DONALD Trump’s budget proposals have delivered a major blow to animal rights campaigners including PETA.
The US president wants to save $10 million by cutting the costs involved in the sale of wild horses.
It means a guarantee preventing sale of wild horses for slaughter will be scrapped.
The move is particularly damaging for PETA who who have long campaigned against it.
But free roaming horses in America have lead to major concerns from livestock owners they are out-competing cattle for precious forage across more than 40,000 square miles of rangeland in 10 states managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.
There are some 60,000 free-roaming mustangs which pose a threat to the commercial success of farms and ranches.
Trump’s budget anticipates the savings would come through a reduction in the cost of containing and feeding the animals.
The savings also would include cutbacks involving roundups and contraception programs.
The horses are protected by a 1971 law that tasks BLM and U.S. Forest Service with studying and managing the wild mustang population.
Excess horses are captured and sold to private owners.
Trump’s budget would cut costs by allowing the horses to be purchased without a guarantee that they won’t be killed and turned into meat.
Republicans in the Congressional West Caucus signalled their approval in a statement that praised Trump’s budget and mentioned the horses.
Caucus Chairman Paul Gosar of Arizona, Republican Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, Rep. Doug LaMalfa, also of California, and Rep. Rick Crawford of Arizona lauded Trump’s proposed spending reductions that would balance the budget in 10 years and save $3.6 trillion.
It specifically highlights the section of Trump’s budget that ‘eliminates appropriations language restricting BLM from using all of the management tools provided for in the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.’
Court rulings forced the closure of the three remaining horse slaughterhouses in the US in 2007.
Horses could be exported and sold for slaughter outside the US, however.
Peta has long lobbied in favour of legislation that would prevent horses from being sold for this purpose and exported to Mexico and Canada.