6 Questions to Ask About the HSUS/ASPCA Plan for Wild Horses

(April 25, 2019) The National Cattlemen's Beef Association, the Public Lands Council (lobbying group for public lands ranchers), Rep. Chris Stewart(R-UT), the ASPCA, the Humane Society of the United States and Return to Freedom this week released a plan for wild horse management that calls for unprecedented removals of wild horses and burros from our public lands. The plan is being couched by the groups in positive terms, but it has dangerous implications for America's wild herds. 

The groups have put out numerous justifications for their plan that don't address all the facts. If you are confused, we encourage you to contact these groups with the following questions.

1. Are you asking people to ask their representatives to introduce legislation that will REQUIRE the removal of 15,000-20,000 horses this year?

2. Is surgical sterilization of wild horses — including surgically removing the ovaries of wild mares — explicitly prohibited by this language? Of the ~30,000 horses that would be left on the range if your plan is implemented, how many would be non-reproducing? 

  • The ASPCA’s Frequently Asked Questions on the plan states, “The panoply of options included for population growth suppression would theoretically include some forms of sterilization. To start with, gelding and re-releasing those animals to the range could be part of the re-balancing and population control plan. The more controversial idea of sterilizing mares has been in the public discourse for a few years and while that might be allowable under this plan, those methods would have to be proven safe and humane before being employed.”

3. Do you have a guarantee that the government will fund lifetime care of the 50,000 wild horses and burros you want to remove from the range and the 50,000 already confined in holding pens and pastures?

4. Why are you supporting the cattle industry agenda of reducing the wild horse population to within 20% of the population size that existed in 1971 when Congress protected the horses because they were fast disappearing?

5. Do you think that this Congress is going to vote for wild horse slaughter without your plan?  Don’t you think that doubling the population of horses and burros in government funded holding will increase the chances that horses will be killed in the future if the Congress decides we can’t afford their care?

6. Can you provide me with the full copy of the actual plan (not talking points)? 

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