Wild Horses and Burros
Why are American Wild Horses and Burros in danger?
100 years ago an estimated two million mustangs roamed the Western range. But today there are fewer than 32,000 — and the government, through the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), continues to reduce the herds even further. There are now more of our horses in BLM holding facilities than there are running free in the wild. Half of the agency's $78 million annual budget for this program goes to maintaining them, all paid for by the U.S. taxpayers.
In 1971 Congress passed the Wild and Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act, designed to preserve and protect our horses as a living symbol of America. In its declaration of policy, Congress stated:
"It is the policy of Congress that wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death; and to accomplish this they are to be considered in the area where presently found, as an integral part of the natural system of the public lands."
However, the animals the BLM is responsible to protect are instead being eradicated, some herds being wiped out completely only to be corralled in long-term government holding facilities.
Click here to read the most recent news regarding the plight of wild horses & burros, including information about free-roaming horses on tribal lands facing the risk of round-ups and slaughter.
- Private Livestock outnumbers Wild Horses and Burros on public land by at least 50 to 1
- 70% of the BLM budget is spent on mustang round-ups and stockpiling, while only 6% is spent on fertility control and keeping horses on the range.
- Feeding wild horses in government holding facilities cost the American taxpayer $100,000 every day.
- Taxpayer-funded livestock grazing on public lands costs over $132 million a year.
Video of Return to Freedom American Wild Horse Sanctuary, a 365-acre refuge located in the coastal hills of Lompoc, California that is home to nearly 400 wild horses and burros rescued from federal roundups.