A Win For The Horses!

H.R. 2996 is now law, Public Law 111-88, Interior Dept. and Continuing Appropriations, FY 2010. Under this law, BLM is prohibited from using any funds "for the destruction of healthy, unadopted, wild horses and burros in the care of the Bureau of Land Management or its contractors or for the sale of wild horses and burros that results in their destruction for processing into commercial products".

This is the mandate that was proposed by Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA, telling the Senate:

"We ... are down to just a few herds of horses. And the reason that i think that this is even more important than to just western states or the ranchers or landowners or humane society and others is because for the people generally, the idea of wild spaces with wild horses is something that is really part of our heritage. And we want to make sure that that heritage isn't lost, that we're being responsible in terms of the way the land is being used for multiple purposes and from the perspective of horse advocates, that the horses themselves are being treated fairly.
"And none of that right now is being done in the way that most people, i believe, would appreciate or would be satisfied with. There have been any number of studies that i'm going to submit to the record.
"Most recently, the congressional research service as well as the government accounting office has suggested major changes to the program. I'm just going to go through a few possible options. One, the creation of several public-private sanctuaries. This has been suggested by a few fairly high-profiled individuals in our country. The idea has merit. We are working with a variety of different groups along with the department to think about the possibility of creating public-private partnerships, large sanctuaries, maybe 500,000 or a million acres where thousands of wild horses could not only roam freely in a healthy way, but they also could potentially become ecotourist opportunities for some of the states and communities as it would be an attraction that could potentially make money and attract people out to some of these western areas. Or, for that matter, grant rural areas in other parts of the country.
"There is a possibility to make some smart investments to step up some of the adoption programs that might work. And there are any number of scientific and new technologies that can be brought to bear in terms of breed management, reproductive issues that could help us get a much more cost-effective, sane and humane approach to this problem. 

 This bill passed the Senate on September 25, 2009.
For more go to Animal Law Coalition

Wild stallion Lazarus and part of his band in ...Image via Wikipedia Wild stallion Lazarus and part of his band in West Warm Springs HMA, OR

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  1. Well, that's a step in the right direction.Let's hope more people will become aware of what's happening to the wild horses in this country and speak up for them. Thanks for the info.

  2. One step at the time I guess. It's shocking how uninformed people are on these issues. As you say, as the momentum grows, let's hope more people find out how their heritage is being stolen from them.


"From my earliest memories, I have loved horses with a longing beyond words." ~ Robert Vavra