Wild Horse Legislation—Update
The threat of a trip to the slaughterhouse will no longer haunt the wild horses roaming the Nation's public lands, as the U.S. House of Representatives tonight [May 19, 2005] approved a measure to reinstate the federal government's humane policy of protecting these animals from senseless death, declared U.S. Representative Nick J. Rahall (D-WV).
... With the votes of seventy-eight House Republicans, the amendment passed with 249 votes.
... The bipartisan amendment prevents funds from being used by the Bureau of Land Management to implement the rider attached to last December's omnibus appropriations bill for fiscal year 2005 that allowed the sale for slaughter of wild horses. The rider overturned thirty-four years of federal policy protecting wild horses from the commercial sale for slaughter. Recently, forty-one horses were sent to a slaughterhouse as a result of the change in the law.
In March, BLM Director Clarke testified before the Forest and Forest Health Subcommittee, "We have no legal authority to intervene after the animal is sold and a bill of sale is completed."
——House Committee on Resources, Democratic Staff, (202) 226-1736, www. house.gov/resources/democrats/
Editor’s Note: The 249-159 House vote would stop the Bureau of Land Management from using any money in a $26.2 billion bill funding next year's natural resources and arts programs to sell horses that roam public lands in Western states For the this House legislation to become law, it also must be passed by the Senate and signed by the President.
Senator Steve Komadina (R-Corrales) sponsored a herd of bills relating to horses, none of which passed. SB 67 would have prohibited the slaughter of horses. (SB 585 declared the New Mexico horse as the state horse.) SB 861 dealt with the genetic testing and relocation of wild horses—the animal protection provisions prohibiting the slaughter of wild horses were stripped in committee. SJM 41 promoted wild horse tourism.
——2005 Session Wrap-up, www.apvnm.org