USA: Protect the Wild Horses of the Outer Banks!
Burr-Tillis Amendment (# 3175) to S. 2012—Corolla Wild Horses Protection Act
Sponsors: Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Thom Tillis (R-NC)
ASPCA Position: Support
Action Needed: None at this time.
Update—April 19, 2016: Today the U.S. Senate passed a modified amendment that would take steps to ensure the genetic diversity and health of the Corolla Wild Horses. Thank you to all the advocates who asked your senators to protect these majestic animals—we will let you know when further help is needed to get this measure over the finish line.
At any moment, the U.S. Senate will vote on the Burr-Tillis Amendment, which would protect the free-roaming wild horses in and around the Currituck National Wildlife Refuge. Increasing the number of horses allowed in the Outer Banks herd will preserve their genetic viability. The language of the amendment was originally introduced by North Carolina Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis as the Corolla Wild Horses Protection Act.
This treasured herd of horses can be traced to the arrival of Spanish explorers on the Outer Banks in the sixteenth century. These horses roam across 7,500 acres of public and private land in coastal Currituck County, yet current law caps the maximum number of horses at 60—a population deemed too low to maintain the herd’s genetic viability. The Burr-Tillis Amendment will allow the population to increase to not fewer than 110 horses, with a target population of 120-130 horses. This modification recognizes that the Corolla wild horses need an adequate herd size to survive in the event of a disease outbreak, natural disaster or similar threat.