Amidst massive public outcry, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) last week stated that it was rejecting a recommendation to kill up to 45,000 wild horses and burros now held in holding facilities. "We are not going to sell to slaughter or put down healthy horses," a BLM spokesperson told the New York Times.
Read our full statement on the BLM’s decision here.
This is a huge victory, and it comes just after the BLM pulled the plug on cruel sterilization experiments on wild mares in Oregon. In testimony before Congress last week, BLM director Neil Kornze credited the lawsuit we filed with The Cloud Foundation as the reason for the agency's decision to halt the experiments.
These are truly big wins, and testimony to the power of the people to defeat the special interests that drive BLM wild horse policy. Over 20,000 citizens submitted comments opposing the BLM’s sterilization experiments, and more than 200,000 have signed our Change.org petition opposing the mass killing of captured wild horses and burros in holding.
But there is no time to rest, because BLM continues to drive the Wild Horse and Burro program toward disaster. As long as the agency refuses to utilize humane birth control, fails to adequately reduce livestock grazing, and continues the unsustainable practice of removing and stockpiling wild horses and burros in holding facilities, the danger of mass killing or sale for slaughter of America's mustangs remains a clear and present danger. At any moment, the BLM and its livestock industry allies could use the excuse of an "emergency" to justify the mass killing plan. So we must not let down our guard.
Currently AWHPC is focused on ensuring that the Congressional prohibition on killing healthy wild horses and burros or selling them for slaughter remains in tact. We're also working to amend a dangerous provision in the 2017 appropriations bill that allows BLM to strip wild horses and burros of federal protections and turn them over to state and local agencies, many of whom have lobbied for the mass removal and slaughter of these national icons.
Stay tuned, and continue to support our work if you can!