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Ozark Wild Horse Protection Act

President Clinton signed a bill into law on October 3, 1996, to make the wild horses of Shannon County a permanent part of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways.

It is important to remember that the horses could be legally removed if any of the conditions are violated in the bill. The horses are truly wild. This means they live and die naturally, just like any other wildlife.

H.R.238 – Ozark Wild Horses Protection Act – 104th Congress (1995-1996) is the official bill that ultimately became law. [PDF]

The Missouri Wild Horse League works with the National Park Service to capture horses when the herd exceeds 50.  The captured horses are taken into care and evaluated before being adopted by loving families for permanent homes.

“SEC. 7 (a) The Secretary, in accordance with this section, shall allow free-roaming horses in the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. Within 180 days after enactment of this section, the Secretary shall enter into an agreement with the Missouri Wild Horse League or another qualified nonprofit entity to provide for the management of free-roaming horses. The agreement shall provide for cost-effective management of the horses and limit Federal expenditures to the costs of monitoring the agreement. The Secretary shall issue permits for adequate pastures to accommodate the historic population level of the free-roaming horse herd, which shall be not less than the number of horses in existence on the date of the enactment of this section nor more than 50.”

‘‘Sec. 7 (b) The Secretary shall not remove, assist in, or permit the removal of any free-roaming horses from Federal lands within the boundary of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways unless:

(1) the entity with whom the Secretary has entered into the agreement under subsection (a), following notice and a 90-day response period, fails to meet the terms and conditions of the agreement; or
(2) the number of free-roaming horses on Federal lands within the Ozark National Scenic Riverways exceeds 50; or
(3) in the case of an emergency, or to protect public health and safety.