House committee approves $102.6 million for Wild Horse & Burro Program

/ In The News, News
Photo of Cold Creek horses Shiloh, left, and Star Baby taken at RTF’s San Luis Obispo, Calif., satellite sanctuary by Matt Dusig.

The House Appropriations Committee on Friday approved a Fiscal Year 2021 Interior Appropriations bill that includes $102.6 million for the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse and Burro Program.

Congress allocated $101.6 million for Fiscal Year 2020. That included a $21 million investment for a wild horse management strategy built upon the use of proven, safe andhumane fertility control – a first step toward on-range management replacing BLM’s nearly 50-year practice of capturing and warehousing wild horses and burros.

The 2021 bill continues a prohibition on using taxpayer funding to euthanize or sell without restriction (to slaughter) healthy wild horses and burros. It also requires that roundups must be conducted with humane handling standards.

In guiding report language, the committee stressed that while it had finally received a report that it requested from the BLM in 2018 and 2019, the agency still has not presented “a well-defined action plan” to Congress. RTF agrees.

RTF thanks the committee members for their continued support and commitment to ensuring that BLM develops a viable, science-based plan for the humane, long-term management of wild herds on our public lands. 

We will continue our unrelenting push for funding and implementation of these goals in meetings with House and Senate offices while giving voice to concerns about wild horses and burros in conversations with other public lands stakeholders. And we will remain vigilant about how BLM interprets Congress’s call for safe, proven and humane fertility control, strongly opposing any surgical sterilization of wild mares or other tools we believe fall short of what we consider humane.

Send a message to your members of Congress urging them to press BLM on the implementation of safe, proven and humane fertility control.