Horse News

The Government Partial Shutdown: What it Means for Wild Horses & Burros

Source: AWHC

“It’s not all bad news…”

Last Friday night, Congress failed to come to an agreement on a Continuing Resolution to keep the government running, sparking a partial government shutdown. If the last ditch efforts to negotiate a deal this weekend fail, and the shutdown goes into the holiday weekend and beyond, it is likely to impact many federal agencies including the U.S. Department of the Interior which has not been funded yet.  Here are five ways that wild horses and burros could be affected.

#1. Wild horses and burros in Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Forest Service (USFS) holding facilities will continue to be fed and cared for. The BLM has previously confirmed to AWHC that this is considered an essential government service that will continue during the shutdown.

#2. Pending wild horse roundups and sales – could be delayed or cancelled. Depending on the length of the shutdown, it could affect the timing of the next scheduled roundup in the Pine Nut Mountains Herd Management Area (HMA) in Nevada. That means that the over 600 wild horses targeted for removal tentatively on January 7th could enjoy a few extra days – or weeks – of freedom on our public lands, again depending on how long it takes for Congress and the Administration to come together on a spending bill.

It is also likely that planned sales events for the Devil’s Garden wild horses will be cancelled or delayed, which is good news for the horses, since the Forest Service this week announced that it would start selling these cherished mustangs for $1 a piece, albeit “with limitations” on slaughter.

#3. Even if the Congress comes to agreement to restart the government, it will do so under a Continuing Resolution that will keep the government running under the provisions of the 2018 omnibus spending bill. That’s good news for wild horses and burros, because the 2018 bill prevents the BLM from spending money to destroy, sell for slaughter, or perform surgical sterilization on wild horses and burros.

#4. Deadlines for public comments on various proposed actions related to federally protected wild horses and burros may be extended. This may include certain BLM proposals related to the agency’s compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 that are now open for public comment.

#5. Wild horse and burro advocates will have to remain ready to act … but at the right time.  Calls to Congress at this moment urging continued protections for wild horses and burros are likely to be lost in all the noise on Capitol Hill.

It’s unclear whether Congress will return to deliberating actual Fiscal Year 2019 spending legislation.  When and if it does, members will decide between the Senate Interior Appropriations bill (which prohibits killing and slaughter of wild horses and burros) and the House version (which allows for the destruction of healthy wild horses and burros, putting tens of thousands in danger of being killed). That will be the time to weigh in and ensure that the voice of 80 percent of Americans who oppose the killing and slaughter of America’s iconic mustangs and burros is heard.

5 replies »

  1. I’m exhausted at Politics benefiting from our Nature and Natural Resources. As the History of America declines into Profit for Industry, while it’s Citizens suffer to watch it’s demise. How many Animals?, How much Pollution?, How much decay? Do Politicians want! How much money is worth our Living Resource. This endless trend of Exploitation on our Earth is non-refundable, it is the Death penalty on Humanity and He deserves it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “…members will decide between the Senate Interior Appropriations bill (which prohibits killing and slaughter of wild horses and burros) and the House version (which allows for the destruction of healthy wild horses and burros…”

    Don’t the two conflicting versions usually go to a conference committee which tries to reach compromise language that is then sent up the ladder for voting? I don’t think this is an either/or situation?


  3. Kindred Spirits


    Sheep trade is finished…”

    Sydney Morning Herald, December 2018

    This was a very welcome media headline to end what has been a huge year in our efforts to end live
    After 50 years of condemning animals to unconscionable cruelty — after half a century of thinking their secrets would stay hidden at sea — the live sheep export industry’s days are well and truly numbered.
    They’re numbered because compassionate and determined people have refused to stay silent.
    Because, day and night, for eight months, you have answered our call for help every time we found a strategic opportunity to fuel this campaign for the animals onwards.

    Now, as a result of our collective efforts, live exporters no longer enjoy majority political support. Two additional live export bills were introduced to the Federal Parliament during the final parliamentary sitting week, sending a striking message from a powerful new cross-bench straight to the Morrison government that this issue is more palpable than ever, and will not go away.

    These are your voices, your emails, your phone calls, your letters, being echoed by your political representatives.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Leave them be laws are set aside to protect them and it’s not being honored. The hall with open grazing for the cattle that’s not what it was set up for most people hate these roundups the abuse these poor animals endure they deserve to be left alone and honored . Stop this sinceless killing of them .


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