AWHC programs address threats that endanger wild horse and burro populations on our public lands. Such threats are presented by government agencies and policies that seek to round up these American heritage animals, remove them from their homes on the range, warehouse and/or sell them for slaughter and, in some cases, eradicate them entirely from our public lands. Our primary focus includes:
Education and Advocacy — AWHC raises the bar on the public’s knowledge about wild horses and burros and the need to save them through face-to-face community outreach, online and social media organizing, and media outreach. Our grassroots base has grown 100 times since 2011, and our social media presence now exceeds 600,000. Thanks to tireless efforts, in 2017 AWHC was quoted an average of 8 times per month. We are not just raising awareness; we are also mobilizing public support to protect wild horses and burros and change current unsustainable and inhumane government management policies.
In-the-Wild Management — AWHC aided in implementing the world’s largest humane management program for wild horses in the world. The cornerstone of this program was remote darting of wild mares with a scientifically-proven birth control vaccine, PZP to humanely reduce population growth rates and decrease population numbers over time. This highly successful program is a model for humanely managing large wild horse populations in large habitat areas and an alternative to costly and inhumane roundups and removals of wild horses from the wild.
Legislation — A team of lobbyists from both sides of the political aisle work together on behalf of AWHC to address the current threat in Congress of legalizing the mass killing or slaughter of America’s wild horses. This lobbying effort, paired with the grassroots mobilization campaign connecting constituents to their elected leaders empowers them to promote policies that protect wild horses and burros from capture and slaughter.
Litigation — Working with a legal team at the public interest law firm, Meyer Glitzenstein and Eubanks, AWHC has amassed a strong record of legal victories in federal court, including three significant legal precedents at the Ninth and Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. These legal victories have affirmed that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management cannot turn public lands over to private interests and has broad discretion to manage wild horses and burros without rounding them up and removing them from their homes on the range. In addition to protecting the wild horses and burros living on public rangelands in the western states, AWHC serves the majority of Americans who value these national treasures and want to see them preserved and protected as mandated by the unanimously passed Wild Free-Roaming Wild Horses and Burros Act of 1971. The latter includes the 50 coalition partners that join them in their work, as well as individual wild horse and burro advocates, members of the wider equestrian community, photographers and artists, and outdoor recreationists.