BREAKING: House Committee Moves to Reform the Wild Horse Program!
The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:
We have big news: The House Interior Appropriations Committee just passed the Fiscal Year 2022 spending bill and it includes important language championed by AWHC and U.S. Representatives Steve Cohen (D-TN), Dina Titus (D-NV), Mark Pocan (D-WI), and over 40 other Representatives! If passed, the legislation will continue the ban on slaughtering wild horses and burros and require the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to:
- Implement a substantial humane reversible immunocontraceptive fertility control program to manage wild horse and burro populations in the wild.
- Evaluate relocating wild horses and burros to other Herd Management Areas (HMAs) to avoid removals and keep these animals on the range where they belong, and create a task force within the Interior Department to address wild horse and burro management.
- Review the “Adoption Incentive Program,” (AIP) which was recently exposed by AWHC and the New York Times as a pipeline to slaughter for hundreds of these federally-protected animals.
This is a huge and historic step toward reforming the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program! It’s the culmination of AWHC’s hard work over the past several years — both on Capitol Hill, where we’re expanding support for humane wild horse and burro management, and in the field, where we’re demonstrating that humane management with fertility control works.
The bill also marks the first time that the House Interior Committee is requiring the BLM to pursue on-range management options, following years of advising the agency to do so… advice that the BLM has repeatedly ignored.
This extremely significant step toward eliminating cruel helicopter roundups has been achieved thanks to the leadership of Reps. Titus, Cohen, and Pocan, the unrelenting hard work of our Governmental Relations team, and the unwavering commitment of grassroots AWHC supporters like you!
Our legislative efforts won’t stop here though. Our Governmental Relations team is working around the clock to convince the Senate to adopt similar language so that this important provision can become law. Can you chip in $10 or $20 now to aid our legislative efforts?
While this is amazing news, Meredith, we still have more work to do. As written, the Committee bill would provide a total $162 million to the Wild Horse and Burro Program — a 40% increase from last year and significantly more than the $153 million requested by the Biden Administration in its 2022 budget justification.
We’re extremely concerned that this increase in funding will continue the Trump Administration’s wild horse management plan, which calls for the removal of over 90,000 wild horses and burros from public lands over the next five years.
The plan would swell the number of horses and burros kept in holding pens from the 50,000 today to a projected 140,000 and cost taxpayers nearly one billion in the first five years alone! As these off-range horse and burro populations skyrocket, the BLM will rely more and more on the AIP. And while we appreciate that Congress is forcing the BLM to review the AIP, we believe that the entire program must be shut down now.
The fight to protect our wild horses and burros is a marathon not a sprint, but we are making significant progress. Can you make a donation today to help keep our staff on the Hill and continue our legislative efforts to promote humane wild horse and burro management?
Thank you for your continued support. We could not do this work without you.
American Wild Horse Campaign