Help Protect New Mexico's Abused and Abandoned Equines!

UPDATE: House Bill 390 ("EQUINE RESCUE & SHELTER RIGHT OF REFUSAL") passed the House State Government, Veteran and Indian Affairs Committee by a 5-3 vote, the House Consumer & Public Affairs Committee 5-0, the House of Representatives 50-17 and the Senate Conservation Committee.

WHAT'S NEXT: The bill is waiting to be scheduled for a Senate vote, which will need to happen before the session ends on Saturday, March 18th!

Please contact your Senator and ask for their support for House Bill 390!


Horses and their equine relatives (donkeys, mules, hinnies, ponies) are an economically important and treasured part of New Mexico’s western heritage. The vast majority of New Mexicans want equines treated humanely and do not support equine slaughter. New Mexico’s laws should reflect those values.

New Mexico’s state laws (including the New Mexico Livestock Code) establish a “blanket” disposition for all livestock, including equines. As a result, homeless equines in the custody of the NM Livestock Board (estrays, abandoned, seized or running at large equines) are routinely sent to auctions and sold to so-called “killer-buyers” who then sell them for slaughter in Mexico.

Equine rescue facilities are often forced to compete at auction for equines they want to rescue and will later spend significant funds to rehabilitate and care for until they can be adopted. Rescue organizations cannot possibly monitor all auctions or afford to always compete with killer-buyers, and they shouldn’t have to.

HB 390, sponsored by Rep. Nathan Small (D-Las Cruces) would create equine-specific sections of the New Mexico Livestock Code and other laws to ensure that the nine equine shelters in the state will have the first right of refusal on stray, abandoned and abused equines. This will greatly increase the humane outcomes for these horses and allow horse rescues to expend their donor funds caring for the horses rather than bidding against others in auction.


Take action below to make sure your legislators vote 'yes' on HB 390 to give horse shelters the first right of refusal to protect abandoned and abused equines.


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.