May 6 2015

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Thom Tillis (R-NC) introduced the Corolla Wild Horses Protection Act, a bill to provide for the responsible management of the wild-horse population around Corolla, North Carolina and the Outer Banks.

“The beauty of the Corolla horses draws people from across North Carolina and the country to witness these wild animals in their natural habitat,” said Senator Richard Burr. “They are one of our many natural state treasures and I am proud to introduce legislation that will provide for the preservation of these wild-roaming horses that have inhabited North Carolina for hundreds of years. Starting in 2011, I’ve made several efforts to ensure that our local communities have the tools they need to manage these herds without excessive bureaucratic involvement. I hope my colleagues will move swiftly to consider this legislation.”

“A cherished part of our state’s history and an admired attraction, thousands of tourists visit North Carolina’s beaches each year to witness the majestic nature of the Corolla horses” said Senator Thom Tillis. “The legislation I’m introducing will take the necessary and proper steps in protecting the health and safety of the wild animals and their habitat, while encouraging continued tourism and economic investment for our local coastal communities.” 

The Corolla Wild Horses Protection Act would require the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the State of North Carolina, Currituck County and the Corolla Wild Horse Fund to craft a new management plan to care for the wild horses that inhabit the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  The plan would allow the herd to grow to the size found by equine scientists to be necessary to maintain genetic viability – between 110 and 130 horses.

The Corolla wild horses are indigenous to North Carolina and do not exist anywhere else in the world.  Their lineage can be traced back to the arrival of Spanish explorers on the Outer Banks in the 16th century.  They are Colonial Spanish mustangs that have survived in the wild for the last four centuries and now roam across Currituck County, North Carolina.

This legislation is supported by The Humane Society and American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.