Horse News

Urgent: House Appropriations to Vote on BLM Anti-Wild Equine Budget this Wednesday

Call to action:

The House Appropriations Committee has scheduled its “mark up” on the spending bill for the Interior Department, including the BLM’s Wild Horse & Burro Program, this Wednesday, June 6 starting at 10 am Eastern.  

by Carol Walker of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

We just learned that Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) will introduce an amendment recommending permanent sterilization of wild equines on the range.  While not the same as the mass killing program that the horse-haters previously advocated, this would lead to the slow death of Amrica’s free-roaming herds.  It would also subject thousands of wild mares and burro jennets to a brutally unsafe sterilization technique, ovariectomy by colpotomy.

If you haven’t yet contacted your representative and reached out to members of the House Appropriations committee, please contact those you can today.  Urge them in your own words to:
 Oppose any amendment authorizing the permanent sterilization of wild horses and burros, as this would endanger their well-being, and damage wild herd dynamics and preservation, and violate the intent of the 1971 Wild Horse Act.
— Oppose any language in the FY Interior budget that would allow unlimited sale authority and/or pay adopters to take captive mustangs and burros, streamlining the pipeline to slaughter;
— Consider the sensible, cost-effective recommendations proposed by over 100 equine, animal welfare and business organizations for humane, on-range management of free-roaming wild equines.
One way to transmit messages to Congress is to use the free fax. (The limit is 4 faxes at a time.)  The full list of House Appropriations Committee members is attached below.
Thanks for being a voice for wild and captive equines!

12 replies »

  1. 6/5/18 Called both Congressmen for my area and pleaded my case. Comments were well-received. I urge anyone reading this post to make the calls, which took less than 5 minutes. Experience has shown us that Congress really does listen when people call or write in.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Judge: BLM broke law in plan to sterilize Idaho wild horses
    Oct. 5, 2017,

    BOISE, Idaho (AP) – The U.S. Bureau of Land Management violated environmental law in its plan to sterilize a herd of wild horses in southwestern Idaho, according to a recent ruling from a federal judge.
    U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge ruled Friday the BLM failed to analyze consequences of the action and ordered the agency to reconsider its decision.

    “The BLM’s decision in this case is arbitrary and capricious because it did not consider the significant impacts its decision may have on the free-roaming nature of the herd nor explain why its decision is appropriate despite those impacts,” Lodge wrote in his 44-page ruling.

    The BLM … failed to discuss the obvious contradictions between its decision to maintain a non-reproducing herd and the self-sustaining requirement that includes the herd’s ability to produce ‘viable offspring’ or ‘healthy foals,” wrote Lodge.

    A BLM spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

    “The BLM’s poorly considered decision to sterilize an entire herd of wild horses in the Saylor Creek Herd Management Area would have destroyed the herd’s natural, wild, and free-roaming behaviors, as well as devastating the herd’s social organization and long-term viability,” said Nick Lawton, an attorney representing the groups, in a prepared statement.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wild Horse Freedom Federation would like to thank the many organizations and individuals who joined us in signing a letter for Recommendations on Wild Horse & Burro Management that was sent to members of the Senate and House of Representatives. Please feel free to copy the letter below and send it to your Congressional representatives.

    Our recommendations for the management of wild horses & burros are:
    • Do not “euthanize,” kill or sterilize America’s wild horses & burros

    • Reintroduce the wild horses & burros that are now in BLM off range facilities back to their historic ranges, where they can graze for free. When Congress enacted the Wild Free-Roaming Horses & Burros Act of 1971 (16 U.S.C. §§ 1331–1340), the wild horses & burros were to be protected in their historic herd areas. In 1971, wild horses & burros occupied 53.8 million acres managed by the BLM, but the BLM now only allows wild horses & burros on half that original range area: on only 26.9 million acres. We recommend the reintroduction of wild horses & burros that are in BLM off range facilities back to their historic herd areas, and that the BLM use on-the-range management.

    • Revise and amend all BLM and Forest Service Land Use Plans, including Resource Management Plans and Environmental Assessments, to allow for wild horse & burro numbers that are high enough to maintain a viable herd in their “Appropriate Management Level” (AML), which would be a minimum of 150-200 animals, with at least 150 breeding age adult animals.

    • Livestock grazing levels should be adjusted to accommodate viable herd numbers of wild horses & burros, pursuant to 43 CFR 4710.5, which authorizes the BLM to reduce or eliminate livestock grazing. Permittees could be offered financial compensation or tax cuts in exchange for grazing permit retirement, non-use or reduced use on wild horse habitats.

    • Accept public input. For example, Wild Horse Freedom Federation prepared a White Paper using the BLM’s own records, obtained by the Freedom of Information Act. This White Paper is available online here: The White Paper Exhibits are here:

    • Accept public assistance with management of wild horses & burros. Right now, there have been offers from advocacy groups, including Carol Walker of Wild Horse Freedom Federation, to help facilitate, publicize and promote adoptions of the 1,730 wild horses currently being held at the Axtell off-range corrals in Utah, and her emails have either been ignored or her offer of help has been denied.

    • Reintroduce predators to public lands so that there can be a “thriving, natural ecological balance.”

    • Implement accurate population estimates and accountability. We request that the BLM equip the airplanes used for aerial population surveys with a GoPro camera, or some other video camera that is able to get 180 degree, real time, documentation to prove the raw data numbers they use as the basis for their population modeling. We also request that the raw data be made available to the public.

    • Review and set up oversight of the BLM’s record keeping. Wild Horse Freedom Federation obtained records from the BLM’s Wild Horse & Burro System Database, supposedly describing all horses & burros captured in the period of 1980-1999. There were 131,559 entries, but on other BLM records, the BLM claims that during this same time, 168,627 equids were captured. This indicates that 37,068 wild horses & burros were somehow left out of the BLM’s Wild Horse & Burro Program System Database.

    • Stop all removals of wild horses & burros from public lands (including “emergency” removals, that have now become routine), until accurate, scientifically defensible population estimates can be confirmed for all Herd Management Areas, and until all BLM and Forest Service Land Use Plans have been amended to allow for viable herd numbers.

    • Stop use of all forms of fertility control, including all forms of PZP (Porcine Zona Pellucida), GonaCon, sex ratio skewing and sterilizations, including the outdated and cruel hysterectomies via colpotomy on wild mares and gelding/chemically castrating stallions in the wild, and only consider after such time as there are accurate and scientifically defensible population estimates, all BLM and Forest Service Land Use Plans are amended to include viable herd numbers on all HMAs, predators are reintroduced, and all of our other recommendations for management are in place. Hysterectomies via colpotomy on wild mares should never be done.

    • However, if the BLM does use any type of fertility control on herds, the Appropriate Management Level in the BLM and Forest Service Land Use Plans for the areas where fertility control is being administered on herds should be set higher than the minimum of 150-200 members to each herd, with at least 150 breeding age adult animals, to allow for the genetic viability of the herd.

    • We request that all BLM Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Boards, including the BLM’s National Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board, consist of fewer individuals representing special interest (and self-serving) groups, and include more “real” wild horse & burro advocates and advocacy groups. We also request that these advisory boards allow more time for public comment periods.


    • Many thanks for this, Louie. Will send to D.C. and share. The Stewart amendment must be stopped even though it passed the committee.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. From AWHC

    The House Appropriations Committee today took a devastating action to authorize the BLM to manage wild horses and burros in non-reproducing and single-sex herds by subjecting them to risky, invasive surgeries like this ( link to video):

    If passed by the full Congress this would spell the beginning of the end for the iconic, free-roaming mustang herds of the American West.

    While this is bad news, we can stop it in the Senate. Game on!
    Here’s what you can do today:

    1. Call Your Senators at 202-224-3121. Tell them to stand with the 80 percent of Americans who want wild horses protected and humanely managed. Ask them to oppose any 2019 appropriations language that authorizes the slaughter, killing, or sterilization of these cherished federally-protected animals.

    2. You can also let the amendment sponsor and supporters know how you feel about their vote.

    Rep. Chris Stewart, amendment sponsor, 202-225-9730
    Rep. Ken Calvert, Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Chair, (202) 225-1986
    Rep. Betty McCollum, Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking member, (202) 225-6631


Care to make a comment?

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.