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Budget bill prevents slaughter of wild horses

The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society Legislative Fund applauds mandate to protect wild horses, even if transferred out of BLM’s care

WASHINGTON (May 4, 2017)—The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society Legislative Fund are pleased that the 2017 omnibus spending bill includes provisions directing the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to protect our nation’s wild horses and burros. The bill prevents the BLM and its contractors from sending wild horses to be slaughtered for human consumption. It further directs the BLM to review all serious proposals from non-governmental organizations and create a plan, within 180 days of enactment of the bill, to maintain long-term, sustainable populations on the range in a humane manner.

The spending bill would also allow the BLM to more easily transfer wild horses to federal, state or local governments to serve as work horses, while qualifying that transferred horses are not to be slaughtered for commercial purposes (by the adopting agency or any third party thereafter), or euthanized without veterinary recommendation, and only then in cases of severe illness, injury or advanced age.

Gillian Lyons, senior wildlife fertility control policy manager for The HSUS, said: "Congress is giving direction to federal land managers to protect wild horses, allowing some controlled adoptions of horses to third parties. But the Congress was explicit that this adoption process won’t be the first step toward transferring these horses to kill buyers and others who might slaughter or otherwise exploit them. The BLM, if it allows for adoptions, must create and enforce mechanisms to assure the long-term care for these horses."

The Humane Society of the United States closely tracks BLM wild horse and burro management actions, and is an advocate of fertility control as a humane, on-range management strategy, and an alternative to costly gathers and adoptions or long-term holding."

Media contact:

Stephanie Twining, 301-258-1491,


The Humane Society Legislative Fund is a social welfare organization incorporated under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code and formed in 2004 as a separate lobbying affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States. The HSLF works to pass animal protection laws at the state and federal level, to educate the public about animal protection issues, and to support humane candidates for office. Visit us on all our channels: on the web at, on our blog at, on Facebook at and on Twitter at

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization, rated the most effective by its peers. Since 1954, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. We rescue and care for tens of thousands of animals each year, but our primary mission is to prevent cruelty before it occurs. We're there for all animals, across America and around the world. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty -- on the Web at Subscribe to the blog, A Humane Nation. Join The HSUS on Facebook. Follow The HSUS on Twitter. See our work for animals on your Apple or Android device by searching for our “Humane TV” app.