Wild horses under adoption program end up in slaughter houses, says investigation

Posted at 12:35 PM, May 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-27 17:27:54-04

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Wild horses and burros meant to be protected through a government program are sometimes sold to slaughter houses instead, and so a U.S. Senator is joining in the fight to suspend the program.

Government corrals held a huge surplus of wild horses and burros, and so the Adoption Incentive Program (AIP) was created to give them "good homes."

Adopters of the abandoned animals must sign a contract promising to protect them from abuse, neglect, or slaughter.

An investigation by the American Wild Horse Campaign (AWHC) and its coalition partners, however, found quite a different story; it discovered that groups of related individuals were adopting four horses or burros each (the BLM’s per-adopter limit), then dumping them at kill pens, collecting $30,000 or more in incentive payments and sales fees.

The investigation also found cases of abuse and severe neglect of wild horses and burros by AIP adopters who were unwilling or unqualified to provide proper care.

“I strongly urge BLM to immediately suspend this program and conduct a thorough investigation to ensure federal funds are used to protect wild horses and burros against abuse, neglect, or slaughter, as intended by Congress,” said Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) in a public letter.

AWHC and its rescue partners, Evanescent Mustang Rescue, Skydog Sanctuary and Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary, are also calling for a stop to the Trump administration’s plan to round up mass numbers of wild horses and burros from public lands, fueling efforts to dispose of captured wild horses and burros and resulting in their illegal slaughter.