By a vote of 92-6, the U.S. Senate handed a win to wild and domestic horses on Wednesday by approving a Fiscal Year 2019 “mini-bus” appropriations package that included protective language for wild horses and burros as well as an anti-slaughter provision.
Our work is far from over, however.
That’s because the FY19 Interior Appropriations bill passed by the House contains an amendment that would give broad leeway to the Secretary of the Interior to decide whether a herd should be non-reproducing or single-sex – and fund dangerous, costly and unproven field sterilization surgeries that put the lives of wild mares and jennys at grave risk.
The House also approved a FY19 Agriculture Appropriations bill that does not contain a so-called “horse slaughter defund amendment”: language that RTF works to have included annually to bar the U.S. Department of Agriculture from hiring horsemeat inspectors as a way to effectively stop horse slaughter until a permanent ban is passed.
Senate and House leaders will now meet to sort out the differences between the bills in what is called a Conference Committee. We need the Senate to hold the line on both wild horses protections and horse slaughter.
Finally, it came to light recently that in May the Bureau of Land Management quietly put into place a new wild horse sale policy that allows any buyer to purchase 24 wild horses or burros at a time — with no waiting period and no questions asked. Posted online this month, the policy replaces one that limited buyers to purchasing four wild horses every six months unless granted special permission. This change opens the door wide to kill buyers.
We’re urging Congress to call on BLM to halt the new sale policy. For that message to hit home, we need your help.
Call your members of Congress at (202) 225-3121 (to find direct numbers, click here).
Urge your senators to:
* Oppose a new, quietly implemented BLM policy increasing the number of wild horses that can be sold to individuals and the frequency of those sales. This move will only lead to the slaughter of wild horses, something Congress has strongly rejected;
* Stand strong in Conference committee on the Senate’s language protecting wild horses and burros and on defunding horse slaughter, if the senator sits on the Senate Appropriations Committee (click to see a list of members).
For senators not on the Senate Appropriations Committee: Ask them to tell members of the Conference committee that constituents do not want them to waiver either on protecting wild horses or defunding horse slaughter.
* Support the SAFE Act (S. 1706) to ban slaughter and the transportation of horses for slaughter.
Urge your congressional representative to:
* Oppose a new, quietly implemented BLM increasing the number of wild horses that can be sold to individuals and the frequency of those sales. This move will only lead to the slaughter of wild horses, something Congress has strongly rejected;
* Oppose the House version of the FY19 Interior Appropriations bill because it contains an amendment allowing for the mass sterilization of wild horses and burros; instead, ask your representative to support Senate language on wild horses being considered by the House and Senate Conference committee, instead;
* Oppose the FY19 Agriculture Appropriations bill because it does not include the horse slaughter inspection defund language; instead, ask your representative to support the Senate language being considered by the House and Senate Conference committee, instead;
* Support the SAFE Act (H.R. 113) to ban slaughter and the transportation of horses for slaughter;
* Support the Horse Transportation Safety Act (H.R. 4040) to ban hauling horses on double-deck trailers under all circumstances.