Wild Horses and Burros Need Your Voice TODAY!

Information supplied by Daniel Cordero Fernández

“We must relentlessly call Congress until they ask for mercy and remove the two offending sections legalizing wild horse killings and enabling horse slaughter in Appropriation Bills…”

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Focus on all the member of the House and Senate appropriations committees but also contact your own Congressman and two Senators. This is because, in all likelihood, the two pro-slaughter sections (one removing the USDA slaughter inspections ban and other adding language to allow BLM to kill and sell for slaughter wild horses in holding) will be passed by the appropriations committees since western pro-slaughter folks have the majority and they have already discussed the matter and have allegedly agreed to pushing this to the full Congress to bring horse slaughter back. In my humble opinion, it is a done deal.

When contacting both your own legislators and the members of the committees, you must ask:

  1. a) Committee members:

– Ask them to vote no on any language allowing the killing of wild horses in holding and / or their sale without limitation, that is, for slaughter or “processing into commercial products” as they like to call it.

– Ask them to oppose any changes to refund horse slaughter inspections by USDA. Ask them to reintroduce the defunding language by means of a private amendment if necessary.

  1. b) Rest of congressmen:

– Ask them to oppose any language allowing the killing of wild horses in holding and/or their sale without limitation and, if necessary, to introduce or support an amendment striking down any language in the appropriations bill allowing the killing and sale without limitation.

– Ask them to support any amendment reintroducing the ban on the use of tax money to fund USDA horse slaughter inspections.

Contact information for all members of Congress, including the ones from a specific committee can be found together in this site:

https://www.contactingcongress .org/

Just select the committee you want contact info from the drop down menu and you are ready to go.

In the case of the agriculture appropriations one, whose text is already made but wasn’t formally introduced, they are aiming at removing Section 767 from the former appropriations bill, which contains the USDA defunding language that prevents horse slaughter plants to open up:

https://www.obpa.usda.gov/34gp exnotes2018.pdf

Go to Page 18 where it reads:

«Section 767: Prohibits inspection of horses for slaughter.

[Sec. 767. None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available in this Act may be used to pay the salaries or expenses of personnel—(1) to inspect horses under section 3 of the Federal Meat Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 603);

(2) to inspect horses under section 903 of the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (7 U.S.C. 1901 note; Public Law 104–127); or (3) to implement or enforce section 352.19 of title 9, Code of Federal Regulations (or a successor regulation).]

This change deletes the entire section 767. This change is requested in order to permit the Executive Branch to carry out programs in the most efficient manner. » >>> They are deleting the ban entirely.

In the case of the Interior Appropriations Bill there is still no bill text (looks like these welfare ranching cowboys have problems putting two words together) but we have Trump’s budget request where HE VERY CLEARLY REQUESTS WILD HORSES IN HOLDING TO BE KILLED AND TO ALLOW SALES OF WILD HORSES FOR “ALL PURPOSES”, THAT IS, FOR SLAUGHTER:

https://www.doi.gov/…/u…/fy201 8_blm_budget_justification.pdf

Go to page 24 of the .pdf where it reads:

«Wild Horse & Burro Management Shift Management Strategies (-$10,000,000 / -29 FTE)

The WH/B budget is principally consumed by the cost to care for excess animals in off range facilities, […]. Animals for which there is no adoption demand are to be humanely euthanized while others that meet certain criteria are to be sold without limitation. Enacted appropriations bills from 1988 to 2004 and from 2010 to present have prohibited destruction of healthy animals and unlimited sale. […] The BLM must be able to use all of the tools included in the Act to manage this program in a more cost-effective manner, including the ability o conduct sales without limitation. The budget proposes to eliminate appropriations language restricting the BLM from using all of the management options authorized in the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act. An estimated $4.0 million of the $10.0 reduction will be achieved through savings resulting from unrestricted sales. »

The markup session where both bills (agriculture and interior) text will be formally redacted and introduced is NEXT WEDNESDAY July 12th. Make sure you keep calling and writing until these two languages are killed for good. 



Congressmen Send Letter to Salazar to Halt Costly and Deadly BLM Wild Horse Stampedes, AGAIN

Grijalva Urges Int. Sec. Salazar to Halt Horse Spaying Plan, Stop Roundups Pending Completion of Nat. Academy of Sciences Review

photo by Terry Fitch

Washington, D.C.– Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva today sent a letter to Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar urging an immediate halt to a new Bureau of Land Management (BLM) plan to spay and geld wild horses, which could lead to the brutal death of many horses and contribute to their eventual extinction in the United States. The letter, co-signed by 64 other Members of Congress, outlines concerns with BLM wild horse oversight practices and highlights the extremity of the new spaying plan.

The plan to spay and geld horses to create non-reproducing herds was recently selected for the first time as the management tool for the White Mountain and Little Colorado herds in southern Wyoming.

“To accomplish the goal of creating a non-reproducing herd, the BLM proposes to geld stallions and also spay wild horse mares,” the letter reads in part. “Both procedures are dangerous for wild animals, but the spaying of female horses is a practice not even recommended for domestic mares, let alone wild ones.”

As an alternative, one of the methods emphasized in the letter is immunocontraception, a tool endorsed by the Humane Society of the United States. The letter points out that the BLM has a history of inhumane treatment of wild horses and burros and needs to improve its overall management practices. The holding of wild horses throughout the West cost the federal government $36.9 million in fiscal year 2010.

“We are also concerned about BLM’s overall commitment to herd conservation and stewardship,” the letter reads. “BLM budget allocation to census operations and actual on the ground range monitoring was a paltry $1 million last year, while roundup operations alone constituted over $7.7 million. It appears that BLM is focusing their efforts on eradication of wild horses and burros, rather than actual management and monitoring on the range.”

Grijalva has been actively pursuing horse safety oversight for years, especially in his capacity as ranking member of the National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands Subcommittee. His earlier efforts and recommendations led to an ongoing review of BLM policies by the National Academy of Sciences, which is scheduled to be completed early next year.

In the letter that initiated that study, Grijalva noted that such a study could lead to “a clear determination of the most accurate, science-based methodologies to estimate wild horse and burro populations, provide an assessment of Appropriate Management Levels based on the goal of maintaining sustainable herds and provide an assessment of practical, effective, nonlethal and publicly acceptable management alternatives to current BLM policies.”

Today’s letterargues that the study must be completed before BLM officials waste more taxpayer dollars on inefficient roundups. The full letter is reviewable at http://grijalva.house.gov/uploads/Grijalva%20Letter%20to%20Salazar%20Wild%20Horse%20Managament%20July%2028.pdf.