Thank you to Reps. Steve Cohen and Dina Titus for offering an amendment to H.R. 7608 (
While $11 million would be a sizable investment in fertility control, more will be needed — as will continued vigilance on the part of advocacy organizations like Return to Freedom and oversight on the part of Congress to ensure that taxpayer funding goes toward a properly implemented, robust program of proven, safe and humane fertility control.
The proposed amendment by House members reaffirms Congress’s focus on the wild horse issue and RTF’s call for the use of fertility control as a key tool in ending BLM’s nearly 50-year-old cycle of capture, removal and warehousing of wild horses.
Faced with an unprecedented push on Capitol Hill for the use of lethal tools starting in 2017, RTF was part of a years-long effort to provide Congress with a viable science-based, non-lethal alternative that could achieve bipartisan support. It helped yield a $21 million increase from Congress for Fiscal Year 2020, the first steps in moving BLM’s wild horse management in a new direction.
If the amendment is accepted by the House Rules Committee on Wednesday, there will be a floor vote on Thursday.
Whether the amendment restricting some BLM funding to PZP use only ultimately passes, the House Interior Appropriations Committee has already voted to include another $21 million toward shifting the program in the proposed Fiscal Year 2021 funding package. RTF is grateful to both House and Senate appropriators for their focus on making the management of federally protected wild herds more humane and sustainable.
RTF will continue to advocate for consistent funding support for and the implementation of safe, proven and humane fertility control vaccines, like PZP-22 as well as PZP, public-private partnerships like darting programs and herd monitoring, and rangeland restoration while strongly opposing surgical sterilization of wild mares and burro jennies and lethal tools like euthanasia or unrestricted sale (to slaughter).