Without opposition, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Corolla Wild Horses Protection Act (H.R. 126). This legislation, which was introduced by Rep. Walter B. Jones (R-N.C.), would protect the free-roaming wild horses in and around the Currituck National Wildlife Refuge in Currituck County, N.C. by increasing the number of horses allowed in the herd, thereby preserving their genetic viability.
The Corolla wild horse herd can be traced back to the arrival of Spanish explorers on the Outer Banks in the 16th century. Despite access to roam across 7,500 acres of public and private land, the current law caps the maximum number of horses at 60, a population deemed too low to maintain the herd's genetic viability. The Corolla Wild Horses Protection Act would require the Secretary of the Interior to craft a new herd management plan with the Corolla Wild Horse Fund, Currituck County, and the state of North Carolina that would allow for the herd population to increase to no fewer than 110 horses, with a target population between 120 and 130 horses.
"These beautiful and iconic horses are an essential part of Eastern North Carolina's heritage, and people travel from near and far to see them in their natural habitat," said Rep. Jones. "We must protect these wild-roaming horses for future generations to enjoy." Now that the legislation has passed the House, it will be sent to the Senate for consideration.