Horse Slaughter


Source: American Wild Horse Campaign

Stallion of Antelope Valley HMA ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Over the weekend, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees restored language to the 2017 Omnibus spending bill that opens the back door to killing potentially thousands of wild horses and burros. The language amends the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act by stripping them of their federal protections and transferring them to state and local governments ostensibly for use as “work animals.”

With no limit to the numbers transferred and no definition of “work animal,” the language provides a vehicle for delivering thousands, and potentially tens of thousands of wild horses and burros, into the hands of government agencies that actively push for mass roundups and slaughter of these national icons. The Section 116 language can be found on page 804 of this link.

Congress did include prohibitions on commercial slaughter and some restrictions on “euthanasia,” signalling their intent to prevent the destruction of healthy wild horses and burros. However, the restrictions are not enforceable, there is no penalty for violating them, and the many ambiguities and loopholes leave the language open to abuse.  Especially troubling is a provision to allow the killing of “advanced age” animals, a term that is undefined and could result in the destruction of thousands of healthy middle- to older-aged horses and burros.

While defeating this language at this late stage is going to be difficult, the spending bill only funds the government for the next five months. So taking a strong stand now will set the stage for fixing this problem when Section 116 expires on September 30, 2017. 

What You Must Do NOW!

1. Please immediately call these numbers and voice your objections to the committees that approved this devastating last-minute addition to the spending bill. If you don’t reach them this afternoon, please try again in the morning!

** Please remember: the best way to help the horses is to be polite! **

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Chair, Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee
DC office: (202) 224-6665
AK office: (907) 271-3735

Sen. Tom Udall, Ranking Member, Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee
DC office:(202) 224-6621
NM office:(505) 346-6791

Rep. Ken Calvert, Chair, House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee
DC office: (202) 225-1986
CA office: (951) 277-0042

Rep. Betty McCollum, Ranking Member, House Interior Appropriations Committee
DC office: (202) 225-6631
MN office: (651) 224-9191

Here’s what you need to say: I am very upset that Congress has included language in Section 116 of the Omnibus spending bill that will strip up to 50,000 wild horses and burros of federal protections that were passed unanimously by Congress and have been in place for nearly 50 years. Unfortunately, restrictions put in place to prevent the killing of healthy horses and burros are not sufficient to protect these animals, and thousands that currently enjoy federal protection could be killed, or worse, enter the slaughter pipeline.  I urge your office to remove this destructive language from the Omnibus, and if unable, then it must be removed when this spending bill expires later this year.”

Click (HERE) to help further by sending an email

26 replies »

  1. very hard to be polite over this…. 😡 very. hard. I managed to sign the fax/email that was available. I hope they get buried in protests. I don’t for a second think they did this by accident!


  2. Some good news is that out of three of the offices I’ve called, they have said they are getting lots of calls about this, or as they put it “the wild horse issue” so we are being heard. Keep up your calls!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I just called the offices in DC….it was like talking to cardboard….i can only hope it helped……I reminded them all about the statues at the steps of the West Lawn there in DC….one of which are Calvary horses pulling cannons thru the mud on one of the many battles fought for this country….5000 wild horses were enlisted for these battles…they fought for this country………..they so deserve respect


  4. Velma Johnston (Wild Horse Annie)

    Annie convinced thousands of people of all ages and walks of life to advocate for the wild horses. Congress received more letters on this issue than any other, save the Vietnam War. Annie herself testified before Congress

    Three decades ago, the National Research Council reported that public opinion was the major reason that the Wild Horse and Burro Program existed and public opinion was a primary indicator of management success (NRC, 1982). The same holds true today.
    “Using Science to Improve the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program: A Way Forward”
    National Academy of Science – This report reviews the science that underpins the Bureau of Land Management’s oversight of free-ranging horses and burros on federal public lands in the western United States.

    The social impacts on the American public of destroying these Wild Horse Herd populations is overwhelmingly given the strong support the American public has to protect, preserve and view Wild Horses living naturally on protected public lands.


  5. Yet another late night/weekend amendment to a long-standing federal law being surreptitiously slipped into an omnibus bill which is needed to fund much larger and necessary government functions.

    My question is — since the headline says only “hours” left, what is the deadline for any next decisions? Nothing is mentioned in the article about why there are only “hours” and when a deadline arrives.

    What is it ?


  6. The wild horses and burros are part of the West. The cattle ranchers need to stop bullying and remember it is public lands and not theirs. Also Cargill and Tyson are investing into plant based meats and people are eating less beef. PROTECT OUR HERITAGE BY KEEPING THE WILD HORSES AND BURROS. Thank you.


  7. This is Not ok there are better ways to control over population please for the love of all God’s creation Stop


  8. Calling or messaging is useless. There must be a massive display of condemnation of this slaughter intent, with millions of signatures.!


    • A petition, regardless of the number of signatures, is regarded as ONE document/letter. Been there, done that!

      A physical demonstration with a million people would be highly effective, though!


      • That’s because the Ranchers have put down the efforts that Wild Horse Annie put forth saving horses with petitions. So the try to Diminish petitions.


  9. Only two of the four listed committee members listed represent states which actually still have wild horses and burros! There are none in Alaska or Minnesota. Those representing states that still have any thus must be held to a higher standard of care.


  10. Please don’t allow anymore harm to come to any of our wild horses and burros? Seems like all any of us want is for them to be safe and for our government to return our horses to their rightful lands that was supposed to be protected by the very people that keep doing them harm and taking their lands, families and their lives. Please do the right thing and help us to preserve our western heritage and our beautiful landscape of herds of wild horses and burros. Thank you and may God bless you all.


  11. The people who do these crimes against God’s horses will one have to face Him on judgment day…..they are going where they belong to the lowest reaches of hell.


  12. These horses are NOT going to slaughter. This happen last year which they are sent to prisons for training and then send to work for Border Patrols. This is part of the less costly effect for securing the borders. This is actually a win win situation. The horses are trained and more valuable for adoption and they are saving the American tax payers and the educating light offense prisoners to a better life..


    • TL, how large is this demand? With so many already captive wild horses not adopted there surely is no justification for this new legislation — which by the way should require removing two other pieces of legislation, right?

      How is this new legislation going to be any less expensive regarding border security, since these are still wild animals who will have to be rounded up, sorted, processed and segregated by sex, then a handful sent to be trained by prisoners (some programs which have been proven to be corrupt, by the way), then rehomed with Border Patrol riders. Surely a trained domestic horse would be a lot cheaper — or do you mean wild horses are cheaper since the taxpayers foot the bill for everything?

      I’m also wondering how many formerly wild burros are used for Border Patrol work? If you have any credible numbers I’m sure I’m not the only one who would like to see them. Thanks for posting them, if you have them.


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