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Tuesday, February 07, 2012

U.S. House Passes Bill to Protect Wild Horses

The U.S. House of Representatives late yesterday, by unanimous voice vote, passed H.R. 306, the Corolla Wild Horses Protection Act, introduced by Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C. This legislation, strongly supported by HSLF and other animal protection groups, will ensure the protection, preservation and responsible management of a small herd of wild Colonial Spanish Mustangs roaming freely on the northernmost Outer Banks of Currituck County, North Carolina.

Wild horsesThe majestic Corolla wild horses have been a historic and revered herd for nearly five hundred years, but currently the population is at risk of being reduced to only 60 horses. Experts agree that the herd must be managed at a healthy population level of 110 to 130 animals to maintain genetic viability. H.R. 306 wisely supports these science-based findings, without any cost to the federal government.

“The Corolla horses are a key part of North Carolina’s heritage. They’re also an important element of the Outer Banks economy,” said Rep. Jones. “North Carolina has designated the Colonial Spanish Mustang as our State Horse and we must make sure they survive for future generations to enjoy.”

The stable and successful wild horse program that the National Park Service has administered on Assateague Island using PZP contraception as its primary management tool shows that these populations can provide generations of Americans with inspiration and appreciation without requiring expensive and controversial removals.

We are grateful to Rep. Jones for his dedication and perseverance to protect these majestic wild horses on the Outer Banks. With so few wild horse herds left in the eastern United States, the Senate should quickly pass this important legislation.


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