Washington, DC (April 1, 2019) . . . Today, Congressman Raul Grijalva, Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, which has jurisdiction over the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), requested language in Fiscal Year 2020 Interior Appropriations legislation to block the U.S. Forest Service from selling federally-protected wild horses for slaughter. Rep. Grijalva seeks to extend to the Forest Service a ban on slaughter currently only imposed on the BLM for wild horses and burros under its jurisdiction.
In a letter to the Interior Appropriations subcommittee, Rep. Grijalva stated, “Recent actions by the U.S. Forest Service, [have] uncovered a loophole in the law exposing hundreds of horses from the Devil’s Garden Plateau Wild Horse Territory in Northern California to sale for slaughter. Thousands of other wild horses managed by the Forest Service are at risk as well.”
Congressman Grijalva also requested legislative language to require the Bureau of Land Management to utilize scientifically recommended humane birth control as an alternative to costly and cruel roundup and removal of wild horses from the range.
“Congressman Grijalva has been a longtime champion for protecting America’s wild horses and burros. We’re grateful to him for taking this necessary step to prevent the federal government from selling wild horses for slaughter over the objections of the overwhelming majority of Americans,” said Suzanne Roy, Executive Director of the American Wild Horse Campaign, the nation’s largest wild horse preservation organization.
The protections sought by Representative Grijalva are urgently needed in light of a Forest Service plan to sell wild horses captured from the Modoc National Forest in California without limitation, which will result in their slaughter. The Forest Service plan, announced last fall, marks a radical departure from past agency policy and has prompted widespread condemnation from the public, Nevada Representative Dina Titus, and California political leaders including U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Assemblyman Todd Gloria and 22 of his colleagues in the California legislature.
In addition to protecting wild horses and burros from slaughter, Representative Grijlava seeks to encourage humane and fiscally sound management practices to reduce population growth rates on the range through the use of birth control. In 2013, the National Academy of Sciences recommended fertility control as a more affordable option than continuing to remove wild horses from the range, however, the BLM still spends zero percent of its budget on this scientifically proven management approach.
The American Wild Horse Campaign is the nation’s leading wild horse protection organization, with more than 700,000 supporters and followers nationwide.