On May 15, the New York Times published an investigation into the Bureau of Land Management’s Adoption Incentive Program (AIP), which pays individuals to adopt wild horses ($1,000 per animal). Some of these horses are winding up in the slaughter pipeline after unscrupulous “adopters” pocket the money and then unload the horses.
Shortly after the exposé broke, AWI worked with lawmakers in Congress to call for a formal audit and suspension of the program. Additionally, the House version of the Interior appropriations bill—which funds the BLM—called for a review of the program and directed the agency to strengthen contracts with adopters to avoid horses slipping through the cracks, and AWI delivered remarks on the ongoing scandal and need for significant reforms during the BLM’s National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board meeting. On June 30, the BLM announced it had initiated an internal investigation of the AIP.