AWHC blasts UT Senator Legislation to Give Feds Carte Blanche to Round Up & Sterilize Wild Horses and Burros

Nation’s largest wild horse group blasts Utah Senator’s Legislation to Give Feds Carte Blanche to Round Up & Sterilize Nation’s Wild Horse and Burro Herds

WASHINGTON, D.C (March 6, 2020)...The American Wild Horse Campaign (AWHC), the nation’s leading wild horse protection organization, today vowed to oppose new legislation introduced by Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) to amend the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act to exempt any actions related to use of motorized aircraft to round up and remove wild horses from public lands and the sterilization of free-roaming wild horses and burros from the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

Lee’s amendment reads as follows:

(i) In general.--During any period with respect to which the Secretary determines under subparagraph (A) that an overpopulation of wild free-roaming horses or burros exists, the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) shall not apply to-- “(I) the use of any vehicle, including an all-terrain vehicle or helicopter, that the Secretary determines to be necessary to capture excess wild free-roaming horses or burros;” or “(II) the sterilization by a licensed professional of any male or female wild free-roaming horse or burro.”

“Senator Lee’s legislation would give the Bureau of Land Management carte blanche to unleash mass helicopter roundups on wild horse and burro herds and to conduct barbaric and dangerous surgical sterilization procedures on these federally-protected animals with no requirements for public disclosure or analysis of the impacts on these controversial actions,” said Suzanne Roy, Executive Director for the AWHC. “Lee is launching an assault on a law that was unanimously passed by Congress. We will vigorously oppose this attempt to turn back the clock on 50 years of protection for the nation’s iconic wild horses and burros, which 80 percent of Americans want to protect on our western public lands.”

According to AWHC, this is part of the Trump Administrations’ attempt to gut NEPA in an effort to advance industry agenda, in this case, that of the commercial livestock industry which seeks the mass removal of wild horses and burros to maximize taxpayer-subsidized livestock grazing on Western public lands.

The American Wild Horse Campaign (AWHC) is the nation’s leading wild horse protection organization, with more than 700,000 supporters and followers nationwide. AWHC is dedicated to preserving the American wild horse and burros in viable, free-roaming herds for generations to come, as part of our national heritage. In addition to advocating for protection and preservation of America’s wild herds, AWHC implements the largest wild horse fertility control program in the world through a partnership with the State of Nevada for wild horses that live in the Virginia Range near Reno.