OWHO is providing a list of each bill that is currently being considered by Congress. We give a breif description of what the bill proposes with pros/cons. We also give you the link to read the actual language of the bills, and check on the current status. We also have a section with directions on how to send a message to both the House and Senate on our Home page.
Titus Bill - H.R. H.R. 6635 (Wild Horse and Burro Protection Act of 2022)
Congresswoman Dina Titus (D-NV) introduced legislation to ban helicopter roundups of wild horses. Titus’s bill would amend the regulation that administer the Wild Free-Roaming Horses & Burros Act.
This bill would prohibit the use of helicopters or fixed-wing aircraft in gather operations for the management of wild horses/burros.
The bill would cause to be generated (within 1 year), a report to the House committee on Natural Resources, from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) that includes the following 3 criteria: (1) humane alternatives to the use of helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft in managing wild free-roaming horse and burro populations;
(2) job creation opportunities presented by the use of such humane alternatives; and
(3) the effects of aircraft, including unmanned aircraft systems, on wild free-roaming horse and burro populations.
Pro - of the bill is that it would stop the inhumane use of helicopters to chase down and gather wild horses/burros.
Con - the bill doesn't give any specifics on alternate gather and capture methods that are acceptable, or the issues that surround an apparent monopoly on contractors chosen.
Smith Bill - H.R. 6935 (Voluntary Grazing Permit Retirement Act)
Representatives Adam Smith (D-Wash.) and Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) introduced legislation that would allow the retirement of grazing privileges.
While permit retirement has occurred outside of federal legislation, there are no guarantees that agency personnel will maintain allotment closures.
Pros-The advantage of legislatively approved permit retirement is that it eliminates the opportunity for agency officials from restocking vacated allotments and permanently closes them.
The public no longer has the expense of management of grazing allotments. The grazing fee is only $1.35 an AUM (animal unit month or the amount of forage consumed by a cow and calf in a month) which doesn’t pay for the expense of administrating and managing livestock grazing.
Permit retirement will reduce conflicts on public lands. These include apex predator control, wild horse/burro gathers due to comptetion over esource availability
Reduce the negative impacts on riparian areas.
Reduce the contribution of livestock to the global climate crisis.
Schakowsky Bill - H.R. 3355 (Save America’s Forgotten Equines Act of 2021) and the Senate version is S. 2732 (The John Stringer Rainey Safe Act)
Both versions of the SAFE Act will amend the Horse Protection Act. by prohibitng "...the shipping, transporting, moving, delivering, receiving, possessing, purchasing, selling, or donation of horses and other equines to be slaughtered for human consumption, and for other purposes."
Pro - Would stop slaughter for human consumption thereby reducing the number of horses shipped otu of the US for the purpose of entering the human food-chain
Reduces the possibility of transfer of disease or exposure to drgus that are commonly in horse flesh, from the US because they are not raised as food animals
Cons - The language of the Bills would not stop the transport to slaughter in other countries for the use things other than human consumption such as processing for pet foods, zoo meat, or use of hides for private or commercial use.
The language in this bill defines horse slaughter as: “the killing of one or more horses or other equines with the intent to sell or trade the flesh of such horses or equines for human consumption.” Which leaves the door open to the killing of horses or other equines for all other pruposes.
*Note - the clickable button below to read the text of the Bill is for the House version. The Senate version can be read by going to this link : Senate Version