The U.S. Forest Service on Tuesday confirmed that it plans to sell online and in person the older horses captured during a recent helicopter roundup at Devils Garden Wild Horse Territory for $1 apiece.
Though the wild horses will be sold with limitations — including that they cannot be sold to slaughter — the decrease in price from $25 to $1 per horse increases concerns that kill buyers, or third parties willing to sell to slaughterhouses, may see the horses as more desirable because of the potential to profit from their slaughter in Canada or Mexico.
The Forest Service is planning to sell any remaining wild horses ages 10-older without restriction starting on Feb. 18. Advocacy groups, including Return to Freedom, have filed suit in federal court to stop the horses from being sold without a prohibition against slaughter.
Both horse slaughter and the transport of horses with intent to slaughter are illegal under California law.
Older wild horses will be sold both in person, at the Double Devil Corral facility at Modoc National Forest, near Alturas, Calif.., and online:
- Modoc National Forest is taking appointments to view, select and pick up horses on Wednesdays and Fridays and the first Saturday of each month. Appointments must be confirmed at least seven days in advance after filling out the “viewing and pickup scheduling” request form at https://go.usa.gov/xQ3r3 and submitting it to firstname.lastname@example.org leaving two business days for it to be confirmed.
- From Jan. 7-13, the Forest Service plans to hold an online adoption / sales event. The web page for the event, https://go.usa.gov/xQ3r3 , remains under construction.
The Forest Service is allowing a single buyer to purchase up to 24 wild horses each.
Those that purchase a wild horse receive title immediately. Those that adopt a wild horse, for $125 each, do not gain title for one year but are allowed to return the horse at any time during that one-year period.
Tuesday’s press release says only that “less than 200” wild horses ages 10-over remain and that more than 60 have been adopted out or sold. Previous documents provided to RTF by the Forest Service showed 157 older wild horses remained available for sale or adoption as of Dec. 4.
The wild horses are among 932 captured during a fall helicopter roundup.
As of Dec. 4, 43 horses ages 9-under were available for adoption at Modoc National Forest. The balance of the 9-under horses and mares with foals are being prepared for adoption at the Bureau of Land Management’s Litchfield corrals in Susanville, Calif. Weather has delayed gelding, microchipping and other preperations for the animals and no date to begin adoptions has been set, according to BLM.
For adoption and sale forms, see: https://go.usa.gov/xQ3r3
For information about BLM’s adoption process, see https://www.blm.gov/programs/wild-horse-and-burro/adoption-and-sales/how-to-adopt.