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It's been a very busy month, and we wanted to just take a moment this Friday to update you on some of the developments. Thank you for everything you continue to do for wild horses and burros. We continue to grow in number and strength and our voices are increasingly being heard! Stay tuned for more actions and announcements in July. We hope you are all having a great summer.
- The AWHPC Team
Nevada Governor Signs Bill to Facility Humane Management of Mustangs Under State Jurisdiction
On June 17, 2013, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval held a signing ceremony for a bill that was signed into law paving the way for the State of Nevada to enter into cooperative agreements with organizations to humanely manage mustangs under the State's jurisdiction. Primarily these horses live in the Virginia Range near Reno. AWHPC's Deniz Bolbol attended the ceremony with representatives of local wild horse advocacy groups. We look forward to working collaboratively with local and national organizations to put in place a humane management program for the Virginia Range horses and prevent them from being removed from their homes on the range. For more information please click here.
Local Community Tells BLM: Keep Our Wild Horses Wild
On Wednesday June 26, 2013, more than 60 Nevadans attended a community meeting convened by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Carson City District to address issues regarding wild horses in the Fish Springs area of the Pine Nut Mountains Herd Area (HA) just outside Gardnerville, Nevada. At the meeting, neighbors -- including those who had previously expressed concerns about the horses -- came together in support of leaving the horses on the range instead of removing them. They pledged to work together to keep the horses safe and away from homes and urban areas. AWHPC's Deniz Bolbol was in attendance at the meeting and continues to work with the community on the plan to keep the Fish Springs wild horses wild. Only time will tell if the BLM is serious about working with the neighbors and changing its business as usual practices. After the fiasco with the Deer Run herd near Carson City, there is more than a little skepticism about the agency's true intentions. Read more about the Fish Springs situation here.
"Step In, Sally" Next Steps
Last week AWHPC and our founding organization Return to Freedom delivered a letter signed by over 30,000 American citizens -- including 30 members of Congress as well as celebrities such as Robert Redford, Carole King. Ali McGraw, Viggo Mortensen, Ed Harris, Wendie Malick and others, to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell asking her to step in to reform the costly and cruel federal wild horse and burro management program. We are now following up the letter with sustained Congressional and public pressure on Secretary Jewell to act. Stay tuned for announcements about important actions over the summer to keep the pressure on! Meanwhile, thank you for spreading the word about the Step In Sally Campaign - you are the reason that we achieved our goals -- including "creating one of the largest citizen uprisings ever seen on Facebook"! To read more and see who signed the letter, please click here.
Horse Slaughter Update
Good news on Capitol Hill this month as both the U.S. House and Senate Agriculture Appropriations subcommittees included language in the Fiscal Year 2014 budget bills to defund USDA horse slaughter inspections. Without such inspections horse slaughter plants cannot operate in the U.S.. The langauge must still pass the full House and Senate. Special thanks to Senator Mary Landrieu (R-LA) and Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) for leading the effort. Meanwhile, the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act (H.R. 1094/S. 541) has picked up 112 co-sponsors in the House and 16 co-sponsors in the Senate. However, the good news on the Hill is tempered by today's expected announcement that the USDA will begin to issue permits to horse slaughter plants. Three plants -- in New Mexico, Iowa and Missouri - are awaiting USDA permits. If they receive the necessary federal permit and meet all state permitting requirements, the plants could begin operations this year until Congress passes the 2014 budget bill with the anti-horse slaughter restrictions. We will keep you updated about developments in this critically-important situation as we receive them.
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The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign is dedicated to preserving American wild horses and burros in viable free-roaming herds for generations to come, as part of our national heritage.