Schweikert, Ciscomani Join in Calls for Humane Wild Horse Management

Schweikert, Ciscomani Join in Calls for Humane Wild Horse Management

Grayson Bakich
Grayson Bakich
May 6, 2024

One function of the Federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is the preservation of the few herds of wild horses still roaming the American West. However, the American Wild Horse Conservation (AWHC) group has alleged they are doing the opposite in practice. Representatives David Schweikert (R-AZ) and Juan Ciscomani (R-AZ) joined nearly 80 other members of Congress in a bipartisan demand for more humane treatment of these animals in Fiscal Year 2025 as part of BLM's budget request.

According to the AWHC website, BLM has utilized inhumane means of keeping wild horse and burro populations stable, chasing them down in helicopters and holding the surviving animals in pens if they are not adopted or sold.

Furthermore, the AWHC contends that the BLM's current policy, which sets the acceptable number of wild horses and burros in a given area of public land, is not based on scientific evidence. Instead, it appears to prioritize the interests of domestic sheep and cattle, potentially at the expense of ecological sustainability, a concern that underscores the need for a more balanced approach.

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Thus, Rep. Schweikert and Rep. Ciscomani, along with 75 other members of Congress, called for more humane treatment and population control measures for these animals within 120 days of the bill's signage, reducing the +$140 million budget for BLM's Wild Horse and Burro Program by $100,000 for each day after the 120-day deadline without implementation.

Other measures include:

  • Prohibiting ovariectomy procedures and cash incentives for adoption.
  • Researching humane alternatives to helicopter roundups.
  • Relocating wild horses and burros to different Herd Management Areas (HMAs) rather than holding them in off-site pens.

In his press release, Rep. Schweikert said, "I continue to be proud to help lead the efforts for this important legislation to protect wild horses and reduce their exposure to dangerous roundups. This language encourages humane and cost-effective alternatives to ensure wild horses and burros can continue to thrive in Arizona and other western states. I look forward to working with my colleagues on this important issue."

Rep. Ciscomani also said, "As a member of the House Committee on Appropriations, I'm pleased to request this language alongside 77 bipartisan House colleagues to advance efforts to reform the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program. This request reflects the widespread public interest in preserving America's wild horses and burros through cost-effective, humane, and scientific in-the-wild initiatives."

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Grayson Bakich

Grayson Bakich

Florida born and raised, Grayson Bakich is a recent recipient of a Master’s Degree in Political Science at the University of Central Florida. His thesis examined recent trends in political polarization and how this leads into justification of violence.

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