Congress just passed an Omnibus spending bill to fund the government for the next five months – until the end of Fiscal Year 2017. The good news: Congress maintained the de facto ban on domestic horse slaughter and the prohibition against the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) sale for slaughter or killing of captured wild horses and burros. More troubling, though, is a provision in Section 116 that allows the BLM to strip wild horses and burros of federal protection and transfer them to state, federal and local agencies for use as "work animals."
We thank the Appropriations Committee leadership for including a prohibition on slaughter and euthanasia of healthy horses in this language. However, we remain gravely concerned that this new law is open for abuse and could become a vehicle for delivering captured wild horses and burros into the hands of state and local agencies that actively lobby for their destruction. Also troubling is report language accompanying the Omnibus that calls for "accelerated" roundups to reduce wild horse and burro populations to the BLM's "Appropriate" Management Levels. If taken literally, this could mean the removal of as many as 50,000 more wild horses and burros from the range.
Over the last week, AWHC members made tens of thousands of calls and sent 55,000 messages to appropriators expressing concern about threats to wild horses and burros in the Omnibus. This strong show of public support and concern will make it more difficult for opponents of wild horses to exploit loopholes in the new law, and serves as a safeguard against more dangerous threats that may be in store. So far, Congress is holding firm against mass killing and slaughter, but that support is fragile as pressure builds not only for mass roundups but also to upend the federal law that protects these national icons on our Western public lands. Now is the time to make your voice heard.
Given the recent developments on Capitol Hill, helping wild horses by spreading awareness is more important than ever. What better way to spread the word than by wearing a T-shirt that celebrates the beauty of these majestic animals and supports our efforts to keep them wild.
JUST IN TIME FOR SUMMER, AND THIS WEEK ONLY...Get your limited edition 'Wild' T-shirt
...and support our work! We are thrilled to announce that our friends at Modropy
are featuring these T-shirts and, for the next six days, will donate up to $10 to the American Wild Horse Campaign for every shirt sold! Please visit modropy.org
and SHOP today – there are lots of fun colors and styles to choose from! This is a great way to support our work to Keep Wild Horses Wild and free on the range and look fabulous! Don't miss this opportunity!