2021 in Review: Uncovering the Adoption Incentive Program’s slaughter pipeline


The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

2021 was a year full of highs and lows — and we’re so grateful that through it all, you stood by our side in the fight to protect wild horses and burros.

One of our biggest accomplishments was our investigation into the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Adoption Incentive Program (AIP), which resulted in a front-page New York Times exposé, elevating the tragedies of the AIP to a national level.  

As one of AWHC’s lead investigators into the AIP, every single day, I identify and track new BLM mustangs and burros in kill pens across the country. After months of investigation, we confirmed that the titles of the horses and burros we were rescuing matched those of animals adopted through the AIP.

Time and time again in this investigation, we’ve identified adopters who have collected the AIP cash incentives, then dumped the horses and burros they had adopted at slaughter auctions as soon as the money cleared their accounts.

Our Rescue Fund was key to this investigation as it allowed us to support our rescue partners in pulling wild horses and burros from kill pens. This not only saved these innocent animals’ lives but also gave us access to information — including titles and brand numbers — that helped us connect the dots to expose the program.

Supporters like you helped to fuel this lifesaving work. Will you make a donation to AWHC once again to fuel our Rescue Fund and help us continue our fight to terminate the AIP? From now until December 31 all donations will be matched up to $100,000. Donate now to DOUBLE your impact for wild horses and burros in 2022. >>


Since uncovering and exposing this slaughter pipeline, we’ve made some impressive strides! Congress has taken notice of this problem, and our Government Relations team is working with elected officials on solutions to better protect our wild horses and burros from slaughter.

After the New York Times exposé, the BLM announced a list of reforms to the Adoption Incentive Program. But, these reforms did not go far enough, so we filed a lawsuit. This week, government attorneys informed our lawyers that the BLM would be unveiling a new Adoption Incentive Program in the new year, and we will be watching closely to see if meaningful reforms are forthcoming.

Meredith: Supporters like you make these important initiatives possible — our investigative work to uncover this slaughter pipeline, our rescue fund to help save the AIP’s victims, our Government Relations work on the Hill, and even our litigation against the BLM. None of this would be possible without your help.

As we head into the new year, will you help us continue this critical work on behalf of America’s wild horses and burros by making a donation today? Help us reach our $125,000 Year-End goal with a donation to fuel our fight in 2022!



Amelia Perrin
Communications Associate
American Wild Horse Campaign

Leave a Reply