WASHINGTON—The Humane Society of the United States has expressed concerns about a Bureau of Land Management policy revision which allows agency officials to increase the number of wild horses and burros sold to individuals and organizations from four to 25.

The previous policy issued in 2012 permitted individuals and organizations to purchase just four horses in a six-month period. This policy emerged after investigations revealed that the BLM was selling horses to a known kill buyer, who would then send them to slaughter.

Kitty Block, acting president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States issued this statement:

This misguided policy revision purports to address the plight of tens of thousands of wild horses and burros housed in BLM facilities, but the fact is that it puts these iconic animals at risk of being slaughtered. Prior to 2012, a similar policy resulted in kill buyers purchasing wild horses and burros and re-selling them into the slaughter pipeline, despite assurances to the contrary from the BLM and language in the appropriations bill that prohibited it. Responsible management requires a focus on finding more humane homes for animals off range, in holding facilities and large scale fertility control on the range. This revision accomplishes neither. Instead it removes one of the few safeguards previously put into place to protect wild horses and burros from slaughter. We urge the Department of the Interior to reconsider its decision before history repeats itself at the expenses of animals that deserve much better from us.

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