Thursday, July 27, 2017

Congressional panel permits culling of wild horses - Full Article

Bartholomew D Sullivan, USA TODAY
Published 1:30 p.m. ET July 19, 2017

WASHINGTON — A congressional committee Tuesday night authorized the “humane euthanization” — some called it “extermination” — of what many acknowledge is a large and unsustainable population of wild horses and burros on public land in the West.

After debating the merits and flaws in plans to adopt or find ways to limit the population of an estimated 67,000 wild horses through contraceptive darting, the House Appropriations Committee voted to remove language from the Interior Department’s budget that would have prohibited “the destruction of healthy, unadopted wild horses and burros in the care of” the Bureau of Land Management or its contractors. It passed by voice vote.

The action follows a close roll call vote last week by the same committee to end the prohibition on the U.S. Department of Agriculture inspection of horse meat.

The author of the euthanization amendment, Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, stressed that it did not make the horses available for sales that would result in their “processing as commercial products, including for human consumption.”

“The bottom line is this: these horses are starving. They’re destroying the range. They’re crowding out the deer and the elk because we cannot manage them,” Stewart said.

Wild horse enthusiasts and animal rights advocates denounced the measure...

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