ASPCA Celebrates U.S. House Passage of the Corolla Wild Horses Protection Act<p>Legislation ensures the historic horse herd will maintain its genetic viability</p>
NEW YORK--The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today hailed the U.S. House of Representatives for passing, without opposition, the Corolla Wild Horses Protection Act (H.R. 306) that protects the free-roaming wild horses in and around the Currituck National Wildlife Refuge in Currituck County, N.C. H.R. 306 was introduced by U.S. Representative Walter B. Jones to protect these wild horses by increasing the number of horses allowed in the herd so their genetic viability can be preserved.
"These majestic horses have played an important role in North Carolina's history, and it is vital they continue to flourish for years to come," said Nancy Perry, senior vice president of ASPCA Government Relations. "The House recognizes the importance of protecting these equine icons of the Outer Banks, and hopefully the Senate will do the same."
The Corolla wild horses can be traced back to the arrival of Spanish explorers on the Outer Banks in the 16th century and currently roam across 7,500 acres of public and private land in coastal Currituck County. H.R. 306 requires the Secretary of the Interior to craft a new herd management plan with the Corolla Wild Horse Fund, Currituck County, and the state of North Carolina to provide for the management of free-roaming wild horses by allowing the herd population to increase to no fewer than 110 horses, with a target population between 120 and 130 horses. Under the current agreement, the maximum number of horses allowed in the herd is 60, a level deemed too low to maintain the herd's genetic viability.
"These beautiful horses are an essential part of Eastern North Carolina's heritage," said Rep. Walter B. Jones. "We must protect them for future generations to enjoy."
Now that the legislation has passed in the U.S. House of Representatives, it will be sent to the Senate for consideration.
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.