OPPOSE CONGRESS' AUTHORIZING OF BACKDOOR KILLING OF WILD HORSES & BURROS

Over the weekend, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees restored language to the 2017 Omnibus spending bill that opens the back door to killing potentially thousands of wild horses and burros. The language amends the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act by stripping them of their federal protections and transferring them to state and local governments ostensibly for use as “work animals.”

With no limit to the numbers transferred and no definition of “work animal,” the language provides a vehicle for delivering thousands, and potentially tens of thousands of wild horses and burros, into the hands of government agencies that actively push for mass roundups and slaughter of these national icons. The Section 116 language can be found on page 804 of this link

Congress did include prohibitions on commercial slaughter and some restrictions on “euthanasia,” signalling their intent to prevent the destruction of healthy wild horses and burros. However, the restrictions are not enforceable, there is no penalty for violating them, and the many ambiguities and loopholes leave the language open to abuse.  Especially troubling is a provision to allow the killing of “advanced age” animals, a term that is undefined and could result in the destruction of thousands of healthy middle- to older-aged horses and burros.

Even though the Omnibus spending bill was approved by the House on May 3 and is expected to pass the Senate, it is IMPERATIVE to make your objections heard. The spending bill only funds the government for the next five months, so taking a strong stand now will set the stage for fixing this problem when Section 116 expires on September 30, 2017. 

What You Must Do NOW!

1. Please immediately call these numbers and voice your objections to the committees that approved this devastating provision. 

** Please remember: the best way to help the horses is to be polite! ** All you have to say is. "I'm calling to let [name] know that I strongly object to the inclusion of language in the Omnibus spending bill to strip wild horses and burros of federal protection and open a back door route to killing potentially thousands of these national icons. Please ensure that this terrible problem is fixed in the 2018 spending bill."

KEEP THOSE CALLS COMING!

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Chair, Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee
DC office: (202) 224-6665
AK office: (907) 271-3735 

Sen. Tom Udall, Ranking Member, Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee
DC office:(202) 224-6621
NM office:(505) 346-6791

Rep. Ken Calvert
DC office: (202) 225-1986
CA office: (951) 277-0042

Rep. Betty McCollum
DC office: (202) 225-6631
MN office: (651) 224-9191