The Colorado General Assembly has enacted The Colorado Wild Horse Project, a new law that provides state safeguards for the rights of mustangs and burros to stay in their homes rather than being traumatically and expensively gathered up.
Cause of the Decision
The decision follows last year’s tragedy, in which 145 horses died during a virus epidemic at a holding facility that was later found to be in violation of 13 policies.
Approvement the the Bill
The bill’s sponsors included Colorado House Majority Leader Monica Duran (D) and House Minority Leader Mike Lynch (R), demonstrating the bill’s broad bipartisan support in the General Assembly, where SB23-275 was passed by an overwhelming majority of lawmakers—an indication of how important wild horses and public lands are to a wide range of Americans.
Last Monday, state legislators, including those with ranching interests, approved the bill by a vote of 58 to 7. Governor Polis, who favours enhanced wild equid management over roundups and removals, is expected to sign the measure into law soon.
“We hope Colorado can lead the way to a better, more humane approach to caring for these cherished wild horses,” says Ms. Fedak. “We stand with our allies, ready to help Colorado’s innovative new plan work and show by example how we can save our wild herds of mustangs and burros.”
Benefits for the Wild Horses
For years, wild horse supporters have advocated for more compassionate, practical, and inexpensive alternatives to roundups and storage. Colorado will be the first state to put some of these policies into action.
- SB23-275 prioritises the retention of healthy wild horse populations in Colorado’s four Herd Management Areas (HMAs), resulting in less costly and damaging removals. The act also attempts to address the poor condition of costly holding facilities where wild animals are kept indefinitely.
- In addition, the new law increases manpower and resources for reproduction control techniques in the state’s herds.
- A working committee of diverse stakeholders with experience in wild horses issues will explore new locations for hundreds of seized mustangs to reside in sanctuary-type settings or to be adequately adopted by horse farms once they are adaptive to domestic life.
- This new programme will get a $1.5 million start-up grant from the state, followed by private investment and assistance.