WHAT TO DO NOW!
The House of Representatives have heard us, now it's time to concentrate your efforts on the Senate...
Briefing III: S. 576, Senate version of HR 297
LEGISLATION INTRODUCED IN THE SENATE TO REPEAL BURNS' WILD HORSE AMENDMENT
On March 9, Senator Robert C. Byrd (D-WV) introduced S. 576, the Senate companion bill of H.R. 297, the legislation that will repeal the last minute amendment snuck into the 2005 Federal Appropiations Bill by Sen. Burns (R-MT) last November that allows the commercial sale of wild horses, thus opening the door for long protected wild horses to likely be slaughtered.
S. 576 would restore the ban on the commercial sale of wild free-roaming horses and burros granted by Congress 33 years ago through the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. The bill has recently been referred to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
Immediate action is needed in order to ensure the passage of this vital legislation.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
1) ASK YOUR TWO SENATORS TO COSPONSOR S. 576
Contact your two US Senators and ask them to cosponsor S. 576. You should also contact ALL the members of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and request that they cosponsor S. 576 and urge them to quickly bring the bill to public hearing.
To find out who your Senators are, go to
www.visi.com/juan/congress/index.html or www.congress.org
At the end of this post you will find a letter template you can send to your Senators regarding S. 576.
Additional information about this bill can be found at:
Written letters and faxes are much more effective than emails. Phone calls are also a good way to contact your legislators.
Please start writing, faxing and calling today! Forward this alert to all your contacts and ask them to do the same.
2) CONTACT THE MEDIA ABOUT S. 576, THE AHSPA AND HORSE SLAUGHTER.
It is also vital to keep up the pressure on the media at local, state and national level. Please, keep sending letters to the editor and story suggestions to your local and state papers, TV and radio stations as well as to the major national media networks about S. 576 and the other bills introduced in Congress to restore protection to wild horses (H.R. 297) and to ban horse slaughter (H.R. 503). You will find media contact info on this website:
It is also very important that you get the word out and tell everyone you know about the wild horse issue and horse slaughter. Please forward this message to all your contacts!
--------- LETTER TEMPLATE FOR S. 576 -----------
(We encourage you to "customize" it with your own words so the
letters do not look like "form letters"; thanks)
The Honorable __________________
Subject: Cosponsor S. 576.
Dear Senator ______________:
I am writing to urge you to co-sponsor S. 576, the legislation introduced by Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) and that reverses the amendment to the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horse & Burro Act stealthily introduced by Senator Conrad Burns as a rider to the 2005 Appropriations Bill. If allowed to stand, the Burns provision will lead to the slaughter of thousands of wild horses for human consumption abroad.
Our wild horses are a vital part of our national heritage. The law that was enacted for their protection thirty years ago was the result of a greater public outcry than over any issue except the Vietnam War, and was passed without a single dissenting vote. I am extremely distressed over the fact that this law enacted by the people for the people was eviscerated without so much as a hearing or opportunity
for public review.
The reasons argued by Sen. Burns to defend the slaughter of wild horses hold no water. There is not an overpopulation of wild horses as Mr. Burns claims; in fact since 1971, when Congress passed the Wild Horses and Burros Act recognizing that they were quickly disappearing and needed protection from slaughter, the number of wild horses on public lands dropped from about 64,000 to less than 35,000 right now. There were 303 herd areas where wild horses and burros were protected, now there are only 186 areas where horses still roam.
Domestic cattle outnumbers wild horses in a 1-150 ratio. While there are less than 35,000 wild horses remaining distributed in 10 states, up to 4,5 million cattle occupy the same lands. Furthermore, a study made by the General Accounting Office showed that the overgrazing problem was actually caused by poorly managed domestic cattle herds while the wild horses caused no damage to the lands. The study
pointed out that a reduction on the number of cattle, not horses, was necessary to protect the health of the lands.
To suggest that an acceptable solution to a federal agency's management dilemma is commercial slaughter is an irresponsible approach to our public lands and the wildlife that roam them.
Over the past 100 years, our wild horse populations have steadily declined from over two million to less than 35,000. Still, the round-ups continue at great costs to taxpayers. It is my understanding that an in-the-wild management and chemical sterilization program not based on removal would save millions of our tax dollars annually. It would also reflect the will of the American people by preserving free-
roaming herds on public lands for generations to come.
In addition to co-sponsoring S. 576, I also urge you to support a moratorium on round-ups until actual numbers of wild horses on public lands have been independently assessed, and a Congressional investigation into current wild horse management practices.
I respectfully request a prompt response from you stating your position with regard to this legislation which would restore the prohibition on the commercial sale and slaughter of wild horses and burros. Thank you for your time and consideration of this letter.