Mustangs & Burros Built This Country And Deserve Protection!

On May 3 and 4, 2017, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees approved the 2017 Omnibus spending bill that included some dangerous provisions for wild horses and burros and could signal far worse assaults to come on these national icons.

On the positive side: Congress maintained the de facto ban on U.S. horse slaughter and on killing captured wild horses and burros or selling them for slaughter. We thank them for that.

Of concern: A provision that amends the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act to authorize the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to strip mustangs and burros of their federal protections and transfer them to state and local governments for use as “work animals. The stated purpose of the language is to make it easier for agencies like the Border Patrol to adopt BLM mustangs. But with no limit on the numbers that can be transferred, and no definition of the term "work animal," it's ripe for abuse.

Also of concern: a directive for the BLM to conduct "accelerated" roundups to achieve "Appropriate" Management Levels, which could result in the removal of up to 50,000 more wild horses and burros from the range. 

As troubling as some provisions of the Omnibus are for wild horses and burros, far more dangerous assaults may be on the horizon. In this new Congress and Administration, the enemies of wild horses and burros see an opportunity to not only lift the slaughter ban but also to upend the very law protecting these national icons on our public lands. 

If ever there was a time to take a stand for wild horses and burros, THIS IS IT. Contact your Senators and Congress member today, using the form below. It's critically important that you call as well as write in order to be most effective. 


  • The text of the Omnibus spending bill is at this link
  • Read more about what the Omnibus means for wild horses and burros on AWHC's blog.