Lawmaker Wants Wild Horses Put Under States’ Jurisdiction

Rep. Ken Ivory’s resolution asks the federal government to control herd growth or relinquish jurisdiction of the horses.

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A Utah legislator has introduced a resolution demanding the federal government either control wild horse herd population growth or relinquish federal jurisdiction of the animals by repealing the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971.

The act protects wild horses and places them under Bureau of Land Management (BLM) jurisdiction. Currently, more than 67, 000 animals reside on ranges in 10 Western states, including Utah. Another 45,000 horses reside in holding facilities operated by the BLM.

Introduced into the Utah State Legislature on Feb. 22 by Representative Ken Ivory, House Concurrent Resolution 22 claims wild horse herds have routinely overpopulated Utah’s ranges and the herds, ever-increasing in population, have damaged the rangeland’s ecology by reducing forage and other resources for wildlife and livestock that share the habitat.

It also maintains that since the BLM has failed to effectively control herd growth, the agency should preserve horse and burro populations by either completely fulfilling the mandate of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act or by relinquishing federal control of the animals

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Written by:

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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