Lawmakers in bid to restore threatened protections to America’s wild horses

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A BLM contractor's helicopter musters wild horses during the fall 2016 Owyhee Complex roundup in Nevada. Photo: Steve Paige.
A BLM contractor’s helicopter musters wild horses during the fall 2016 Owyhee Complex roundup in Nevada. Photo: Steve Paige.

An attempt is under to way to change a US Department of the Interior spending bill to restore threatened protections for wild horses and burros.

Representatives. Dina Titus (D-Nevada), Peter King (R-New York), and Jared Polis (D-Colorado) filed an amendment on Thursday to the Interior Appropriations bill aimed at protecting the horses and burros managed by the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

It is in response to the July 19 passage, by House Appropriations Committee, on a voice vote, of an amendment by Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) which would allow the BLM to kill healthy unadopted wild horses and burros.

The BLM proposal is in response to growing pressure on its budget for managing the nation’s wild horses and burros, with the lion’s share of that money spent on keeping wild horses in captivity.

The nonprofit group Return to Freedom Wild Horse Conservation praised the representatives for hearing the voices of the American people, noting that polls had consistently shown that 80 percent of citizens opposed horse slaughter. A similar percentage say they want to see wild horses protected.

“We are grateful for the leadership of Reps. Titus, King and Polis and are hopeful that other members of the House will join them in rejecting a plan to wipe away years of mismanagement by using taxpayer dollars to shoot tens of thousands of horses,” the group’s president, Neda DeMayo, said.

“House members should vote for the Titus-King-Polis amendment as a step away from a cruel, costly system of capturing, removing and warehousing wild horses and burros — and a step toward creating a new, proud plan to restore balance to our public rangelands using proven, humane tools that will provide wild horses with a sustainable future while saving taxpayers millions of dollars over time.”

In addition, Reps.Vern Buchanan (R-Florida), Lucille Roybal-Allar (D-California), Ed Royce (R-California), and Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon) on Thursday filed a bipartisan amendment to the Agriculture Appropriations bill that would bar the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) from funding horsemeat inspectors.

On July 13, the House Appropriations Committee voted 27-25 to reject a similar amendment, a vote that could open the door to horse slaughter plants opening in the US for the first time since 2007.

Because there is no permanent federal ban on horse slaughter, advocates push annually for an amendment barring the USDA from hiring horse-meat plant inspectors to effectively keep a ban in place.

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6 thoughts on “Lawmakers in bid to restore threatened protections to America’s wild horses

  • August 27, 2017 at 11:06 am
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    No Horse SLAUGHTER AT all. Protect Our Nations wild horses. If they vote to kill them there will be a gigantic uprising. The American People refuse to Allow this abuse. The fake stories of horses starving and dying slowly on the range are simply illegal fear mongering propaganda. The horses are fit and healthy. Holding was designed to actually bring in some horses and not every one. Super exaggerated numbers are implied to make sure we believe there’s too many and agree to slaughter.

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    • August 28, 2017 at 1:42 am
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      End all horse slaughter….free the Mustangs. Or adopt them out ..they. Are God’s Creatures

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  • August 27, 2017 at 2:31 pm
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    Humane v. Honest: I’m grateful that responsible members of Congress have filed an amendment to protect America’s mustangs.

    Fraudulent Figures on the Range: BLM has been making misleading representations regarding the number of wild horses on the range — and then carrying out mass removals. Specific herd management areas seem to have been targeted for equid-cleansing.

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  • August 28, 2017 at 9:25 am
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    I am 100% against All roundups of Wild Mustangs and Burros and them being ship to Slaughter to Canada And Mexico . Congress should keep their Word and stand by their on Amendment they set in 1971 that all Wild Mustangs and Burros are to Roam Free on open Public lands , without harm or roundups . And no Horses to be ship to Slaughter out of this country at All ! 40% of ground horse meat is mix in with ground beef in Mexico and comes back to the U.S. And with the blii that was pass and sign by Obama the labeling on any product doesn’t have to list what is in the food product . We have to become more aware of what is going on in our country , We have to make a stand on this and be a Voice for the Voiceless . Say No To HORSE Slaughter and all Roundups of Wild Mustangs & Burros. Wild Freedom Federation

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  • August 29, 2017 at 6:14 am
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    The constant overpopulation lies are laughable…..no Wild or Domestic horse slaughter. Americans do not want this nor do we want our Wild horses experimented on with biologics, collars, I.U.D s or anythingelse that inhibits their natural state.

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  • August 29, 2017 at 6:46 am
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    I spoke with the Wash, DC wild horse and burro person in DC this AM. They are sitting on 245 million acres of ground. They need to come up with a sanctuary and we animal rights activists need to get crowd funding to maintain them.
    A company in Flagstaff, AZ is working on humane contraceptives for rats, mice and feral house cats. I’m sure they would be willing to work on an humane contraceptive for wild horses and burros.
    We also need to vote out the congressman who vote for the slaughter of these animals in 2018 an beyond.

    Norinda Burbidge
    President
    Predatory Animal Protection Org.

    Reply

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