Monday, the House and Senate unveiled an agreement on the fiscal year 2020 spending legislation. The final bill rejects the efforts of bipartisan lawmakers to prevent federal funds from being allocated toward cruel sterilization surgeries and accelerated roundups.
The vast majority of Americans, from both parties, oppose these surgeries and roundups.
But, this bipartisan effort to protect wild horses and burros was rejected in favor of a backroom deal cut by Washington D.C. lobbyists for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the Humane Society of the U.S., the ASPCA, and Return to Freedom that seeks federal funding for the roundup of as many as 20,000 wild horses and burros from our public lands next year.
This week marks the 48th anniversary of the signing of the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, and the spending bill unveiled yesterday marks a sweeping and unparalleled betrayal of these beloved and iconic animals by groups that say they want to protect them.
The words of then-President Nixon in his signing statement for the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act stand as true today as they did in 1971.
“Wild horses and burros merit man’s protection historically … as a matter of ecological right–as anyone knows who has ever stood awed at the indomitable spirit and sheer energy of a mustang running free.”
Then, as today, the American people stand firmly on the side of protecting America’s majestic public horses and the public lands they live on.