To Interior Secretary Debra Haaland and Acting BLM Director Nada Culver:
We, the undersigned taxpayers, demand the termination of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Adoption Incentive Program (AIP), which is sending hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of federally-protected wild horses and burros into the slaughter pipeline.
As revealed by a New York Times expose’ prompted by an American Wild Horse Campaign, Evanescent Mustang Rescue, Skydog Ranch Sanctuary, and Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary investigation, adopters are collecting the $1,000 AIP payments, then sending the horses to slaughter auctions. These federally-protected animals are being purchased by kill buyers and shipped to slaughter plants in Mexico and Canada if not rescued. Additionally, the AIP is incentivizing adopters who lack the interest and skills to handle untrained and unhandled wild horses and burros, resulting in severe abuse and neglect of these animals.
Thousands of federally-protected wild horses and burros remain at risk. As a result, we urge you to:
- Immediately suspend the AIP program and investigate the program.
- Seek criminal prosecution of adopters who violated their contracts by “flipping” horses to slaughter auctions after receiving their AIP payments.
- Hold the BLM and its employees accountable for placing wild horses and burros into high-risk situations, and failing to enforce the adoption contract that prohibits the sale of the animals for slaughter.
- Redirect funding to humane and scientific fertility control, instead of the failed approach of roundup, removal and penning of these iconic symbols of the American West.
Thank you for the consideration.