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The new 2020 budget has been released and it is apparent that we will be re-opening what Americans thought we had addressed and resolved years ago.  Here is why! According to the official budget as outlined in The United States Department of the Interior Budget Justifications and Performance Information Fiscal Year 2020, The President’s budget justification reads, "that appropriations language restricting BLM from using all of the management options authorized in the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971 be eliminated so that the full suite of tools originally authorized by Congress will be available to manage growing wild horse and burro herds” (VI-43).

On the flip side and further on in the budget it does contain language that addresses the humane removal and treatment of the wild horses. However, we have all gone down this road before with ambiguous language and we need to ensure that we enforce this.  As stated, “The Secretary shall cause such number of additional excess wild free-roaming horses and burros to be humanely captured and removed for private maintenance and care for which he determines an adoption demand exists by qualified individuals, and for which he determines he can assure humane treatment and care (including proper transportation, feeding, and handling)” (VI-43).  This covers wild horses, but it doesn’t cover those horses that are domesticated and end up in a kill pen to get shipped for slaughter.  On the Humane Society of America’s website, it outlines for us the horrific procedures used to transport and end a horse’s life.  What is also shocking is that 92.5% of horses that get shipped for slaughter are perfectly fine and could lead productive lives.

So exactly what does the verbiage in this budget “the full suite of tools originally authorized” – mean?  My fellow equestrian lovers, it can mean anything, but it really does open a possibility to use what was approved earlier “originally authorized”- which was the slaughter and export of wild horses and burros.   I am afraid that this could be the ‘out’ for the BLM until further legislation yet again gets enforced.  We all know how easy it is for loopholes to be found in legislation and we need to do everything possible to gain more publicity to ensure that current legislation stands.  Polls have shown that at least 80% of all Americans are against the slaughter of wild horses and burros for horse consumption. According to an article on The American Wild Horse Campaign Website, 86 % of Trump supporters are against it.

We are fortunate to have two very passionate representatives from the State of Florida and Illinois who have introduced the SAFE Act. On the website “The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to animals dated January 30 2019 it states: “A bipartisan team of lawmakers—U.S. Representatives Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and Vern Buchanan (R-FL)—introduced the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act (H.R. 961)  today, January 30, signaling a strong resolve to make this the last year that our beloved equine companions are shipped across our borders for slaughter for human consumption. The SAFE Act would ban horse slaughter in the U.S. as well as the export of our horses for slaughter abroad. Each year that goes by without a federal ban in place sees approximately 80,000 equines sent to Mexico and Canada for slaughter.”  We need to ensure this bill gets passed, and the only way is by getting the signatures!

According to an article on the Animal Council’s Welfare’s website, the S.A.F.E. Act (H.R. 1094 / S. 541) in a nutshell is legislation that will stop all slaughtering and prevent the export of wild or domestic horses for slaughtering to countries who are okay with having horse meat on the menu. The language is clear that it will impose severe fines and prison for anyone processing horses for the intent of food consumption.  The Bill leans on health reasons along the lines that horses are not bred for human consumption and they may previously have been given medicine that could harm humans. While this is true, the cruelty that occurs when executing a horse is horrifying. 

Here is a link to many videos.  Please note this is not for children and anyone sensitive. The videos are extremely disturbing:

Please take a few minutes to sign this petition to ensure that the SAFE Act is enforced.