The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society Legislative Fund are pleased that the 2017 omnibus spending bill includes provisions directing the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to protect our nation’s wild horses and burros. The bill prevents the BLM and its contractors from sending wild horses to be slaughtered for human consumption. It further directs the BLM to review all serious proposals from non-governmental organizations and create a plan, within 180 days of enactment of the bill, to maintain long-term, sustainable populations on the range in a humane manner.
The spending bill would also allow the BLM to more easily transfer wild horses to federal, state or local governments to serve as work horses, while qualifying that transferred horses are not to be slaughtered for commercial purposes (by the adopting agency or any third party thereafter) or euthanized without veterinary recommendation, and only then in cases of severe illness, injury or advanced age.
Gillian Lyons, senior wildlife fertility control policy manager for the HSUS, said, “Congress is giving direction to federal land managers to protect wild horses, allowing some controlled adoptions of horses to third parties. But Congress was explicit that this adoption process won’t be the first step toward transferring these horses to kill buyers and others who might slaughter or otherwise exploit them. The BLM, if it allows for adoptions, must create and enforce mechanisms to assure the long-term care for these horses.”
The Humane Society of the United States closely tracks BLM wild horse and burro management actions and is an advocate of fertility control as a humane, on-range management strategy and an alternative to costly gathers and adoptions or long-term holding."
- Media Relations