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Politics

Vern Buchanan: Interior Department Must Call Off Slaughter of Horses

October 3, 2016 - 6:00pm
Vern Buchanan and Michelle Grisham
Vern Buchanan and Michelle Grisham

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., teamed up with U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-NM, on Monday to urge the Interior Department to end plans to exterminate or sell more than 45,000 wild horses. 

Buchanan and Lujan Grisham slammed the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for urging the Interior Department to kill the horses or sell them. The Florida Republican said that many of the horses would end up in Mexican slaughterhouses. 

“The Bureau of Land Management needs to find another herd management method that doesn’t involve killing 45,000 majestic wild American horses,” Buchanan said on Monday.  “The department needs to permanently reject the monstrous and unacceptable recommendations of its advisory board.
 
“It is disgraceful that this Board, whose purpose is to provide sound advice on the management of wild horses, would even consider euthanizing these horses as a plausible management technique,” Buchanan added. “We strongly urge the Interior Department to not only reject but denounce the Board’s recommendations.”
 
“The BLM is charged with managing wild horse populations, which should emphasize humane herd management techniques,”  Lujan Grisham said. “The recommendation of this advisory board is an abdication of that responsibility. I am encouraged by BLM's decision to reject the board's recommendation and I strongly urge the Department to maintain this position and ensure these wild horses will not be euthanized or put at risk of slaughter.” 
 
Buchanan and Lujan Grisham sent a letter off to U.S. Interior Sec. Sally Jewell and Neil Kornze, the director of the BLM, opposing any such efforts.
 
“We were shocked to hear that the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board recommended that the Department of Interior (DOI) consider euthanizing 45,000 wild horses or offering horses for sale without limitation,” the representatives wrote. “It is disgraceful that the Board, whose purpose is to provide sound advice on the management of wild horses, would even consider euthanizing these horses as a plausible management technique. We welcome recent statements by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) that you will not euthanize or otherwise put the horses at risk of slaughter, and we encourage the agency to maintain this position and seek other herd management techniques.
 
“For the past 20 years, BLM has relied on rounding up horses from the range as a primary population management strategy, and the agency now has more than 45,000 horses and burros in holding facilities as a result,” they added. “Upon reviewing the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Management program, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in 2013 asserted that roundups and removals contribute to high horse populations on the range.  The NAS instead recommended that BLM increase the use of fertility control methods on the range. However, in fiscal year 2015, BLM only used fertility control on 469 wild horses – less than .01 percent of the 56,000 horses on the range. By continuing to remove horses from the range to manage population, population growth rates are actually increasing through compensatory population growth from decreased competition for forage. Future removals are then necessary to maintain population levels.  
 
“Furthermore, following the Board’s recommendation and offering horses for sale without restriction opens the door for the slaughter of wild horses – a horrifically cruel practice that is opposed by a majority of Americans,” the representatives continued. “Horse slaughter cannot be conducted in a humane manner. Horses are shipped for long periods of time without food, water, or rest in crowded trucks in which the animals are often seriously injured or killed in transit. Horses are skittish by nature due to their heightened fight or flight response, which makes accurate stunning difficult. As a result, horses often endure repeated blows and sometimes remain conscious during dismemberment; this is rarely a quick, painless death. Congress has stopped the slaughter of wild horses since 2009 by preventing the BLM from using federal funds to send any American wild horse to slaughter.
 
“We strongly urge DOI to reject the Board’s recommendations and hold true to your statement that these horses will not be euthanized or put at risk of slaughter,” they concluded. “We urge the agency to follow NAS’s recommendations to increase the use of immunocontraception – a solution that benefits horses and taxpayers alike. We also request that the agency commit to a timeline for the expansion of immunocontraceptive use on rangelands in the West and report back to Congress on their progress.”
 
Earlier this year, the Humane Society of the United States honored Buchanan as its legislator of the year, the first time a member of the Florida delegation has received the honor. 
 
Buchanan received a 100 score from the Humane Society last year and fought for some of the group’s top priorities. Last year, Buchanan brought out the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act which bans exporting horses to Mexican slaughterhouses. Buchanan has also led the charge on Capitol Hill to stop domestic slaughterhouses from creating horse meat for human consumption. The Bradenton congressman has also been active in trying to keep manatees covered under the Endangered Species Act. Earlier this year, Buchanan protested the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to downgrade manatees from “endangered” to “threatened.” 
 
 “Safeguarding threatened wildlife and promoting animal welfare should be a nonpartisan issue important to everyone,” Buchanan said when he received that honor. “Whether it’s protecting Florida’s beloved manatees from extinction or ending the cruel and inhumane treatment of horses, I’m proud to fight in Congress on these important issues.”
 
First elected to the U.S. House in 2006, Buchanan serves on both the Budget and the Ways and Means Committees. Buchanan’s name has garnered buzz as a possible U.S. Senate candidate in recent cycles but he’s opted to continue in the House. 

Comments

"Congress has stopped the slaughter of wild horses since 2009 by preventing the BLM from using federal funds to send any American wild horse to slaughter" OUR HORSES ARE being sent to SLAUGHTER! blm sells them off to kill buyers They go to canada and mexico to be ripped apart Thats how blm has gotten around our laws BLM should be criminally held responsible for this STOP KILL BUYER ACCESS to OUR WILD HORSES!!Mr Buchanan aren't you aware of this tactic?

I vote that Rep Vern Buchanan take over Dept of interior Sally Jewell is in bed with ranchers. blm has wiped out entire ecosystems in the wild Leave the wild horses and burros wild Allow ecosystems to re establish from apex predators (wolves,bears coyote fox mountain lions etc )to mice,prairie dogs and everything in between It will all balance out Mans interference due to greed has caused this damage Return the penned up horses to their former habitat BAN all livestock grazing on state/fed land If ranchers can;t care for their flocks then they shouldn't have them Raising cattle stresses our resources ,wasting fresh water,grains and polluting our land.cattle are NOT part of our natural habitat in the USA DEFUND &SHUT DOWN BLM-a rogue corrupt agency bowing down to ranchers,oil and mining industry

"U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., teamed up with U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-NM, on Monday to urge the Interior Department to end plans to exterminate or sell more than 45,000 wild horses. " If the WH & B Program continues to be denied an outlet for excess horses by legislators like these the problem will coninue indefinatly just as it has been. Use some horse sense and face reality. www.hors-sens.com

I applaud your efforts to highlight the plight of the wild horses and burros, who are and have been federally protected for decades. We need an overhaul of agencies like the BLM who through their actions over the years have show us, We The Prople, that they do not have our best interest at heart. That they have ignored their fiduciary responsibility to us through the inhumane miss management of our wildlife and wilderness. Without a mandate that they use best science when making decisions and strong repercussions when they don't noting will change. They lack the understanding of the delicate balance all wildlife brings to the land and how important the wild horse is to this balance. We need the cattle off our public lands and the wild horses back on. Thank you for championing this cause and for understanding that the vast majority of Americans were opposed to the drastic and inhumane recommendation.

Thank you for sending your letter to DOI Sec Jewell and Dir of BLM Neil Kornze regarding the recommended slaughter of 45000 Wild Horses and Burros in BLM holding. Please don't let it go. There are some very worrisome questions as to what has already happened to large numbers of Palomino Valley BLM Holding in Sparks NV. Answers are not given with proof of where they have been taken. Why isn't this information transparent and willingly given out? It looks like they don't want we the tax paying citizens to know. Can you please investigate this? Thank you both!

Thank -you Rep. Buchanan for verbally standing up for Wild horses and Burros. These iconic animals have done more to make our land what it is today than any other. What has happened to the lives of thousands of wild horses because of land greed is a true sin. And yes the BLM has failed miserably in the care and incarceration of them. Please help them to be free and wild once again. Florida

Th

Just tell those of us who want to stop such an action from happening what we can do to assist in the support of a positive solution. I am sure there are avenues to distribute these horses to caring people who have the proper land and envirnoment that have no clue on this horrible action getting ready to take place. I believe there are established organizations that can assist in the process.

Once again you come through. You have been an incredible force in human and ethical treatment of animals,, You never falter in the fight against cruelty,, Thanks Again for all you do.

Vern Buchanan is a champion in Congress and deserves our thanks for spotlighting this issue. My only reservation is that the numbers of horses still living in the wild is grossly over stated by BLM and the Interior Department. A good educated guess has less than eighteen thousand still in the wild, while BLM states there are many thousands more. The fact is that no census has ever been taken and no scientific study has even been done that any citizen and taxpayer can regard as honest and factual. The BLM is motivated as an agency to remove wild horses from our public lands as their agency appropriations are driven by grazing leases, mining activity, oil and gas leases. Wild horses are regarded by the BLM as an interference in those activities.

THANK YOU. You are our voice, and we sometimes feel like we are not being heard. Thank you for standing up for our wild equines. Thank you for standing up and telling the Truth about slaughter. We will continue to trust in you for them. Thank you

You are our champion Mr Buchanan. Never have I heard such sound and compassionate advice from a official. Thank you so much. The horses can be managed on the range if you can get the cows off the range that rightly belongs to the horses. Big Corp no longer controls our lands as long Michelle grishom and rep Buchanan are here Thank you

You are our champion Mr Buchanan. Never have I heard such sound and compassionate advice from a official. Thank you so much. The horses can be managed on the range if you can get the cows off the range that rightly belongs to the horses. Big Corp no longer control our horses as long as Buchanan is around. Thank you

Thank you for standing for the animals. I both support and applaud your efforts. This is good news that the horses and other wildlife finally have a voice our voices in Washington DC.

I second the Motion..

Comments are now closed.

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