The American Wild Horse Marketing campaign launched a report Friday documenting that 1,020 federally-protected wild horses and burros have been offered at slaughter auctions within the final 22 months.
The marketing campaign, devoted to preserving the American wild horses and burros in free-roaming herds, cited information it accrued through an investigation into the Bureau of Land Management’s Adoption Incentive Program that began in 2019 and pays folks $1,000 in taxpayer funds to undertake a wild, untamed horse or burro.
Wild horses are thought of “living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West” and are protected by the federal authorities, which additionally maintains the animals’ populations and makes certain the animals are wholesome. The wild horses and burros are present in 10 completely different western states, however Nevada has the best inhabitants. The American Wild Horse Marketing campaign additionally implements the world’s largest wild horse fertility management packages in partnership with Nevada.
If there are too many horses, they get positioned into non-public care. The Bureau of Land Administration has positioned greater than 240,000 wild horses and burros into non-public care since 1971, in keeping with its web site.
For the reason that Bureau of Land Administration’s Adoption Incentive Program took impact three years in the past, 1,020 wild horses and burros had been offered in kill pens, that are livestock auctions that promote horses to slaughter vegetation in Canada and Mexico, the report says. The vegetation slaughter horses for human consumption for international markets, in keeping with the report.
“While some of the horses and burros were rescued — sometimes hours before shipping to slaughter — many others were not,” the marketing campaign mentioned in a press release Friday.
The marketing campaign alleges there may be proof that individuals are utilizing this system to pocket the money after which dump the horses at kill pens. Some teams have earned as a lot as $80,000 by adopting the utmost variety of animals per particular person — which is 4 — after which promoting them on the auctions, the marketing campaign alleges.
Many wild horses with BLM brandings had been discovered on the kill pens, the report mentioned.
The report recognized 24 teams of people that have adopted horses and burros utilizing the identical tackle after which flipped all of them to kill pens. A lot of these slaughter spots had been in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, the report discovered.
“Congress prohibits wild horse and burro slaughter, but the BLM’s Adoption Incentive Program is unquestionably sending these animals into the slaughter pipeline,” mentioned Amelia Perrin, investigations supervisor for the American Wild Horse Marketing campaign within the assertion. “We urge the BLM to treat this animal welfare crisis with the urgency it warrants by eliminating the cash incentives that are driving the problem.”
The Bureau of Land Administration didn’t return a request for remark.
Buying and selling money for vouchers
As an alternative of money incentives, the American Wild Horse Marketing campaign would somewhat see veterinary vouchers that may assist wild horses get positioned into good houses whereas defending them from slaughter. The marketing campaign additionally desires to see the Bureau of Land Administration encourage the creation of a group of profitable adopters who can share suggestions, methods and coaching strategies.
The marketing campaign additionally produced findings in regards to the adoption program final yr, which prompted a New York Occasions investigative report on this system in Might 2021, however the marketing campaign’s latest 2022 report discovered that the issue “is far greater than previously reported,” the assertion says.
When the primary report was printed in 2021, Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., urged that the Bureau of Land Administration examine, and the Bureau of Land Administration carried out some adjustments, equivalent to making extra post-adoption visits to folks’s homes and growing scrutiny of potential adopters. The American Wild Horse Marketing campaign argues that isn’t sufficient.
“As this report will demonstrate, the (Adoption Incentive Program) reforms implemented by the BLM have not stemmed the flow of BLM wild horses and burros into kill pens,” the report says.
Titus, a member of the Congressional Animal Safety Caucus, has additionally launched the Wild Horse and Burro Safety Act of 2022, which might eradicate using helicopters within the Bureau of Land Administration’s wild horse gathers. It could additionally make use of extra cowboys and require the Authorities Accountability Workplace to discover particular, humane options to guard the horses, in keeping with Titus.
“Even when horses are fortunate enough to get through a roundup unscathed, they face additional health and safety risks from the Adoption Incentive Program and hazardous conditions in off-range corrals. The Adoption Incentive Program is expected to provide humane and safe shelter for wild horses and decrease the likelihood of their being slaughtered,” Titus mentioned in a press release.