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ASPCA Welcomes U.S. House Passage of Bill to Protect North Carolina Wild Horse Herd

Corolla Wild Horses Protection Act would ensure survival of Outer Banks’ historic horse herd
June 3, 2013

NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today applauds the U.S. House of Representatives for passing, without opposition, the Corolla Wild Horses Protection Act (H.R. 126). This legislation, which was introduced by Rep. Walter B. Jones (R-N.C.), would protect the free-roaming wild horses in and around the Currituck National Wildlife Refuge in Currituck County, N.C. by increasing the number of horses allowed in the herd, thereby preserving their genetic viability.

“These majestic horses have played an important role in North Carolina’s history, and it is imperative that they continue to flourish for years to come,” said Nancy Perry, senior vice president of ASPCA Government Relations. “The House recognized the importance of protecting these equine icons of the Outer Banks, and hopefully the Senate will do the same.”

The Corolla wild horse herd can be traced back to the arrival of Spanish explorers on the Outer Banks in the 16th century. Despite access to roam across 7,500 acres of public and private land, the current law caps the maximum number of horses at 60, a population deemed too low to maintain the herd’s genetic viability. The Corolla Wild Horses Protection Act would require the Secretary of the Interior to craft a new herd management plan with the Corolla Wild Horse Fund, Currituck County, and the state of North Carolina that would allow for the herd population to increase to no fewer than 110 horses, with a target population between 120 and 130 horses. 

“These beautiful and iconic horses are an essential part of Eastern North Carolina’s heritage, and people travel from near and far to see them in their natural habitat,” said Rep. Jones. “We must protect these wild-roaming horses for future generations to enjoy.” 

Now that the legislation has passed the House, it will be sent to the Senate for consideration. 

The ASPCA has an extensive history of equine protection around the country and continues to assist both domestic and wild horses through legislation, advocacy and targeted grants. For more information on the ASPCA’s efforts to protect and aid horses, please visit www.aspca.org/equinecruelty. To join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade, please visit www.aspca.org/advocacy.