MEDIA RELEASE: Wild Horse Execution Plan Slammed by 84 Organizations

MEDIA RELEASE: Wild Horse Execution Plan Slammed by 84 Organizations


 CONTACT: Charlotte Roe, 303 717-5926,


WASHINGTON, DC (February 14, 2018) - In Defense of Animals, The American Wild Horse Campaign, The Cloud Foundation, and more than 80 other organizations from across the country have released a unified statement urging Congress to prevent the mass killing of America’s last wild horses and burros. Senate Appropriations leaders will soon negotiate with their counterparts in the House of Representatives on the subject. Meanwhile, the Trump administration just released its Fiscal Year 2019 budget which again asks Congress to remove the ban on killing wild horses or sending them to slaughter.

“Wild horses and burros could soon be wiped out by the very people charged with their protection,” said Marilyn Kroplick M.D., President of In Defense of Animals. “Mustangs have been systematically run off their legally-protected rangelands and interned in government-funded prison camps. We will not stand by while those in power now order a massacre of these horses and their wild families.”

Equine sanctuaries, animal advocates, local on-range partners, ecotourism businesses, rescues, and other citizen organizations have joined to present “Moving Forward: A Unified Statement on the Humane, Sustainable, and Cost-Effective On-Range Management of America’s Wild Horses and Burros” in response to recent attacks from the nation’s capitol on wild free-roaming equines and their right to live.

In their unified message, In Defense of Animals and other organizations committed to the welfare of America’s heritage animals urge Congress to maintain federal protections for wild horses and burros. They put forward principles and recommendations for affordable, safe, and humane on-range management of wild horses and burros.

“We horse advocates are offering solutions that will allow federal agencies to fix this broken system and carry out their mandate to protect and preserve these living icons representing all that is great in America,” said Kroplick.

Humane strategies proposed by wild horse experts include: implementing fertility control to reduce and stabilize wild horse populations as needed; returning wild equines from expensive short-term holding facilities to their historic ranges; prohibiting sterilization of wild horses and burros; adjusting population targets to ensure genetically viable numbers; establishing equitable forage allocations; and enabling more successful public-private partnerships for wild horse and rangeland stewardship.

The unified statement is being presented to key Senate and House appropriators and other members of Congress.

Early in 2017, Congress instructed the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to develop a plan to “achieve long-term sustainable populations on the range in a humane manner” and to review “proposals from non-governmental organizations.” Instead, the BLM requested legislative authority to reduce costs by exterminating tens of thousands of wild horses and burros.

The House Appropriations Committee passed an amendment to the Interior Appropriations bill introduced by Rep. Chris Stewart of Utah that would allow “humane euthanasia” or unlimited sales of up to 90,000 healthy “excess” BLM wild horses and burros on public rangelands and in holding facilities. In direct contrast, the Senate Appropriations Committee’s budget language prohibits using funds to destroy or sell wild horses to slaughter.

Those working to protect America’s free-roaming equines are urging Congress to scrutinize the Department of Interior, reject the killing of tens of thousands of wild horses and burros, and put right decades of mismanagement by opening the door to reform.

The statement and full list of signers can be found here.

### ENDS ### 

In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization with over 250,000 supporters and a 30-year history of fighting for animals, people and the environment through education, campaigns and hands-on rescue facilities in India, Africa, and rural Mississippi.


IN DEFENSE OF ANIMALS • 3010 KERNER BLVD. • SAN RAFAEL, CA 94901 • 415-448-0048


You can support our work by donating