Bill to Protect Salt River Wild Horses Passes Unanimously Out of AZ Senate Committee

Phoenix, AZ (March 8, 2016). . . . Wild horse advocates are cheering a unanimous vote this morning by the Arizona State Senate Committee on Federalism, Mandates and Fiscal Responsibility in favor of HB 2340, a bill to protect the famed Salt River Wild Horses in the Tonto National Forest near Mesa.

“We are grateful to the members of this Senate Committee for their enthusiastic support for this legislation and our Salt River wild horses,” said Simone Netherlands, president of the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group. “It’s great to see our legislators standing up for the will of the people to protect this irreplaceable Arizona natural treasure.”

The bill, introduced by Rep. Kelly Townsend, passed the House on February 25. It will now move on to the full Senate for a vote.

The Scottsdale-based Salt River Wild Horse Management Group and the national American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign threw their support behind the bill after Rep. Townsend amended it to remove a provision for state ownership, which would have cost Arizona nearly $800,000 annually.

The bill now criminalizes the harassment or killing of a Salt River wild horse, clarifies that they are not stray animals, and establishes a process to humanely manage the horses in a partnership with community groups and address the safety concerns for both the horses and the public.

HR 2340 now heads toward the full Senate for a vote.

The Salt River Wild Horse Management Group is an Arizona non-profit organization established to protect, monitor and scientifically study the Salt River Wild Horses. The SRWHMG has been spearheading the effort to secure lasting protections for this iconic and beloved wild horse herd in the Tonto National Forest.

The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC) is dedicated to defending America’s wild horses and burros to protect their freedom, preserve their habitat, and promote humane standards of treatment. AWHPC’s mission is endorsed by a coalition of more than 60 horse advocacy, public interest, and conservation organizations.

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