Horse News

Wild Horse Alert: Wild Horses and Burros in Danger from “Stewart Amendment”

Wild Horse and Burro Alert:

Voiceless Pawns by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Voiceless Pawns by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

On Wednesday the House Appropriations Committee adopted the “Stewart Amendment” to the 2017 Interior Appropriations Bill. This language could very likely provide a convenient back door route for thousands of wild horses and burros currently in holding to go to slaughter. Yesterday the Senate Appropriations Committee held a mark up session on the Bill.

How can this happen? If wild horses and burros are allowed to be transferred to state and local agencies and the federal protections of the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act are stripped away from them,  they are at the mercy of states that are actively lobbing for their mass removal and slaughter such as Wyoming, Utah, Arizona and Nevada. Although the amendment includes a sentence intended to prohibit their “destruction for commercial processing,” this prohibition is completely unenforceable and does not outlaw killing the horses for non-commercial purposes.

The positive development at Wednesday’s hearing was that Representative Steve Israel from New York  acknowledged our ongoing concerns about the language and his willingness to continue to work to fix the language to address these concerns. Representative Israel has been a champion of animal welfare during his time in the house and we’re certain he has the best interest of our wild horses and burros in mind.

We do not know what changes will be made to the bill before it goes to a vote but we will keep you posted.

14 replies »

  1. Hey maybe you guys could contact House Rep. Peter Roskam of Illinois. He has always been a co-sponsor of our anti-slaughter bills and maybe he could change some minds on this. Also Senator Kirk of IL has sponsored the transportation bill. I have been in contact with them over the years but maybe your organization could ask for their help. We don’t have enough on our side these days after so many of our horse loving friends have left Congress. Just making a suggestion since you are so busy you might not know who could possibly be swayed.


    (202) 224-7257

    Contacting Senators
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    All questions and comments regarding public policy issues, legislation, or requests for personal assistance should be directed to the Senators from your State. Some Senators have e-mail addresses while others post comment forms on their web sites. When sending e-mail to your Senator, please include your return postal mailing address. Please be aware that as a matter of professional courtesy, many Senators will acknowledge, but not respond to, a message from another Senator’s constituent.


  3. And there’s more…Follow the Money

    These are the U.S. Representatives who voted to ban GMO labeling and deny your right to know what you’re eating
    Thursday, July 23, 2015

    Named the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015 by a bunch of politicians who know next to nothing about GMOs, and the DARK Act (Denying Americans the Right to Know) by passionate food activists and consumer groups who have practically dedicated their lives to bringing awareness about the dangers of GMOs, the legislation that was recently passed in the House Committee prevents all states from enacting their own GMO labeling laws, ever.

    It also strips states like Vermont, which already passed GMO labeling, their right from doing so.

    Below is a list of politicians actively working to keep you and your family in the dark regarding the dangers of GMOs. Click here for their contact information.

    Stewart, Chris (R-UT)
    Chaffetz, Jason (R-UT)
    Love, Mia (R-UT)


  4. I sent a email to my state senator that is a member of the committee about handing over the wild horses to the states. It is well know that the Indian Tribes send their horses to slaughter the ones up here in Washington have done it more than once. I called their office in Eastern Washington and asked why they were sending their horses to the auction to be bought by killer buyers and they hung up on me.
    Along with Senator Murray which has never cosponsored any anti-horse laughter bill that I know of is bad news for the wild horses. Senator Cantwell had a few years ago cosponsored several of the bills but she don’t bother anymore. So that leaves nobody in my state that might help stop this. How may times have the BLM been taken to court only to have a left wing judge claim there was no standing for the law-suit to stop the roundups?


    • I find it a little strange considering Washington State’s politics. Yet again, party labels can be very deceiving. For example, both Wyoming and Arizona are red stares. However, the latter has far more conscientious politicians who care about animals and their welfare such as Gov. Ducey, Rep. Townsend, Rep. McSally, etc. As for Wyoming, they SERIOUSLY need to get their crap together. They should start off by throwing Matt Mead out.


  5. Please keep us posted if any action alerts pertaining to this come up. We’ve got to do to this bill what the folks in Office Space did to that printer. XD Okay, not THAT bad. But, in all seriousness, it has to get vetoed.


    • More Foul Play with the Wyoming 41?

      We’ve all heard about the Wyoming 41 – the herd rounded up in March of this year under the supervision of the BLM’s Wyoming field office as estray horses and sent to the Bouvry slaughterhouse in Canada. The sad fate of these allegedly estray horses caused a media firestorm which even made national news.
      The BLM also claims that these horses were then shipped to the Worland Livestock Auction where they were sold on March 19, 2014 at a public sale to the highest bidder, Bouvry Exports.

      Wyoming Brand Inspection Certificates
      Documentation on Gender & Number of Horses Gathered

      Now on the face of it, this seems like a reasonable explanation albeit not necessarily a believable one. However, new evidence obtained by Animals’ Angels raises serious questions on whether or not the proper protocol was followed when these horses were sold.

      Oddly enough, the first Health Certificate for this group of horses was signed a full 7 days prior to the roundup. The second was signed 4 days prior to the roundup. Documentation recently obtained by AA from the State of Montana clearly shows that veterinarian Amanda Thoet signed the WY Health Certificates on March 11, 2014 and March 14, 2014. Additionally, the State of Montana issued Permits of Entry for these horses, also dated March 11th and March 14th. How did the State of Montana know that these horses would be shipped to Montana?
      Even more disturbing is the fact that these Health Certificates & Permits of Entry already list Bouvry Exports as the consignee. Now how is this possible given the fact that, according to the BLM, the horses were supposedly sold in a “public” auction with three bidders in attendance days after the roundup and days after these documents were issued?

      Dr. Thoet, the veterinarian who signed the health certificates, confirmed the dates on these certificates as well as the fact that the horses were slated to go to Bouvry Exports at the time of her inspection in a phone call with Animals’ Angels that took place this morning.

      Another issue that should concern everyone, animal advocate or not, is the fact that the BLM spent over $28,000 of taxpayer money to round up these horses. The sale price for the horses? $40 a head. In other words, the entire herd sold to Bouvry Exports for $1,640. Not exactly an efficient use of taxpayer money.

      Cattoor Description of Work Performed
      Cattoor Invoice

      While the comparison between taxpayer cost and BLM profit associated with this round up raises valid concerns — what truly raises a red flag are the veterinary inspections that list Bouvry Exports as consignee long before the roundup or this alleged public auction even occurred. Was the fate of these horses sealed even before they were gathered? It certainly appears that way.


  6. It is a travesty what is happening to the mustangs. The land these horses and burro’s exist on are public lands. these lands are then leased to private ranchers for their cattle and sheep. AND, where is the ASPCA in all of this. The round ups are as cruel as it gets. Lies and deception seem to be the BLM’s way of managing these supposedly protected horses and burro’s. The ASPCA needs to step up and take a role in the protection of these beautiful creatures. as for managing herd size, Gods natural selection takes care of it. Survival of the fittest as it has been since the time wild horses started herding together.


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