AWHC applauds the reintroduction of the SAFE Act in the U.S. House of Reps.

The Save America’s Forgotten Equines (SAFE) Act would permanently ban horse slaughter in the US and stop the export of slaughter-bound equines to Mexico and Canada 

Washington D.C. (May 19, 2023): Today the nation’s leading wild horse advocacy organization, The American Wild Horse Campaign, applauded U.S. Representatives Vern Buchanan (R-FL) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) for reintroducing the Save America’s Forgotten Equines (SAFE) Act to permanently ban the slaughter of equines for human consumption and to ban the export of equines to foreign countries for slaughter. While equine slaughter plants have been closed in the United States since 2007, tens of thousands of equines continue to be exported each year to Mexico and Canada to be slaughtered for foreign meat markets. 

Domestic and wild horses are at risk of slaughter, a cruel practice that 80% of Americans oppose. Recently an American Wild Horse Campaign investigation led to a New York Times report exposing the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM’s) Adoption Incentive Program (AIP) as a pipeline to slaughter for “truckloads” of BLM wild horses and burros. The cash incentive program was implemented in 2019 to increase the number of wild horses and burros adopted by the BLM as a mechanism to make room in already overburdened wild horse holding facilities.

AWHC’s investigation has uncovered an alarming number of instances in which BLM horses and burros have been subjected to cruel conditions and sold at kill pens where they are purchased for slaughter. AWHC’s explosive July 2022 investigative report details over 1,000 BLM-branded wild horses and burros documented in kill pens. Even more concerning, the report details individuals adopting multiple rounds of AIP animals and then sending them into the slaughter pipeline. AWHC investigators have also documented groups of related individuals colluding to maximize profits by multiple family members adopting the maximum number of animals allowed to the same location and then sending them in groups as large as 20 animals to slaughter auctions. 

AWHC’s findings have sparked outrage among members of Congress, including Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who have called for a suspension and thorough investigation into the program.

“Until the SAFE Act is passed, all of America’s horses, both domestic and wild, are in danger of being exported to other countries for human consumption,” Said Holly Gann Bice, Director of Government Relations for the AWHC. “We applaud Representatives Buchanan and Schakowsky for reintroducing the SAFE Act to protect America’s beloved equines and we look forward to continuing advocating for this important legislation” 


About American Wild Horse Campaign 

The American Wild Horse Campaign (AWHC) is the nation’s leading wild horse protection organization, with more than 700,000 supporters and followers nationwide. AWHC is dedicated to preserving the American wild horse and burros in viable, free-roaming herds for generations to come, as part of our national heritage. In addition to advocating for the protection and preservation of America’s wild herds, AWHC implements the largest wild horse fertility control program in the world through a partnership with the State of Nevada for wild horses that live in the Virginia Range near Reno.