New Legislation Introduced to Protect Wild Horses

U.S. Representative Nick J. Rahall (D-WV) introduced legislation today that would protect the wild horses roaming our public lands from certain slaughter.

Rahall is the Ranking Democrat on the House Resources Committee which has jurisdiction over wild horse policy on federal lands.

“Very few icons of the West remain, and wild horses are certainly a symbol of the frontier era and our nations spirit. To allow them to be slaughtered without exhausting all other options, such as adoption, is an affront to our history,” declared Rahall.

Rahall’s legislation addresses a provision inserted in a must-pass appropriations bill last year (Burns, R-MT) that allows the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to sell wild horses without limitation – meaning that they can be sold at auction for slaughter to the highest bidder. Additionally the 11th hour rider essentially de-criminalized sending wild horses and burros to slaughter (Wild Horse Annie Act provided that no wild horse or burros could ever be sold for slaughter without being subject to criminal prosecution) by removing the wild horse and burros designation at the time of sale. The Rahall legislation would restore the prohibition on the commercial sale and slaughter of wild free-roaming horses and burros.

“It has been illegal for the past 33 years to sell or transfer wild horses and burros for processing into commercial products because many Americans abhor the thought. They would be aghast to know that these animals now can and will be slaughtered so their meat can be offered on menus in France, Belgium and Japan,” stated Rahall.

“To suggest that an acceptable solution to a federal agency’s management dilemma is commercial slaughter is an irresponsible approach to our public lands and the wildlife that roam them,” said Rahall.

The federal government has a mediocre record in enforcing wild horse and burro protection laws. But instead of addressing these long-term and widespread management problems, the recent change is simply a quick and dirty fix.

“A public outcry has again begun across the United States over the change in law that now allows this disgraceful deed. We need to act before it is too late for thousands of these animals,” concluded Rahall.


Click here to find your sens and reps to let them know how you feel on this issue.

Writing, emailing and phoning your Representatives and Senators and ask that they SUPPORT HR 297 presented by the Honorable Rep. Nick J. Rahall (D-WV)

Let Representative Rahall know that he is your “hero” by taking action to save the wild horses and burros. Please pass this on to every animal lover you know.

Now is our chance to make difference to save these wonderful creatures! Act NOW! Don’t delay, their lives depend on it!

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