Making Progress with Policy.

AWHC is committed to advancing federal and state legislation to improve the welfare of wild horses and burros on the range and in government holding facilities.

Our efforts include working collaboratively with other advocacy groups, meeting with members of Congress on Capitol Hill and their district offices, and mobilizing and empowering our supporters to reach out to their elected officials on behalf of wild horses and burros.

Our goals include repealing the Burns Amendment, which allows for the sale for slaughter of captured wild horses and burros, maintaining the current Congressional ban on slaughter (preventing the Burns Amendment from being in effect), defeating budget language that would allow for the transfer of wild horses to states and local agencies without protection from mass killing, advancing legislation to require the BLM to use humane birth control to manage wild horses in the wild instead of removing them en masse through cruel helicopter roundups.

Some examples of our success:

  • In October, Governor Gavin Newsom signed our sponsored California Legislation, AB 128 into law.
  • AWHC worked with Senator Dianne Feinstein to secure language for the Fiscal Year 2020 Interior, Environment and Related Agencies appropriations bill that was included in the report directing the U.S. Forest Service to ensure that wild horses are protected from slaughter. The language is aimed at preventing the Modoc National Forest in California’s plan to sell federally protected wild horses from the Devil’s Garden Wild Horse Territory without limitation on slaughter.
  • The House included appropriations language sought by AWHC to prohibit the U.S. Forest Service from selling wild horses and burros for slaughter.
  • AWHC secured a major victory for New Mexico’s wild horses. SB158, if enacted, would have placed the fate of the state’s wild horses in the hands of the Livestock Board, providing a mechanism for the removal of all free-roaming horses not protected by federal law in New Mexico.  
  • AWHC sponsored legislation which was authored by California State Assemblymember Todd Gloria, AB128, that strengthens protections for horses both domestic and wild from slaughter.
  • Governor Doug Ducey and the U.S. Forest Service reached an agreement for the management of the Salt River wild horses. The agreement fulfills the conditional enactment clause of the Salt River Wild Horse Act, passed by the Arizona Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Ducey in May 2016. The agreement establishes a management structure and process to provide humane management for the Salt River wild horses, who reside in the Tonto National Forest. The agreement authorizes the state to partner with a non-profit organization to assist with management and care of the Salt River wild horses.
  • Leveraged constituent support to convince increasing numbers of Congressmen and women to take a public stand against cruel horse slaughter and in favor of humane wild horse management.
  • Working closely with our coalition partner the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group, we helped to pass state legislation to protect this cherished wild horse population. Because of our efforts, on May 11, 2016, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed the Salt River Wild Horse Protection Act.
  • We worked successfully to pass legislation in Nevada to allow for cooperative agreements between the state and non-profit organizations to humanely manage the wild horses of the Virginia Range. That same year, we entered into a cooperative agreement with the State of Nevada.