Important Wins for Horses in President’s Budget Proposal

March 30, 2022

a man wearing a cowboy hat with a white horse

President Biden released a budget request for the 2023 fiscal year, and his proposal includes two critical equine welfare initiatives: ending horse slaughter and improving the Wild Horse and Burro program. Here’s the great news!

Ending Horse Slaughter

The President’s budget proposal prohibits horse slaughter in the U.S. by defunding an inspection program that is legally necessary for its operation. This provision, which was absent from last year’s budget request, marks progress for horses and animal advocates nationwide. Restricting any use of federal funds on horse slaughter is a critical step towards permanently ending this industry's predatory presence in the U.S.  

Learn more about our work to prevent the horse slaughter industry from reestablishing operations in the U.S. and prohibit the export of American horses for slaughter.

Strengthening the Wild Horse and Burro Program

We are pleased that this year’s budget request offers continued protections against lethal population management, an idea nearly approved in Congress a few years ago. This language ensures that the government cannot kill healthy horses and burros for population control or sell them to slaughter. Additionally, it requests that Congress allocates more than $153 million to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Wild Horse and Burro Program – a $16 million increase from current funding levels. 

In order to shift wild horse and burro management away from the endless cycle of roundups and removal, more government funding is essential to implement a humane and effective fertility control program that will allow herds to live sustainably on the range. A science-based strategy that relies on proven, safe, and humane fertility control methods is the best possible way to stabilize populations and avoid the catastrophic lethal methods proposed in behind-the-scenes appropriations conversations for years. We will continue to advocate for a greater commitment from BLM to implement fertility control—with no limitation on funding—as the cornerstone of its program, and to rigorously abide by all humane standards embodied in the agency’s Comprehensive Animal Welfare Program. 

Learn more about our commitment to preventing these outcomes for our wild horses and burros.

We applaud the Biden-Harris administration for embracing important protections for equines and celebrate the positive impact of these decisions. However, the President’s budget request fell short in its commitment to other animal welfare matters, like preventing puppy mill cruelty and improving living conditions for farm animals. We will continue to advocate for measures that will one day ensure all animals live free from cruelty. 

Visit the ASPCA’s Advocacy Center to see a list of current, actionable alerts, where your voice will make a difference and improve laws for animals.