AWHPC Fights BLM Budget Language/End Run Around Slaughter Prohibition

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(June 7, 2016) The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is seeking budget language that will amend the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act to allow for the transfer of unrestricted numbers of captured wild horses and burros to other federal, state and local agencies for use as "work animals." Wild horses and burros transferred in this manner would be stripped of federal protection, which currently prevents them from being sold for slaughter. 
 
Many state and local governments in the West are dominated by livestock interests and actively lobby for the mass removal and slaughter of America's mustangs and burros. The proposed budget language would provide a mechanism to evade the current Congressional prohibition on selling wild horses and burros for slaughter and pathway into the slaughter pipeline for hundreds and potentially thousands of wild horses and burros. 
 
AWHPC has mobilized to stop this dangerous budget language. On May 24, 2016, the House Subcommittee on Interior and Environment Appropriations reported out the Fiscal Year 2017 Interior and Environment Bill. The bill did not include the dangerous language sought by the BLM. 
 
However, the wild horses and burros are not yet out of the woods. During the bill's mark up hearing, Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) indicated that he would offer an amendment when the bill comes before the full Appropriations Committee with a "solution" to the wild horse "problem." We know what Rep. Stewart's solution entails - turning management of our wild horses and burros over to states that want to slaughter "excess" animals. 
 
This is a mortal threat to wild horses and we continue to defeat any initiatives on Capitol Hill that would lead to slaughter or mass sterilization of wild horses. 
 
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