New Agreement Provides More Protection For Wild Horses

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) have entered into an agreement to help ensure that wild horses under federal care are not slaughtered. "This agreement closes an avenue unscrupulous people have tried to use to circumvent the laws that protect these animals," BLM Director Pat Shea said. "I appreciate the Food Safety and Inspection Services' willingness to cooperate with us to ensure that adopted wild horses and burros receive humane care."

Under the agreement, the FSIS will notify the BLM of any untitled wild horses that are taken to a slaughterhouse and provide information about who tried to sell the animal. In return, the BLM will train FSIS inspectors on how to read and interpret the freeze mark placed on all federally protected wild horses and burros and how to recognize and read validly issued titles for BLM wild horses.

The FSIS, part of the Department Of Agriculture, has responsibility to inspect slaughterhouses where live horses and burros are brought to be slaughtered and processed for human consumption. The BLM is responsible for managing wild horses and burros that roam the Western public lands.

Under the 1971 Wild and Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act, the BLM manages 42,000 wild horses and burros that roam public lands in the West. The law mandates the protection, management, and control of wild horses and burros in a manner that ensures a healthy, viable population of free-roaming herds within the limits of available public land resources.

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