Protect Wild Horses: Support the Improved SB126


Senate Bill 126 ("Change Livestock and Animal Definitions") was heard in the Senate Conservation Committee on 2/2 and again on 2/9, where an updated substitute bill was heard and passed.

Senate Bill 126 appears to be responding to complaints about wild horses in Placitas, NM and Alto, NM, who are residing or roaming on private land.


We are grateful to Senate Bill 126 sponsor, Sen. Pat Woods, for accepting amendments to his bill to help ensure wild horses are treated humanely! 

As it stands now, because of a gap in statutory law and even more recent case law, there is no government agency with authority to humanely address wild horses on private land. At Animal Protection Voters, our top priority is to make sure these horses are neither harmed by landowners who do not welcome the wild horses, nor put into an auction process, becoming vulnerable to slaughter.
Animal Protection Voters worked with the sponsor of SB126 to:

(1) exempt "wild horses" as defined in Section 77-18-5 from the definition of "livestock"

(2) expand the definition of "wild horses" in 77-18-5 so that it's not limited only to horses ON public land, but also means horses elsewhere (such as private land) that originated ON public land or descended from public land herds

(3) set out a specific process for wild horses captured on private land (where the current wild horse statute, 77-18-5, is silent) so that auction is NOT an option; but the options ARE: relocation to public land or a horse preserve; adoption to qualified persons for private maintenance; or *last resort* euthanasia if the horse is sick, crippled, or is unable to be relocated or adopted out.

(4) ensure that no state statute interferes with or applies to wild horses protected under the federal Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. 

The humane treatment of wild horses demands more attention than even the revised version of SB126 can offer and APV is committed to ongoing work to ensure continuing improvements for relevant state statutes.  

Take action below to urge your legislators to vote 'yes' to ensure a humane outcome for all wild horses!

IMPORTANT: The more you personalize your letter, the more effective it will be in reaching and persuading your legislator. We’ve provided a draft letter for you, but we STRONGLY encourage you to edit the content of the form letter to put it in your own words. Tell a brief story about why this issue is personally important to you, and emphasize the facts that you think will resonate most with your legislator.