TCF, AWHC, and 80+ groups release Unified Statement against horse slaughter

The Wild Horse and Burro Program, administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), is failing and in desperate need of reform. The Fiscal Year 2018 Appropriations Act instructed the BLM to develop a "science-based, detailed plan that reduces the complexity and cost of contracting policies and procedures... and has the goal of reducing costs while improving the health and welfare of wild horses and burros, and the range." However, rather than accelerate program reforms through collaborative public-private partnerships, the BLM is seeking legislative authority to reduce its costs by killing thousands of wild horses and burros. Such an approach has historically been rejected by Congress and by more than 80% of the American public, but was proposed again by the administration for the FY19 budget.

The Cloud Foundation and the American Wild Horse Campaign along with 100+ citizen organizations dedicated to protecting and preserving our nation's wild horses and burros have united in support of a humane, sustainable management plan. This plan identifies alternatives to the approach of killing captive and free-roaming wild horses and burros. It includes:  

  • Creating a ten-year plan to reduce and stabilize wild horse populations while maintaining current prohibitions against killing, destruction, and sale for slaughter

  • Repatriating geldings, PZP-treated mares and jennies from expensive short-term holding pens to "zeroed-out" habitats to reduce costs and improve quality of life for captive wild horses and burros

  • Ensuring equitable allocation of resources between livestock and wild equines

  • Engaging public-private partnerships in development of management approaches for individual herd management areas or regions to ensure genetically viable herds

  • Creating public and/or private financial compensation or tax credits in exchange for grazing permit retirement, non-use, or reduced use in wild horse and burro habitats

  • Continuing to research safe fertility control vaccines and management methods

  • Developing apprenticeship positions within the BLM and the United States Forest Service (USFS)

Our Principles and Recommendations are consistent with the findings and recommendations from the National Academy of Sciences' 2013 report and other leading research organizations.  We recognize there is not an 'easy fix' and our recommendations cannot be considered in isolation, but believe by bringing together nonprofit organizations, government officials and agencies, including the BLM, the  USFS, and others, we can help implement a new way forward.

To see the Unified Statement in its entirety along with the list of organizations who signed on, click here.

To see the TCF & AWHC press release, click here

To see the letter sent to members of Congress from TCF & AWHC, click here

 

Kayah Swanson