Rahall and Grijalva spur changes for wild horses with new bill (US)

Cross-posted from MSNBC

By KRNV-TV

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Legislation has been introduced in Congress that would give added protections to thousands of wild horses and burros that roam Western states and prevent the U.S. Bureau of Land Management from killing healthy animals removed from the range.

The bill was introduced by Democratic Reps. Nick Rahall of West Virginia and Raul Grijalva of Arizona.

In a written statement, Rahall says the intent is to help spur alternatives to killing excess wild horses that are in holding facilities. He says it’s unacceptable for wild horses that embody the spirit of the American West to be slaughtered.

Current law already authorizes the BLM to euthanize excess animals if no homes can be found for them, but the agency has been loathe to do so. But the numbers now in long-term holding facilities equal those that remain on the range.

The agency says caring for 33,000 wild horses that can live for decades costs tens of millions of dollars every year.

Last fall, an advisory panel recommended several measures, including euthanasia, to ease the problem. The BLM has said it would continue to search for other options before resorting to killing animals. Current law already authorizes the BLM to euthanize excess animals if no homes can be found for them, but the agency has been loathe to do so. But the numbers now in long-term holding
facilities equal those that remain on the range.

The agency says caring for 33,000 wild horses that can live for decades costs tens of millions of dollars every year.

Last fall, an advisory panel recommended several measures, including euthanasia, to ease the problem. The BLM has said it would continue to search for other options before resorting to killing animals. www.MSNBC.com >>

Bill text at H.R. 1018 >>

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