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Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2006 - 2

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC


DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, ENVIRONMENT, AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2006 -- (House of Representatives - May 19, 2005)

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Mr. WALDEN of Oregon. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to this amendment, and I certainly am one who is not in favor of the slaughtering of wild horses, but I am also as a fiscal conservative who is concerned about what happens along the way, because we are looking at a price of somewhere on the order of $20 million a year to take care of the horses that nobody wants to adopt right now.

There are some 37,000 wild horses and burros roaming on BLM managed lands in 10 western States. That is 9,000 more than the carrying capacity of the land. In the few seconds I have left, I want to show my colleagues this photo. This is from Nevada. This cage was put over this grass, and this is what the wild horses have done all around it, in terms of what happens in a fairly wet area. You get into the dry areas, and they completely overrun the rangeland.

What we need to do is, if there is a problem with someone violating the law, we need to put the criminal penalties back in so they can be prosecuted, but the BLM have said they will not issue any contracts that will allow for any slaughter. Taking away their ability to sell the wild horses, however, will create a huge fiscal burden to the Federal Government and the taxpayer and not allow us to properly manage these herds.

So I urge a "no" vote on this amendment.

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