What's New: Wild Horse and Burro Program

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

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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.

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

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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

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A better way

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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

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URGENT: Dangerous hearing on wild horses tomorrow

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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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