175 Devil’s Garden wild horses now $1 each with limitations against slaughter

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Two geldings photographed just after their arrival at Return to Freedom’s San Luis Obispo, Calif., satellite sanctuary. RTF was able to provide refuge for 12 of the last older Devil’s Garden wild horses, those most at risk of being sold to slaughter following a 2018 roundup.

About 175 wild horses captured by the U.S. Forest Service on the Devil’s Garden Plateau Wild Horse Territory at Modoc National Forest in Northern California are now for sale for $1 apiece, as of Feb. 9.

Sales are being conducted with limitations against slaughter. Space, fencing and shelter requirements also apply.

The horses have been offered for adoption events in December and on Jan. 5, as well as through a website and Facebook. No in-person viewing is being held due to COVID-19.

Under law, the Forest Service allows captured wild horses to be sold if they’re 10 years old or have been passed over for adoption three times.

Though the horses are being sold with restrictions against slaughter, and transporting horses from California for purposes of slaughter is against state law, the low price raises concerns they will fall into the hands of kill buyers.

Modoc National Forest is also working with partners to put together and fund transport loads to centralized pickup locations in other states, including Montana, Utah, Florida, Vermont, Washington and Missouri.

Anyone who would like to purchase Devil’s Garden Wild Horses should fill out the request form found here and return it to SM.FS.modoc_info@usda.gov. Call (530) 233-8738 for more information.