Stop Paying Horse “Rescuers” to Send Animals to Slaughter

Target: Deb Haaland, Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior

Goal: Suspend wild horse adoption program that sends thousands of horses to eventual slaughter.

Since 2019, the American government has subsidized the slaughter of thousands of federally protected wild horses. Worse yet, these slaughters have been marketed as a humane initiative meant to benefit the horses.  The Bureau of Land Management’s Adoption Incentive Program could be the nation’s biggest horse laundering and illegal culling program instead.

This program is meant to reduce the number of wild mustangs and burros in government hands by paying individuals $1,000 to “adopt” the horses. While the bureau claims these horses are going to ranches and other areas where their care will be ensured, a disturbing investigation has revealed the true destination of many of these adoptees: auctions and, eventually, slaughterhouses. The investigation, conducted by the American Wild Horse Campaign, found that numerous horses were put up for auction almost as soon as they were purchased. The adopters seemingly got a payoff from the government and then made even more profit by selling their new horses to slaughterhouse buyers. Horses that reached auction after delays were said to be in deplorable condition.

The government reportedly knows of these horses’ tragic fate but looks the other way just to get the animals off their hands. Adopters are supposed to sign an agreement promising not to sell the animals, yet these agreements are never enforced. Previous payouts (up to four a year) have gone to individuals accused of crimes involving animals. A government official reportedly told a program participant that once the papers were signed, “you can do whatever you want with them.”

This outrageous government-induced, sanctioned slaughter cannot stand. Sign the petition below to urge new leadership to end this murderous fraud against wild horses.


Dear Secretary Haaland,

Countless federally protected wild horses bearing the government’s seal reportedly wind up at slaughterhouse auctions. Many of these animals show visible signs of severe neglect and abuse. The leaders who were supposed to ensure their safety instead literally sold them out into unimaginable brutality and the most inhumane of deaths.

The American Wild Horse Campaign has shone a blinding spotlight on the inadequacies and gross, deadly misuse of the Bureau of Land Management Adoption Incentive Program. Clearly, the aims of this initiative meant to give “good homes” to burros and mustangs have gone incredibly wrong. Please head the campaign’s entreaty to suspend this dangerous program pending a full investigation into the allegations and urgently needed reform.

This agency is tasked with safeguarding and protecting the nation’s natural treasures, not subsidizing their annihilation. Prioritize animal conservation over wholesale slaughter immediately.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Anastasia Shuraeva


  1. what is WRONG with the US Government to run this ‘Payment for slaughtering horses’ scheme? Are they deliberately being cruel or are they stupid? At the very least it is a waste of funds, at worse it is brutal and cruel. IT MUST BE STOPPED! then at least these horses will likely be left in peace to be wild. The US also needs to protect wild horses.

  2. The job description of a Horse Rescuer is to rescue and NOT to kill!

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