Last month, the Bureau of Land Management – the government agency responsible for the oversight of wild horses and burros – released its 2018 budget, slashing funding for wild horses by $10 million. Noting the severe financial strain caused by caring for the nearly 45,000 horses in BLM holding facilities (facilities that only exist due to what many consider unnecessary BLM roundups) the agency has proposed “Wild Horse and Burro Program Flexibility” legislation. The budget states: “The budget proposes to give BLM the tools it needs to manage this program in a more cost effective manner, including the ability to conduct sales without limitation. The budget proposes to eliminate appropriations language restricting BLM from using all of the management options authorized in the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act. The remainder of the funding decrease will be achieved by reducing gathers, reducing birth control treatments, and other activities deemed inconsistent with prudent management of the program.”

A BLM press release goes a step further to include euthanasia as part of the agency’s plan to thin the herd. Since 2010, annual appropriations bills had specifically banned euthanasia and unrestricted sale of the horses, and the BLM now hopes to strip those protections.

It’s imperative that individuals concerned with the welfare of this country’s horses make their voices heard and urge lawmakers to pass H.R. 113, the Safeguard American Food Exports Act. The bill “amends the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to deem equine (horses and other members of the equidae family) parts to be an unsafe food additive or animal drug. The bill prohibits the knowing sale or transport of equines or equine parts for human consumption.”

If the Act were signed into law, it would not only prohibit horse slaughter within the United States, but also ban the export of live horses to other countries for slaughter.

First introduced in 2013, the SAFE Act has repeatedly failed to become law despite bi partisan support. Representative Vern Buchanan (R-FL) introduced the latest version of the SAFE Act, on January 3 of this year. With the 2018 deadline looming for America’s wild horses, it’s vital that this Act be signed into law this year.

If you’re concerned about the welfare of all horses within America’s borders, please contact your lawmakers and let your wishes be known. If your congressman or woman has supported the bill, thank them and urge them to ushering H.R. 113 through the legislative process. Find your representative here.

Thank you to the following congressmen and congresswomen that have expressed their support for the SAFE Act:

Rep. Aguilar, Pete [D-CA-31]
Rep. Barletta, Lou [R-PA-11]
Rep. Beatty, Joyce [D-OH-3]
Rep. Beyer, Donald S., Jr. [D-VA-8]
Rep. Bishop, Mike [R-MI-8]
Rep. Blumenauer, Earl [D-OR-3]*
Rep. Bonamici, Suzanne [D-OR-1]
Rep. Bordallo, Madeleine Z. [D-GU-At Large]
Rep. Boyle, Brendan F. [D-PA-13]
Rep. Brownley, Julia [D-CA-26]
Rep. Calvert, Ken [R-CA-42]
Rep. Carbajal, Salud O. [D-CA-24]
Rep. Cardenas, Tony [D-CA-29]
Rep. Carson, Andre [D-IN-7]
Rep. Cartwright, Matt [D-PA-17]
Rep. Castor, Kathy [D-FL-14]
Rep. Chabot, Steve [R-OH-1]
Rep. Chu, Judy [D-CA-27]
Rep. Cicilline, David N. [D-RI-1]
Rep. Clark, Katherine M. [D-MA-5]
Rep. Clarke, Yvette D. [D-NY-9]
Rep. Clay, Wm. Lacy [D-MO-1]
Rep. Coffman, Mike [R-CO-6]
Rep. Cohen, Steve [D-TN-9]
Rep. Connolly, Gerald E. [D-VA-11]
Rep. Cooper, Jim [D-TN-5]
Rep. Costello, Ryan A. [R-PA-6]
Rep. Courtney, Joe [D-CT-2]
Rep. Crist, Charlie [D-FL-13]
Rep. Cummings, Elijah E. [D-MD-7]
Rep. Curbelo, Carlos [R-FL-26]
Rep. Davis, Susan A. [D-CA-53]
Rep. DeFazio, Peter A. [D-OR-4]
Rep. Delaney, John K. [D-MD-6]
Rep. DeLauro, Rosa L. [D-CT-3]
Rep. DelBene, Suzan K. [D-WA-1]
Rep. Dent, Charles W. [R-PA-15]
Rep. DeSaulnier, Mark [D-CA-11]
Rep. Deutch, Theodore E. [D-FL-21]
Rep. Doyle, Michael F. [D-PA-14]
Rep. Ellison, Keith [D-MN-5]
Rep. Engel, Eliot L. [D-NY-16]
Rep. Eshoo, Anna G. [D-CA-18]
Rep. Esty, Elizabeth H. [D-CT-5]
Rep. Evans, Dwight [D-PA-2]
Rep. Faso, John J. [R-NY-19]
Rep. Fitzpatrick, Brian K. [R-PA-8]
Rep. Foster, Bill [D-IL-11]
Rep. Frankel, Lois [D-FL-22]
Rep. Gallego, Ruben [D-AZ-7]
Rep. Green, Gene [D-TX-29]
Rep. Grijalva, Raul M. [D-AZ-3]
Rep. Gutierrez, Luis V. [D-IL-4]
Rep. Hastings, Alcee L. [D-FL-20]
Rep. Higgins, Brian [D-NY-26]
Rep. Huffman, Jared [D-CA-2]
Rep. Hunter, Duncan D. [R-CA-50]
Rep. Jones, Walter B., Jr. [R-NC-3]
Rep. Kaptur, Marcy [D-OH-9]
Rep. Katko, John [R-NY-24]
Rep. Keating, William R. [D-MA-9]
Rep. Kennedy, Joseph P., III [D-MA-4]
Rep. Kihuen, Ruben J. [D-NV-4]
Rep. Kilmer, Derek [D-WA-6]
Rep. King, Peter T. [R-NY-2]
Rep. Krishnamoorthi, Raja [D-IL-8]
Rep. Kuster, Ann M. [D-NH-2]
Rep. Lance, Leonard [R-NJ-7]
Rep. Langevin, James R. [D-RI-2]
Rep. Lee, Barbara [D-CA-13]
Rep. Levin, Sander M. [D-MI-9]
Rep. Lieu, Ted [D-CA-33]
Rep. Lipinski, Daniel [D-IL-3]
Rep. LoBiondo, Frank A. [R-NJ-2]
Rep. Lofgren, Zoe [D-CA-19]
Rep. Lowenthal, Alan S. [D-CA-47]
Rep. Lowey, Nita M. [D-NY-17]
Rep. Lujan Grisham, Michelle [D-NM-1]
Rep. Maloney, Carolyn B. [D-NY-12]
Rep. McCollum, Betty [D-MN-4]
Rep. McGovern, James P. [D-MA-2]
Rep. McNerney, Jerry [D-CA-9]
Rep. Meehan, Patrick [R-PA-7]
Rep. Meeks, Gregory W. [D-NY-5]
Rep. Meng, Grace [D-NY-6]
Rep. Moore, Gwen [D-WI-4]
Rep. Moulton, Seth [D-MA-6]
Rep. Napolitano, Grace F. [D-CA-32]
Rep. Nolan, Richard M. [D-MN-8]
Rep. Norcross, Donald [D-NJ-1]
Rep. Norton, Eleanor Holmes [D-DC-At Large]
Rep. O’Rourke, Beto [D-TX-16]
Rep. Payne, Donald M., Jr. [D-NJ-10]
Rep. Peters, Scott H. [D-CA-52]
Rep. Pocan, Mark [D-WI-2]
Rep. Polis, Jared [D-CO-2]
Rep. Price, David E. [D-NC-4]
Rep. Quigley, Mike [D-IL-5]
Rep. Raskin, Jamie [D-MD-8]
Rep. Rice, Kathleen M. [D-NY-4]
Rep. Rosen, Jacky [D-NV-3]
Rep. Roskam, Peter J. [R-IL-6]
Rep. Ross, Dennis A. [R-FL-15]
Rep. Royce, Edward R. [R-CA-39]
Rep. Ruiz, Raul [D-CA-36]
Rep. Ruppersberger, C. A. Dutch [D-MD-2]
Rep. Ryan, Tim [D-OH-13]
Rep. Sablan, Gregorio Kilili Camacho [D-MP-At Large]
Rep. Sanchez, Linda T. [D-CA-38]
Rep. Sanford, Mark [R-SC-1]
Rep. Sarbanes, John P. [D-MD-3]
Rep. Schakowsky, Janice D. [D-IL-9]
Rep. Schiff, Adam B. [D-CA-28]
Rep. Schneider, Bradley Scott [D-IL-10]
Rep. Schweikert, David [R-AZ-6]
Rep. Serrano, Jose E. [D-NY-15]
Rep. Shea-Porter, Carol [D-NH-1]
Rep. Sherman, Brad [D-CA-30]
Rep. Sinema, Kyrsten [D-AZ-9]
Rep. Sires, Albio [D-NJ-8]
Rep. Slaughter, Louise McIntosh [D-NY-25]
Rep. Smith, Adam [D-WA-9]
Rep. Smith, Christopher H. [R-NJ-4]
Rep. Speier, Jackie [D-CA-14]
Rep. Stefanik, Elise M. [R-NY-21]
Rep. Suozzi, Thomas R. [D-NY-3]
Rep. Swalwell, Eric [D-CA-15]
Rep. Takano, Mark [D-CA-41]
Rep. Tenney, Claudia [R-NY-22]
Rep. Titus, Dina [D-NV-1]
Rep. Tonko, Paul [D-NY-20]
Rep. Tsongas, Niki [D-MA-3]
Rep. Velazquez, Nydia M. [D-NY-7]
Rep. Welch, Peter [D-VT-At Large]
Rep. Yarmuth, John A. [D-KY-3]
Rep. Zeldin, Lee M. [R-NY-1]

By Ashley Fairfield-Remeza