Wild horses are quickly disappearing from the American West because of a cruel, expensive and needless federal government program - but we can stop it if we act now. Sign here to tell Congress and President Obama to save our wild horses!
Last week, Rep. Martha McSally asked the House Interior Appropriations Committee to incorporate language to prevent the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) from turning over captured wild horses to other federal, state and local agencies as a back door route to the slaughter house.1
The BLM is evaluating a 10-year plan to manage the wild horses and burros. But they're under pressure from ranchers, who want hundreds more wild horses and burros removed in order to maximize taxpayer-subsidized livestock grazing on public lands. So the BLM has asked Congress for permission to strip wild horses of their protected status and turn them over to other agencies, creating an end run around the current Congressional ban on selling wild horses for slaughter.2
Over-development and pollution were pushing out the horses already, which is why the number of wild horses roaming the West has decreased by 75 percent. So in 1971, America made a promise, "that wild free-roaming horses and burros are living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West;" and that they would, "be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death; and to accomplish this they are to be considered in the area where presently found, as an integral part of the natural system of the public lands."3
We’re calling on Congress and the administration to reform the government’s wild horse management policies and restore protections to wild horses under federal law. Please click here to protect Americas Wild Horses and Burros.
The 1971 Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burros Act designates public lands for their protection.2 But since then, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has not been living up to our promise. Nearly 300,000 wild horses and burros have been removed from public lands -- mostly to make way for commercial cattle grazing, mining, drilling and other extreme energy extraction like fracking. More than half of them are stockpiled in government holding facilities.4 The rules for these exiled horses are disgustingly lax, and last year the BLM sold 1,794 federally protected wild horses to a Colorado rancher who sent them to slaughter.5
Rounding up and stockpiling wild horses isn't just bad for the horses (though it is) - it's also a huge waste of taxpayer money: About 72 percent of the BLM budget for wild horses is spent on roundups and stockpiling, while less than one percent is spent on fertility control to keep wild horses on the range. Costs to taxpayers keep escalating ($80,000,000 this fiscal year), while feeding wild horses in government holding facilities costs the American taxpayer $140,000 every day.6
The best solution is to redirect federal resources to in-the-wild management of wild horses and burros, which would keep these animals on the range and save taxpayers millions every year. But instead, BLM wants to risk the health of healthy wild horses by subjecting them to risky and painful surgery in the wild and expand its "unlimited sale authority," which could lead to many more horses being sent to slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico.7
We have to speak up now, before BLM's budget is approved, and make sure Congress and the President know we want to save wild horses, not kill or maim them. Sign and share this important action on social media to protect America's Wild Horses and Burros.
Thanks for taking action,
Sally and the Wild Horse Saving Crew at Environmental Action
1. AZ Congresswoman Takes a Stand for America's Wild Horses. March 24, 2016.
2. BLM accepting public comments on environmental assessment for Blue Wing Complex wild horse and burro project. BLM. March 4, 2016.
3. Wild Horse and Burro Program. March 28, 2013.
4. Ashley Matthews. BLM must reconsider its policies on wild horses. The Denver Post. November 11, 2013
5. John M. Glionna, 1,800 protected wild horses sent to their deaths in Mexican slaughterhouses, LA Times, October 29, 2015
6. American Wild Horse Preservation, Salt River Wild Horses FAQ,
7. Matt Pearce, Cliven Bundy still owes the U.S. $1 million. What are the feds doing to collect it?, LA Times, January 7, 2016
6. American Wild Horse Preservation, New Video Shows Brutality of BLM’s Proposed Wild Horse Sterilization Experiments March 17, 2016.