House Members File Bill To Restore Horse, Burro Protection Law
Reps. Nick J. Rahall, D-W.Va., and Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., introduced legislation this week to restore the Wild and Free Ranging Horse and Burro Protection Act of 1971, gutted last month by a "stealth" rider inserted into a massive appropriations bill.
The move by Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont., removed the prohibition against selling mustangs and burros for slaughter.
Rahall, the ranking Democrat on the House Resources Committee, said the government should look into "humane alternatives to control overpopulation, such as adoption, sterilization, relocation, and placement with qualified individuals and organizations.
"To suggest that an acceptable solution to a federal agency's management dilemma is commercial slaughter is an irresponsible approach to our public lands and the wildlife that roam them," Rahall said.
Burns' office said he acted out of concern for the overpopulation equines, whom he said faced starvation on the open range.
Some 37,000 wild horses are believed to be roaming freely on public lands. Another 14,000 are in Bureau of Land Management corrals, awaiting adoption, BLM officials said.
Source: Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News