An Animal Rights Article from All-Creatures.org


Susan Clay Hill
June 2005

In the 1950s Velma Johnston, better known as “Wild Horse Annie,” repulsed by the cruelty she witnessed at horse roundups and during transport, began a campaign to protect wild horses from this butchery. Her work culminated in the passage of The Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act in 1971 that stated in part, “It is the policy of Congress that wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death....”

A recent backdoor Congressional amendment, engineered by Senator Conrad Burns (R–MT), gutted this law. Now, the Bureau of Land Management, the agency responsible for protecting wild horses, must sell “excess” horses (those 10 years of age or older or not adopted after three tries) at livestock auctions. As a result, thousands of wild horses will be removed from their range and sold for slaughter.

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