Congress Still Has Time to Aid the Equine Protection Community in the 2021 Budget Process

Supporters of equine protection legislation continue to look to their Federal lawmakers for help in the budget process.

ATLANTA, GEORGIA, UNITED STATES, December 16, 2020 /EINPresswire.com/ — Members of America’s equine protection communities have continued working this week to gain legislative support from their lawmakers to bring changes for America’s horses through the 2021 budget process. Additional time to work became available after the President signed a bill last Friday extending government programs through this week.

Two ways the budget can help bring the changes sought is by 1) including wording directing the Bureau of Land Management to divert the use of $11 million dollars of their FY ‘21 federal funds from roundups to fertility control for wild horse populations and 2) by continuing to include defunding language in the final budget that would maintain the ban on horse slaughter inspections for 2021.

Both the House of Representatives and the National BLM Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board have recently supported expanded fertility control.

On July 23rd the House of Representatives approved Rep. Steve Cohen’s (D-TN) amendment to improve the well-being of America’s wild horses in their bill HR 7608. This amendment was passed with bipartisan support and directs the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to spend $11,000,000 of its FY ’21 budget for the wild horse and burro program on PZP fertility control. The bill moved to the Senate.

The National BLM Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board recently published their recommendations that were formulated during the 2020 virtual meeting. The Advisory Board’s public document, dated September 24, 2020, contains seven recommendations. Recommendation number three is “The Board recommends that the agency (BLM) expand fertility control implementation.” Their recommendation number five is “The Board recommends that the BLM continue research into long term fertility control options, but that shorter-term, currently available safe and humane methods be utilized immediately.”

Supporters are also working for the inclusion of defunding language for horse slaughter inspections in the final budget.

In a letter dated December 3rd lawmakers joined together to state “As negotiations for the final Fiscal Year 2021 appropriations bills continue, we write in strong support for continued restriction on the use of taxpayer funds for horse slaughter operations in the United States. This provision was included in both the House Fiscal Year 2021 agriculture appropriations bill and the administration’s Fiscal Year 2021 Budget Request. This is a continuation of overwhelmingly popular policy that has been in place each year since Fiscal Year 2014 and for all but two years since 2005. This provision is necessary to stop the return of the predatory horse slaughter industry in America.”

Members of the equine protection community continue to work these remaining hours in hope of having the final FY ‘21 budget close out with wording that will help wild and domestic horses.

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American Equine Awareness
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