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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:
I have devastating news. The Humane Society of the United States, ASPCA, and Return to Freedom, who made promises to protect horses, just betrayed America’s mustangs and burros.
Today, at the behest of those organizations and the livestock industry lobbyists they allied with, the Senate Appropriations Committee funded a $35 million increase for the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program. The appropriation is part of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Interior Department spending bill unveiled today.
The funds are targeted for implementation of the unprecedented mass roundup, removal, and radical population suppression plan that the groups, along with the cattlemen, support.
There are no restrictions on how the BLM can spend the new money. With this nearly 50% increase in the program budget, it’s clear what the BLM will do. Thousands more wild horses will be rounded up with helicopters, ripping them from their families and homes on our public lands. Those who remain free will be subjected to brutal sterilization surgeries that will destroy their wild behaviors and threaten their very lives. The future of America’s wild free-roaming herds will be in jeopardy when populations are reduced to genetically non-viable levels.
Don’t be fooled by the deceptive promotion of the plan as “non-lethal.” The bill language prohibits slaughter for a year, but the plan makes that horrific outcome more likely as holding pens swell with tens of thousands more horses and no guarantee of funding for their safety or long-term care.
There’s a long process ahead before this becomes law – if it ever does. Congress may choose to fund the government in FY 20 by passing a Continuing Resolution instead of a spending bill. And the BLM will have many hurdles to cross before accelerating the roundups and implementing inhumane management tools.
With your continued support, we will fight those who betray our wild horses and burros. We’ll fight them in court. We’ll fight them in Congress. We’ll expose the backroom deal that sold out our mustangs. We won’t rest. With your continued support, we won’t stop until our mustangs are safe.
Suzanne Roy, Executive Director