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ASPCA Welcomes Senate Bill to Protect North Carolina Wild Horse Herd

Corolla Wild Horses Protection Act ensures survival of Outer Banks' historic horse herd
July 26, 2012

NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today applauds Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) and Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) for introducing legislation to protect the free-roaming wild horses living on the Outer Banks in Currituck County, N.C. The Corolla Wild Horses Protection Act, S.3448, authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to enter into a new agreement with the Corolla Wild Horse Fund, Currituck County, and the state of North Carolina to provide for the management of wild horses in and around the Currituck National Wildlife Refuge. 

"These iconic horses have played an important role in North Carolina's history, and it is vital that they continue to flourish for years to come," said Nancy Perry, senior vice president of ASPCA Government Relations. "The management agreement creates a safety net so that the Corolla horses will be able to thrive in their natural habitat in the event of a disease outbreak, natural disaster, or other similar threat."

The Corolla wild horse herd can be traced back to the arrival of Spanish explorers on the Outer Banks in the 16th century. Despite access to roam across 7,500 acres of public and private land, the current law caps the maximum number of horses at 60, a population deemed too low to maintain the herd's genetic viability. The Corolla Wild Horses Protection Act allows for a herd of no fewer than 110 horses, with a target population between 120 and 130 horses.

"The bipartisan Corolla Wild Horses Protection Act is a step in the right direction toward ensuring the long-term prosperity of the Corolla herd," said Sen. Hagan. "These horses are a state treasure and should be protected for future generations of North Carolinians to enjoy."

"The Corolla wild horses are one of the many natural treasures of our state, and people travel from across North Carolina and the country to see these wild horses in their natural habitat," said Sen. Burr. "I am proud to cosponsor this bill that will provide for the care and management of these wild-roaming horses and give local organizations and authorities the tools they need to manage these horses without excessive federal involvement."

In February, the House passed an identical version of the Corolla Wild Horses Protection Act, H.R. 306, introduced by Rep. Walter B. Jones (R-N.C.).

The ASPCA has an extensive history of equine protection around the country and continues to assist domestic and wild horses through legislation, advocacy, targeted grants and enforcement of the carriage horse and cruelty laws in New York City. For more information on the ASPCA and to join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade, please visit www.aspca.org.