There was a chorus of excitement from blog readers after the U.S. House passed H.R. 1018, or the ROAM (Restore Our American Mustangs) Act, by a comfortable margin. Introduced by Natural Resources Committee Chairman Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), the bill promotes humane population management of wild horses on the range, bans slaughter of the animals, and urges the Bureau of Land Management to allow wild horses to reclaim up to 19 million acres of public lands that they had occupied in recent years, but are now excluded from using.
We’ll have a tough slog in the Senate, especially with its overrepresentation of senators from the West, but there’s a deep wellspring of affection for these horses. And the current program is a fiscal disaster, and it absolutely must be revamped. It’s just not responsible for the Senate to avoid the issue, and that’s the message we’ll convey to lawmakers.
Do make sure you see how your own representative voted on H.R. 1018, and let him or her know that you are pleased or disappointed. You might also urge your representative to cosponsor or otherwise support H.R. 503, the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act, which seeks to ban the slaughter of all horses for human consumption—whether wild or not. Here are some of your comments about last Friday’s House action.
Please pass this bill in the Senate and save America’s wild horses. They belong to the American people and American history and deserve better treatment and better spending of the money appropriated for them. Thank you. —Bonnie Canfield
Thank God. It's the first time I've really felt like my phone calls made a difference. —L
My Congressman voted AGAINST this bill. I am saddened by him. I sent him an email letting him know that we have been fighting to protect these horses longer than he has been in the House. I'm very happy this passed. —Nancy Post
This is WONDERFUL! I have always been in awe of anything wild and our mustangs are our heritage and a symbol of everything wild and free, like the buffalo. Both have been so terribly abused by our government agencies. —K
Love it! And thanks for letting us know about Boehner's record and dismissive attitude. Clearly someone who has forgotten who he works for. Now on to the Senate! —Laura Rawlins
Good news for the wild horses! Going to be bad news for Boehner, though. People are watching and if the American people care even a little bit about one of our iconic animals, he's going to have to change his tune. —Lisa J.
Thanks so much for your efforts on the wild horse bill. I’ve been praying and donating for this bill, as we have beautiful wild horses in New Mexico and they are so much a part of our heritage as a nation. Thanks again. —Roxsan Meyer
I am a Republican and I'm ashamed of my party's stand on animal welfare. Leave it to them to turn the suffering of animals into a political ploy to denigrate the Democrats. It shows how out of touch they are with the majority of the American people who want to see our wild horses protected and managed better. It's both a matter of fiscal responsibility and compassion. Our Congress wasn't going to do anything to solve our economic mess in the time it took them to vote on H.R. 1018, so they may as well have done something productive and humane with their time. —Craig DiBenedictis
We care, as Americans, what happens in this country economically, ecologically. And these issues should not be thrown to the wayside while Congress cleans up the mess they got us into in the first place. It all matters. Don't represent us if you can't multitask. —Margaret Bunce
I am glad this passed despite my representative's refusal to vote for this bill. When he replied to me he seemed to have a large misunderstanding of what the bill was about and what it protected. —Jared
Finally our hopes and prayers have been answered. Although the battle is not over we should be overjoyed with the success so far made. —Molly