What's New: Wild Horse and Burro Program

All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘Wild Horse and Burro Program’

Tell Congress to Support Humane Management of Mustangs and Burros!


The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

Wild horses & burros need your help. Read on to see how you can take action to protect these cherished animals!

Act Now: Tell Congress to Support Humane Management of Mustangs and Burros

As we speak, a sign-on letter is circulating in the U.S. Senate requesting that at least $11 million of Fiscal Year 2022 funding for the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Wild Horse and Burro Program be earmarked for humane fertility control as a step away from brutal helicopter roundups and the removal of wild horses and burros from public lands. Over 40 members of the House have signed onto a similar request. Now we need your help to get your Senators to sign on!


In-Depth: Forest Service Plans Mass Removal for California Wild Horses

The U.S. Forest Service is planning to continue its assault on the Devil’s Garden wild horses in California. During a Motorized Vehicle Public Meeting last week, officials from the Modoc National Forest announced their intent to remove between 800-1,000 wild horses from their 285,000-acre federally-designated habitat beginning in September. 

The Forest Service will “dispose” of most of these horses by selling them — up to a truckload at a time — for $1 a piece! The plan is the result of a secret settlement between the Forest Service and ranchers who graze their privately-owned cattle on the public lands where the Devil’s Garden wild horses roam. Take a moment to read our in-depth blog on this unfolding situation and be on the lookout for a way to take action!


OpEd: America’s Wild and Wondrous Wild Burros

It’s well past the time to hit the reset button on the management not only of wild horses, but wild burros as well. Last week, AWHC’s program specialist, Mary Koncel teamed up with an adviser to the Cloud Foundation to write an opinion piece for the Washington Examiner to raise awareness about these amazing animals of the desert southwest and inspire citizens to take action to protect them. Read more below.


Tell the BLM Advisory Board: Protect Wild Horses and Burros

The BLM National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board will meet from June 30 – July 1. This citizen Advisory Board is supposed to represent broad stakeholder interests but its membership, which is appointed by the Secretaries of Interior and Agriculture, is heavily weighted in favor of livestock interests. 

For far too long the BLM’s solution to managing wild horse and burro populations has been costly and brutal helicopter roundups that lead to slaughter for far too many of these iconic animals. Please take one moment to sign onto our letter demanding meaningful change and protection for wild horses and burros.


Thank you for your support,

—The AWHC Team

Thrilled about Secretary Deb Haaland’s historic confirmation!


The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

Here at the American Wild Horse Campaign, we are thrilled about the news that Deb Haaland has been confirmed by the Senate to be the next U.S. Interior Secretary.

This is a critical role for not only the management of America’s wild horses and burros, but also their ability to roam freely and stay wild.

We applaud this historic nomination and look forward to Secretary Haaland’s inspired leadership in the fight to protect America’s public lands and wildlife. She has long been a champion for reforming the mismanaged federal wild horse and burro program, and we look forward to working with her to implement sensible solutions to humanely manage these majestic animals — which 80% of Americans want to protect.

Will you donate $25 to keep the good news for wild horses coming?


This is a HUGE victory for wild horses. The American Wild Horse Campaign successfully launched a grassroots push, which resulted in over 5,000 letters sent to Senators all across the country in support of Deb Haaland’s confirmation.

Now we have a wild horse-friendly Secretary of the Interior who we will work with to put the brakes on the BLM’s plans for mass roundups and inhumane sterilization of wild horses.

The work has just begun and Secretary Haaland will need our unwavering support to overcome opposition to reforming the BLM’s mismanaged wild horse and burro program.

The stakes are high. Right now, the beloved Onaqui wild horses of the West Desert in Utah are scheduled for roundup and removal starting July 1. The Bureau of Land Management is still planning to conduct brutal sterilization procedures on captive wild mares from the Confusion HMA in Utah. And Congress has begun its annual Appropriations process and is considering funding for the BLM’s inhumane Wild Horse and Burro Program.

We are counting on your help to stay in the field, in the courts, and on the Hill to protect wild horses and burros! Will you donate $25 or as much as you can today?

Thank you,
Grace Kuhn

Communications Director
American Wild Horse Campaign

ONE DAY (today) to contact Congress before it’s too late!


The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

News & Alerts

Tomorrow, the House Appropriations Committee will vote on the FY 2021 Interior Appropriations bill. This bill will fund the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM’s) Wild Horse and Burro Program and determine whether limits are placed on the agency’s mass roundup plan for America’s mustangs.

You are in a unique position to influence this legislation because your Representative and/or Senator is on the Appropriations Committee that will vote on this bill. We have one day — TODAY — to push Congress to add critical language to the bill before it’s too late. 

If passed in its current form, the bill would allocate $102.6 million for the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program. This is a 27% increase over 2019 budget levels.
Several key members of Congress have requested that language be included in this bill to require the BLM to implement PZP fertility control to humanely manage wild horses and burros in the wild and to prohibit surgical sterilization, including the brutal ovariectomy via colpotomy procedure.

Currently, this language is not in the bill, but it could be added via an amendment to the House bill during the full committee hearing Friday. Since the Senate bill is still pending, there’s still time to convince Senators to incorporate this language in its version of the Interior spending bill.

TODAY is the last day to take action before the Committee vote. Please join me in calling your members of Congress to urge them to include language in Fiscal Year 2021 appropriations legislation to rein in BLM roundups and include funding for PZP to humanely manage our nation’s wild horses and burros, who 80% of Americans want to protect.

There’s a lot at stake — if Congress doesn’t put the brakes on the BLM, the agency will round up as many as 90,000 wild horses and burros from public lands over the next five years — that’s every horse and burro living free today and more!

So please call Congress today!



The clock is ticking


The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

Last year, Congress awarded the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program a $21 million budget increase – but specified that the funding would not become available until 60 days after the BLM submitted a report to Congress outlining its plans for the future management of America’s wild horses and burros.

That report was delivered five weeks ago, and it’s as bad as we feared: Roundup and removal of 18,000-20,000 wild horses and burros per year… tripling the number of wild horses and burros warehoused in off-range holding facilities… reducing wild herds by 70% to near extinction levels….use of dangerous and gruesome sterilization surgeries as a management tool.

And the kicker? A billion-dollar price tag just for the first five years!

We now have 30 days left to weigh in on this outrageous, inhumane and unsustainable plan.

Please join House Natural Resources Chairman Raúl Grijalva and several of his House and Senate colleagues in demanding that Congress step up to require the BLM to prioritize the use of humane, scientifically-recommended fertility control over cruel roundups and stockpiling wild horses and burros in holding facilities.

Please contact your Senators and Representative today and ask them to support language in Fiscal Year 2021 spending legislation that puts the brakes on BLM’s mass roundup plan by requiring the agency to implement humane fertility control and prohibiting it from performing barbaric sterilization procedures on wild horses and burros.

Take action: Tell your Senators and Representative to support protections for wild horses and burros in the appropriations process.

Thank you,

American Wild Horse Campaign



Quick Action Alert: A unique opportunity to score a major victory for wild horses


The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) just submitted its report to Congress on the future of their Wild Horse and Burro program.

In this plan, the agency outlines the removal of as many as 20,000 wild horses from public lands per year and leaves the door open to permanent sterilization of mares through an inhumane surgical procedure.

Here is where we need your help: Congress has 60-days to weigh in on this plan. At the same time, members of the House and the Senate are working on the next appropriations bill to fund the government for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021, which begins on October 1, 2020.

The House Chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman, Raul Grijalva, and fellow wild horse champions in both chambers of Congress are advocating for the inclusion of language that would require the BLM to utilize humane, reversible fertility control with the money they appropriate to the agency.

The language would also prohibit surgical sterilization of wild horses and burros on the range.

We need your elected officials on Capitol Hill to support this request to protect wild horses and burros from mass roundups and brutal sterilization surgeries: Click here to send a message to your Representative and Senators to support wild horses and burros in the appropriations process.

Thank you,

American Wild Horse Campaign

P.S. For a more detailed analysis of the plan, click here.


Take Action: Join the members of Congress fighting to protect wild horses


The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

News & Alerts

We hope that this email finds you well and safe during these difficult times for our nation and our world.

We need to let you know that, despite the disruptions caused by COVID-19 on day-to-day life, our work to protect wild horses and burros continues.

In fact, Congress is working now on appropriations legislation to fund the government for the upcoming fiscal year (which begins on October 1). This presents both dangers that we must remain alert to, and the opportunity to make progress against the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM’s) mass roundup and sterilization plan.

We’re pleased to report that several wild horse champions in Congress are stepping up to protect wild horses.

House Natural Resources Chair Raúl Grijalva (Arizona), Congresswomen Deb Haaland (New Mexico) and Dina Titus (Nevada), and Congressman Steve Cohen (Tennessee) are officially requesting that language be added to any appropriations measures that would:

  • Require more than 10% of the budget of the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse and Burro Program to be utilized to implement a humane fertility control program utilizing the proven birth control vaccine PZP;
  • Encourage the BLM to form public/private partnerships with non-profits to expand these programs as alternatives to mass roundups; and
  • BAN federal funds from being used for dangerous surgical sterilization procedures.

If adopted, this would represent a HUGE step forward toward actual reform of the BLM’s broken wild horse and burro roundup program, as well as a HUGE victory in our fight to protect these iconic animals across the West.

From the safety of your homes, and utilizing but a minute of your time, you can make a difference in ensuring that Appropriations Committee members include this critical language to protect our treasured horses and burros in Fiscal Year 2021 spending legislation.

Take Action: Contact your members of Congress and your Senators this weekend.

Thank you,

American Wild Horse Campaign



A better way


The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

This past December, Congress authorized a 25% budgetary increase for the Bureau of Land Management’s badly broken Wild Horse and Burro program. Now the Administration is asking Congress to approve an additional 15% budget increase for the program two months later, as the BLM prepares to massively accelerate the roundup and removal of tens of thousands of wild horses.

What’s At Stake

As many of you know, the Acting Director of the BLM referred to wild horses and burros as an “existential threat” to public lands and is planning to use the Bureau’s funds to round up wild horses and burros in unprecedented numbers, with as many as 20,000 at risk of being removed this year alone.

We cannot stress this enough: We are talking about the greatest threat to wild horses in decades.

It is critical to remember that the BLM is not considering reducing the number of privately owned livestock in these areas. This despite the fact that these animals vastly outnumber horses and burros on public land and cost taxpayers as much as $500 million in subsidies for the below market grazing fees that public lands ranchers pay.

For reference, there are anywhere from 700,000 to 1,000,000 cow/calf pairs on public lands compared to the 88,000 federally-protected wild horses and burros (who share this land with the livestock).

Make no mistake about it, this isn’t a coincidence either — It’s the result of intense lobbying on behalf of the livestock industry.

Bad Policy And A Broken Program

The BLM continues to impose extreme limits on wild horse population numbers on public lands throughout the West that have no basis in science and their method of calculating these limits is not transparent to the public nor wildlife researchers and experts.

Additionally, the BLM is also championing the use of inhumane and ineffective population growth suppression methods that focus on the castration of wild stallions and the risky, cruel, and invasive surgical practice known as ovariectomy, whereby a mare’s ovaries are manually severed and removed in an invasive and outdated surgical procedure.

The National Academy of Sciences warned against BLM’s use of ovariectomies on wild mares due to risk of hemorrhage and infection. Castrating stallions would cause loss of testosterone which drives the natural behaviors necessary to maintain social organization and survive in the wild.

BLM is not only charging ahead with surgical sterilization, but the budget indicates that the agency intends to use the appropriations process to amend the Wild Horse and Burro Act to explicitly authorize these surgeries.

It’s also critically important to remember that the vast majority of Americans, of all political backgrounds, are opposed to mass roundups and these surgical procedures.

Another Way to Dump Horses?

While the President’s budget does recognize that the slaughter of America’s wild horses and burros is unacceptable to Congress and the public, we have grave concerns about the request for legislative language to expand the transfer authority of wild horses and burros to tribal entities.

AWHC sees this as another way for the agency to take steps to reduce numbers of wild horses through policies that make it easier to move horses out of holding, strip them of their federal-protection and send them to destinations where their welfare will be impossible to ensure.

A Better Way

Here at AWHC, we’re proving that there is a humane and cost-effective way to keep wild horses and burros on public lands and end the roundup and warehousing of these wild animals in holding pens.

On the Virginia Range in Nevada, our team is operating the world’s largest humane management program of wild horses and burros.

By utilizing a very affordable vaccine, known as PZP, our team has treated more mares in 10 months than the BLM did last year. And each vaccine costs as little as $30 per year.

The President’s budget request is just that: a request. This means we have the chance to work with leaders in Congress to oversee the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program, demand the BLM abandon the practices that are not supported by science or the American public, as well as promote effective and safe alternatives that our team has demonstrated work.

Over the last three years, working together, we’ve beat back multiple attempts to legalize the slaughter of wild horses and burros by convincing Congress that the American people will not stand for this lethal and brutally inhumane option. Together, we can meet this newest and most serious threat to the future of America’s wild herds.

Wild horses and burros don’t have a voice. When you donate to AWHC, you give these precious animals more than a voice — You give them a fighting chance. That’s why I’m asking if you will make your first donation of 2020.

Thank you,
Suzanne Roy
Executive Director
American Wild Horse Campaign


URGENT: Dangerous hearing on wild horses tomorrow


The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

If you are receiving this email, you are uniquely positioned to push back against a dangerous plan on Capitol Hill that threatens the future of wild horses.

Tomorrow, the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee’s Public Lands, Forests, and Mining Subcommittee will hold an “oversight” hearing on the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Wild Horse and Burro Program. Unfortunately, this hearing is completely stacked against wild horses and in favor of a plan that includes unprecedented mass roundups, surgical sterilization and stockpiling of mustangs in holding facilities.

Your Senator is on this Subcommittee. We need you to call today to ask him/her to communicate opposition to the destructive plan for America’s wild horses and burros.

It’s critically important that your Senator hears from you today!

Thank you,

Brieanah Schwartz, AWHC Government Relations

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