Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., on Monday, Aug. 16, sent a letter to Interior Secretary Deb Haaland calling for an investigation into the Bureau of Land Management’s controversial Adoption Incentive Program, which gives adopters $1,000 for adopting a wild horse.
“I believe more must be done in light of the disturbing allegations that some adopters have mistreated or illegally sold wild horses and burros, and respectfully urge BLM to conduct a full investigation of the matter and prevent such adopters from adopting again,” Feinstein wrote in a letter to Interior Secretary Haaland. “Additionally, I urge BLM to re-evaluate its cash incentive for the adoption of untrained wild horses and consider prioritizing such federal payments to subsidize training for adopted wild horses to increase the likelihood that they stay in loving homes instead of ending up at slaughter.”
- In May, The New York Times exposed an Arkansas family auctioning off adopted wild horses to slaughter.
- Feinstein and 30 members of the House responded, calling for the Adoption Incentive Program to be halted and investigated.
- RTF called for the program to be suspended and for an investigation by the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Inspector General. If the program is to be continued, incentives should be non-cash and should pay for proven training or veterinary care, we wrote.
- In July, National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory could not agree on whether to recommend a pause in the adoption program. Instead, it voted to approve a statement of concern and to recommend that BLM pursue non-cash incentives.
- Later in July, BLM vowed to make a series of changes to the program intended to better protect adopted wild horses, but it stopped short of an outside investigation or dropping the cash incentives.