October 23, 2019

Congressman Neguse Leads Letter to Department of Interior Demanding Analysis Report for Wild Horse & Burro Management

Washington, D.C.— Today, Congressman Neguse led a letter to Secretary David Bernhardt at the Department of the Interior requesting an analytical report on the management of wild horses and burros in the United States. This letter follows two attempts by Congress to request a management report from the Bureau of Land Management, the first of which did not provide sufficient analytical data and the second of which has not been provided by the required deadline. Congressman Neguse implored Secretary Bernhardt to expedite the second report, which is already long-past due.

“The wild horses and burros of the American West are iconic animals, critical to the culture and economy of numerous states. For years, the Bureau of Land Management - who are tasked with managing these herds - has had inefficient and vague management strategies for ensuring these treasured animals are able to thrive,” said Congressman Joe Neguse. “This report is essential to the responsible development of the Wild Horse and Burro Program, to ethical and humane treatment of these animals, and to Congress’s understanding and oversight of the Bureau’s proposed methodologies.”

“Congress has been clear with the Bureau of Land Management that the tide must change for the Wild Horse and Burro Program, and that the agency must commit to a humane and effective management strategy for our nation’s wild horses and burros moving forward,” said Sara Amundson, president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund. “We support Representatives Neguse, Connolly, Haaland, Khanna, Levin, Lieu, and McGovern in their request that the Bureau of Land Management provide this report as quickly as possible, so that Congress can provide the necessary oversight over the program, and so that true, informed discussions can begin on how to shift the Bureau of Land Management’s program towards a brighter future for these iconic animals.

“For years, BLM has mismanaged our iconic American wild horses by relying on inhumane and ineffective removals and continuously proposing and prioritizing cruel practices,” said Holly Gann, Director of Federal Affairs, Animal Wellness Foundation. “The agency should be held accountable to implementing proven, humane, and cost-effective strategies for managing wild horses, such as immunocontraception, and should be transparent about any and all plans they have devised for management.”

“For decades the BLM has failed to manage our wild and free roaming wild horses and burros. Instead, they continue to promote misguided and dangerous practices that lack scientific efficacy, sound humane principles, or regard to the will of the public. BLM has done nothing to guarantee the genetic diversity or wellbeing of our wild horse herds,” said Elise Lowe-Vaughn, a Coloradan active in wild horse conservation with The Cloud Foundation, CANA Foundation, In Defense of Animals, Safe Food Safe Horses and Central Oregon Wild Horse Coalition groups. “As an advocate for these wild equines, I am pleased to see these Congressional members taking steps to hold the Administration accountable. I look forward to continuing to work with them to promote fertility strategies like PZP fertility control practices recommended by the National Academy of Sciences which foster proven, low-cost on-range management for wild horses and burros.”

The full letter is available here.

Congressman Neguse has previously introduced legislation to protect Colorado wildlife, through the bipartisan bicameral Platte River Recovery Implementation Program Extension Act that protects four species in the Platte River basin.