Talking Points

1. There’s room on the range for wild horses and burros. Ranchers share only a tiny fraction (17%) of BLM rangelands with these animals. Therefore conflicts between livestock and wild horses can be resolved.
2. The American public overwhelmingly supports protecting wild horses and burros on public lands and opposes horse slaughter. The U.S. Congress unanimously passed the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act in 1971 in response to the strong support of the American people for protecting these iconic animals on public lands. The will of the American people should prevail on our public lands.
3. The problem is federal mismanagement. The BLM wastes tax dollars by ignoring science and continuing to roundup wild horses and burros and warehouse them in holding facilities. Multiple investigations have uncovered BLM mismanagement – from overpayment for holding contracts to the illegal sale of 1,700 federally protected wild horses to a known kill buyer who sold the animals for slaughter in Mexico.
4. The BLM’s claims of overpopulation are unsubstantiated and based on the unscientific population limits (Appropriate Management Levels – AMLs) imposed by the agency itself. The National Academy of Sciences found “no science-based rationale” for these population limits, and the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in 2016 that AMLs are not written into the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act and the BLM is under no obligation to remove horses just because their populations exceed the agency-created AMLs.
5. There is a cost-effective, scientifically proven and humane alternatives to costly and cruel roundups and removals of wild horses and burros from the range – PZP birth control, but the BLM spends less than 1% of its budget on it, while nearly 70% is spent to roundup and stockpile wild horses in holding facilities.
6. The Administration and the Congress have a chance to fix this federal mismanagement and protect these national symbols of freedom and America’s greatness. We ask that they:
  • Support Interior appropriations language to require the BLM to implement humane birth control as an alternative to cruel roundups, removal and warehousing of wild horses and burros in holding facilities, as recommended by the National Academy of Sciences.
  • Oppose any attempt to the Interior Appropriations rider that prohibits the BLM from killing or selling captured wild horses and burros for slaughter.
  • Support Agriculture appropriations language to prohibit federal funding for horse slaughter inspections. This language will keep the horse slaughter plants shuttered in the U.S.
  • Oppose any legislative measure to turn over captured wild horses and burros to states or local governments or to transfer management authority for these federally-protected animals to states or local governments.