Success: Wild Horses Will Be Protected In Arizona

wild horses by John Harwood

Target: Kelly Townsend, Representative in Arizona State Legislature

Goal: Praise new policy which protects Salt River wild horses in Arizona.

Salt River wild horses will now be protected under Arizona law, thanks to a bill which recently passed both the Arizona Senate and House of Representatives. In the past, the U.S. Forest Service has removed Salt River wild horses from their home in Tonto National Forest, on the basis that they are stray livestock which could pose harm to humans. Thanks to pressure from wild horse advocates and petitions like this one on ForceChange, Arizona has passed a law which clarifies that Salt River wild horses are not stray livestock, and criminalizes killing or harassing them.

The state of Arizona will still have to come to an agreement with federal agencies about how the wild horses will be humanely managed, but this bill, which the governor is expected to sign, is a huge victory. The population of Salt River wild horses in Arizona has declined dramatically over the past four decades—less than 500 remain in the wild—and one of the major reasons for the decline is forced displacement. The Salt River wild horses have lived in Arizona for generations and they have never caused harm to humans. There is no reason to believe these horses are pests or safety threats.

This bill will ensure that the wild horses are protected and are allowed to live in the forest where they belong. Sign the petition below to thank the bill’s sponsor for standing up for wild horses in Arizona.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Representative Townsend,

I want to thank you for sponsoring the bill which will protect the Salt River wild horses in Arizona. The Salt River wild horses have lived in Arizona for generations. Their numbers have dramatically declined, partly because the federal government has treated them like stray livestock and potentially dangerous pests. Thanks to this bill, these horses will be recognized as wild animals and will be allowed to live freely in their natural habitat.

Worldwide, animal species are disappearing at an alarming rate, because of the rampant environmental destruction that humans are causing. Your bill is a way of forming a partnership with nature, rather than exploiting it. The wild horses in Arizona’s Tonto National Forest bring delight to the humans who see them. Such interactions provide hope that we can live in harmony with the animals who share our home.

Thank you for taking a stand for the wild horses of Arizona. I hope you continue to work on animal friendly legislation in the future.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: John Harwood

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