House and Senate approve funding boost to wild horse fertility control

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Wild horses in Wyoming.
Wild horses in Wyoming. © Jana Wilson/BLM

Bills that have passed the US House and Senate this week include extra funding of $US21 million for the management of wild horse numbers based on humane fertility control.

The president and chief executive of the Humane Society of the United States, Kitty Block, says the passage of the two bills include major victories for animals, including horses and burros.

The package will fund all federal agencies for the 2020 fiscal year.

The bills now require the signature of President Donald Trump.

Block, in her blog, A Humane World, notes that the package provides an extra $US21 million to the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse and Burro Program.

The funds can only be accessed after the agency submits a comprehensive plan on how it will implement an aggressive, non-lethal program. Block notes that the program must be based on scientifically sound, safe and humane fertility control tools that exclude surgical sterilization, an increased focus on adoptions, and relocation of wild horses and burros to larger, more humane pastures instead of perpetually warehousing these animals in holding pens.

Additionally, the bill prohibits the bureau and, for the first time, also the US Forest Service, from killing or sending healthy horses or burros to slaughter.

Language in the omnibus package directs the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to promptly resume online posting of all inspection reports and enforcement records under the Animal Welfare Act and Horse Protection Act in their entirety without redactions that obscure the identities of puppy mills, roadside zoos and other businesses cited for violations.

The legislation also bans USDA spending on horse slaughter inspections, effectively preventing horse slaughter plants from operating in the US during the 2020 fiscal year.

It also provides $US1 million (a $295,000 increase) for USDA enforcement of the Horse Protection Act (HPA), to crack down on the soring of Tennessee Walking Horses and related breeds.

Block thanked lawmakers for their support of the provisions.

FOONOTE: President Trump signed into law the omnibus appropriations package.

3 thoughts on “House and Senate approve funding boost to wild horse fertility control

  • December 23, 2019 at 3:04 am
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    Give more funding to our group that is finding forever homes for these beautiful animals. Come and see a Extreme Mustang Makeover …. It is wonderful.

    Paula Carr
    Mustang Heritage Foundation

    Fort Worth Stock Show Jan 23,24 2020

    Reply
  • December 23, 2019 at 4:45 pm
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    This approach should include the Reserve Design approach to restoring viable, naturally adapted and naturally self-stabilizing herds, not just about thwarting them from filling their natural niche and role, which is contrary to the WFHBA!

    Reply
  • January 12, 2020 at 4:32 pm
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    Australia is currently having tremendous fires and in recent years they killed off thousands of horses called Brumbies. A few people who do not know the science behind horses claim all the horses are dying to merit shooting to death and slaughter of the horses. The wild horses help control the wild fires, especially in America. The fact is, that the reduction and supposed controls of the wild American horses is a trick for the insecure AQHA owners to destroy the horses they feel reduce their own prices, completely impractical claim, so then they assert the horses are destroying the environment. NOT true, horses are actually imparative to correcting climate change and correcting the damage done by heavy concentrations of cattle. They have ALWAYS have the sterilization option and they failed to properly use it, they would WALK yes WALK to locate the herds and inject a HANDFULL of mares then scream its not financially feasable now they intend to use this as a method of total control to wipe out the fertility of these horses. The entire issue is the Climate is in jeopardy. Having horses corrects the imbalances and as the horses are eliminated it contributes to the ultimate destruction of the lands and the climate. Horses help by eating plants that otherwise contribute to wild fires, thus reducing the risks. Horses produce a minute amount of methane gases while cattle in the huge volumn out west on BLM land are compounding the issue while proporting to feed the World. Free roaming horses have created a safer air quality and if we reduce the horses on range we are risking future human generations health and safety

    Reply

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