by Grace Kuhn
The American Wild Horse Campaign (AWHC) is the nation’s leading wild horse advocacy organization. AWHC is dedicated to defending America’s wild horses and burros by protecting their freedom, preserving their habitat, promoting humane standards of treatment, and securing their future on our western public lands for generations to come as part of our national heritage.
The organization creates and implements humane solutions to keep wild horses wild and safe while increasing the public’s awareness of, and appreciation for, America’s wild herds as part of the ecological and cultural landscape of the American West.
AWHC programs address threats that endanger wild horse and burro populations on our public lands. Such threats are presented by government agencies and policies that seek to round up these American heritage animals, remove them from their homes on the range, warehouse and/or sell them for slaughter and, in some cases, eradicate them entirely from our public lands. The non-profit group’s primary focus includes:
Education and Advocacy — AWHC raises the bar on the public’s knowledge about wild horses and burros and the need to save them through face-to-face community outreach and online and social media organizing. Its grassroots base has grown 100 times since 2011, and the organization’s social media presence now exceeds 600,000. AWHC is not just raising awareness; the charity is also mobilizing public support to protect wild horses and burros and change current unsustainable and inhumane government management policies.
In-the-Wild Management — Partnering with the Nevada Department of Agriculture, AWHC aids in implementing the world’s largest humane management program for wild horses in the world. The cornerstone of this program is remote darting of wild mares with a scientifically-proven birth control vaccine to humanely reduce population growth rates and decrease population numbers over time. This highly successful program is a model for humanely managing large wild horse populations in large habitat areas and an alternative to costly and inhumane roundups and removals of wild horses from the wild.
Legislation — A team of lobbyists from both sides of the political aisle work together to address the current threat in Congress of legalizing the mass killing or slaughter of America’s wild horses. This lobbying effort, paired with the grassroots mobilization campaign connecting constituents to their elected leaders empowers them to promote policies that protect wild horses and burros from capture and slaughter.
Litigation — Working with a legal team at the public interest law firm, Meyer Glitzenstein and Eubanks, AWHC has amassed a strong record of legal victories in federal court, including three significant legal precedents at the Ninth and Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. These legal victories have affirmed that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management cannot turn public lands over to private interests and has broad discretion to manage wild horses and burros without rounding them up and removing them from their homes on the range.
In addition to protecting the wild horses and burros living on public rangelands in the western states, AWHC serves the majority of Americans who value these national treasures and want to see them preserved and protected as mandated by the unanimously passed Wild Free-Roaming Wild Horses and Burros Act of 1971. The latter includes the 50 coalition partners that join them in their work, as well as individual wild horse and burro advocates, members of the wider equestrian community, photographers and artists, and outdoor recreationists.
Only the power of the people can defeat the powerful special interests that want to eradicate and slaughter our remaining wild horses and burros. You can join the work of AWHC to protect them. Visit AmericanWildHorseCampaign.org or find the organization on Facebook and Twitter.