It’s been another rough year for wild horses. Return to Freedom continues the fight with a physical presence on Capitol Hill working every day for our wild horses and burros – but we need your help.
As of this writing, Congress is hammering out a short-term extension on funding for the Department of Interior, which includes the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse & Burro Program. Lawmakers could reach an agreement and vote any day now.
It’s up to the Senate Conference Committee members to hold the line on protective language for wild horses and burros and on horse slaughter because the House approved an amendment in support of dangerous, costly and unproven sterilization surgeries for wild mares.
The House also rejected the horse slaughter defund amendment, which would have prohibited the U.S. Department of Agriculture from using our tax dollars to hire horsemeat inspectors that would have kept an effective ban on slaughter in place. The Senate did the opposite and listened to the will of the American people.
We need to continue calling members of the Senate to politely encourage them to stand strong on the protective language for wild horses and burros and to preserve anti-slaughter language as the Conference Committee works out the differences between the House and Senate bills.
Wild horse advocates also need to alert members of the Senate to BLM’s stealth changes to its wild horse sale policy, which now allows a single buyer to purchase up to 24 wild horses per day with no oversight, no restrictions, no waiting period and no questions asked. This change runs counter to Congress’ opposition to selling wild horses and burros to slaughter and opens a back door for the easy disposal of thousands of captured wild horses and burros.
We expect Congress to approve a short-term Continuing Resolution any day now through Dec. 7 that will fund the Departments of Interior and Agriculture and other agencies until after the November election, when Congress will return to try and approve a long-term spending agreement for the remainder of the fiscal year that runs through September 2019.
So please keep calling — it is critical they hear from you until the bill is finalized.
We must also remember the very important upcoming election. It is of vital importance that we elect a Congress that will defend and improve our laws that protect wild horses and burros for generations to come — not present amendments and proposals that will cause great harm and potential death to wild horses and burros while further damaging a program that is being severely mismanaged. Click here for a list of questions you can ask candidates for Congress or staff members to inform your vote.
Please call the Senate Conference Committee members listed below. Urge them to:
- Stand strong on Senate language protecting wild horses and burros;
- Stand strong on defunding horse slaughter;
- Demand that BLM revoke its quietly instituted wild horse sale policy change allowing more wild horses and burros to be sent to slaughter;
- Oppose the unrestricted sale of wild horses and burros by the U.S. Forest Service.
Sen. Richard Shelby, Alabama
Sen. Susan Collins, Maine
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Alaska
Sen. John Hoeven, North Dakota
Sen. James Lankford, Oklahoma
Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, Mississippi
Sen. Patrick Leahy, Vermont
Sen. Jack Reed, Rhode Island
Sen. Tom Udall, New Mexico
Sen. Jeff Merkley, Oregon
Sen. Christopher Coons, Delaware
Note: If a staff member taking your call suggests calling your own senator, instead, please emphasize that wild horses and horse slaughter are issues of importance to all Americans and that you wanted to share your views with members of the Conference Committee. Remember that the Senate has been supportive of wild and domestic horses, so please be polite and respectful of the staff when you call.