action to help protect them from the government’s mismanagement. Both the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Forest Service have jurisdiction over wild horse and burro herds in the 10 Western states where wild ones still live. Lawsuits were based upon violations of federal law, in particular the 1971 Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act. Thanks to donor support, FRER joined with other wild horse advocates or filed on its own to help with protections for the following:

2006: Pryor Mountain wild horse herd (MT/WY)
2009: Pryor Mountain wild horse herd (MT/WY)
2009: West Douglas Creek herd (CO) to stop round up to zero out the herd

2012-2014: state and federal level lawsuits to stop re-opening of U.S. horse slaughter plants which impacts both domestic and wild horses

2015: Kiger wild horses (OR)
2016: Warm Springs (OR) wild mares slated for roundup and dangerous sterilization procedures
2018: Warm Springs (OR) wild mares slated for dangerous sterilization procedures
2018: Devil’s Garden wild horse herd (Modoc National Forest, CA) stop sale without limitations; stop sale to slaughter

Please note that legal efforts are both costly and can take years to come to a conclusion. Dedicated donor support was instrumental in allowing FRER to join lawsuits or bring them as a lead plaintiff.

Click here to help support our efforts to save wild horses

For more information, please contact us.


Federal Legislation & Wild Horses

Posted: February 10, 2021

The current Fiscal Year 2021 Omnibus (spending bill) contains a prohibition to prevent the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and […]

Wild Horse Roundup Updates

Posted: February 8, 2021

Nevada-California: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is poised to gut wild horse herds that live in an area on […]