The United States Senate has passed a tough new bill that orders the Bureau of Land Management to institute a new plan for its management of wild horses. The legislation was introduced by Sen. Mary Landrieu (D), La.
“Sen. Landrieu continued her efforts to protect wild horses by championing bill language to prohibit the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) from using taxpayer dollars for the destruction of healthy, un-adopted horses and burros,” the senator’s office said in a press release.
The agency has one year to comply should the House pass a simalar bill. It would then go to the White House.
“At Sen. Landrieu’s urging, the Senate directed BLM to develop a new comprehensive long-term plan for wild horse populations by September 30, 2010.”
The language was inserted in a Department of Interior appropriations bill passed Thursday.
“Congress must work toward the goal of ending the slaughter of healthy wild horses,” Sen. Landrieu said. “At a time when there are so many demands on the federal purse, spending taxpayer money on this inhumane practice is inexcusable. There is simply no reason for the federal government to destroy these animals if viable alternatives exist.”
“Sen. Landrieu also supported language that encouraged all federal agencies that use horses to acquire a wild horse from the Bureau of Land Management prior to seeking another supplier. In addition, the Committee supports BLM developing an expedited process for providing wild horses to local and state police forces,” the release continued.
Landrieu took to the floor of the Senate in late September to blast the BLM in a brief speech. She also urged passage of the Restore Our American Mustang Act (ROAM) which would restore protections removed in the dead of night when former Sen. Conrad Burns (R), Montana, attached a rider to an appropriations bill that nobody read at the 11th hour before passage. The bill will repeal Burns’ legislative trickery and bring full compliance back to the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971.
The House passed ROAM by a vote of 239 – 185.
In an exclusive interview with Horseback Magazine, Burns said he enacted the legislation at the behest of the now Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, (D), Nevada who is facing a tough re-election campaign.