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Corolla Wild Horses Protection Act

Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich

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Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 306, the Corolla Wild Horses Protection Act. This bill is a responsible and well-studied solution to the on-going debate regarding wild horse populations. Generally, when we discuss wild horse populations we are trying to find answers on how to curb the rapidity of herd growth. Yet today we are here attempting to support the expansion of the dwindling Colonial Spanish Mustangs that roam on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

These graceful and social wild animals have captured the hearts and minds of Americans for hundreds of years. They are stunning to watch as they roam free on public lands and remain an historical national treasure. It is imperative that we protect and ensure a viable future for the Corolla wild horse population.

Currently, the Corolla wild horses are at risk of being reduced to a herd of 60 horses. According to scientific research led by Texas A&M University's Dr. Gus Cothran, a herd of horses that small is unsustainable because it lacks sufficient genetic diversity. A healthy population for the herd would be in the range of 110 to 130 horses. H.R. 306 takes heed of this warning and ensures that steps to responsibly increase the herd population are taken without affecting the other endangered species and refuge lands in the Currituck National Wildlife Refuge.

In the past, I have advocated for significant changes to current herd management practices to ensure humane and responsible population management on public lands. Such concerns are shared by the public and Members of Congress alike. I support this bill and will continue to work to ensure that wild horse populations are protected.