TODAY: House Subcommittee Holds Wild Horse “Oversight” Hearing
Biased hearing aims to lay groundwork for lifting ban on mustang slaughter
Washington, D.C. (June 22, 2016) – This afternoon, the House Natural Resources Federal Lands Subcommittee will hold an oversight hearing on the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM’s) wild horse and burro program. The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC), a leading national wild horse advocacy organization and coalition. today expressed its concern that the hearing is intended to lay the groundwork for lifting the Congressional prohibition on selling wild horses and burros for slaughter.
Three of the four non-agency witnesses at the hearing will be vocal anti-mustang, horse slaughter proponents, while just one witness – Ginger Kathrens of The Cloud Foundation – will represent the sentiments of the vast majority of the American public and present the case for preserving and humanely managing America’s wild horses and protecting them from cruel treatment and slaughter.
WHAT: House Natural Resources Federal Lands Subcommittee will hold an oversight hearing on the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program.
WHEN: Wednesday, June 22, 2016, 2:30 p.m.
WHERE: 1334 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC
The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC) contends that that the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program is profoundly broken and in need of reform. But in order to fix the problem, Congress must adequately diagnose it. A Congressional inquiry into a so-called “excess” wild horse problem that focuses only on wild horse numbers, without evaluating, what the National Academy of Sciences labeled as the program’s unscientific and fiscally wasteful underpinnings will serve only to perpetuate the current system.
“The subcommittee will hear largely biased and unscientific perceptions about wild horses on our public lands. Three out of four of the witnesses are vocal proponents for sending America's wild horses to slaughter, something the vast majority of Americans strongly oppose,” said Suzanne Roy, AWHPC Executive Director. “The solution is not slaughter, it’s addressing BLM’s long-standing mismanagement. The recent National Academy of Sciences study highlighted that BLM's approach to the wild horse program is unscientific, wastes taxpayer money, and ignores scientifically proven solutions to reduce herd growth, including the use of PZP fertility control. “
“Over the last decade, Congress has stood firm against slaughtering America's iconic mustangs and it should continue to do so,” Roy concluded. “The will of American people should prevail, especially on our public lands.”
Instead of focusing on surgical sterilization and slaughter of America’s wild horses and burros, AWHPC urges the Federal Lands Subcommittee to focus on the following salient facts:
- The myth of overpopulation is based on the misleading notion of "appropriate" management level. By setting a national AML of just 16,300 – 27,000, the BLM seeks to drive the wild horse population back to the number (25,000) that existed in 1971, when Congress determined these iconic animals were “fast disappearing.”
- BLM mismanagement has lead to inhumane treatment of the horses, including brutal helicopter roundups and warehousing, destruction of herd family units, and horse slaughter, such as the recent slaughter of 1,800 healthy horses, for which the Inspector General found BLM failed to follow its own policies and ensure protection of the horses.
- Wild horses are present on just 12 % of federal rangelands. Wild horses are not overrunning the West or destroying the range
- Polls document that 3 in 4 Americans support protecting wild horses and burros on public lands, and 80 percent of Americans, including 90 percent of women, oppose horse slaughter.
- AWHPC Written Testimony, BLM Wild Horse and Burro Oversight Hearing
- Key Findings of the 2013 National Academy of Sciences Report, “Using Science to Improve the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program: A Way Forward
- Dangerous Times on Capitol Hill for Wild Horses
The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC) is a coalition of more than 50 horse advocacy, public interest, and conservation organizations dedicated to preserving the American wild horse in viable, free-roaming herds for generations to come, as part of our national heritage.
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