The Restore Our American Mustangs (ROAM) Act (H.R. 1018), introduced by House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) and National Parks, Forests and Public Lands Subcommittee Chairman Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), will restore the protections for America’s wild horses and burros that were stripped away in recent years. Most significantly, the bill will reinstate a key provision to prevent the slaughter of horses. This measure was originally granted to these equines in the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, which had been gutted in a midnight maneuver by former Senator Conrad Burns (R-Mont.).
The ROAM Act also seeks to keep more wild horses on the range by reclaiming 19 million acres denied the horses over recent years. Restoring this rangeland will mean fewer horses rounded up by the Bureau of Land Management and held in expensive and inadequate facilities. AWI Wildlife Biologist D.J. Schubert testified in favor of the bill when it was marked up and passed out of committee in April.