Dec. 10 update: About 190 wild horses ages 10-older captured during the recent Devils Garden Wild Horse Territory helicopter roundup in Northern California remain in danger of being sold to slaughter.
Here’s a brief update:
- The U.S. Forest Service has pushed back the date on which it intends to begin selling the older horses without any limitations against slaughter, this time to Feb. 18.
- Federal district court cases — including one filed by RTF and other local, regional and national advocates — seeking to stop the unrestricted sale of the older horses are ongoing.
- The Forest Service’s plans have prompted California Assemblymember Todd Gloria, D-San Diego, to introduce new legislation, Assembly Bill 128, to strengthen the state’s existing prohibition against slaughtering horses or transporting them to slaughter. At this point, Gloria has introduced intent language but not offered specific legal language. The bill will likely be first heard in committee in April.
This fall, Modoc National Forest removed 932 wild horses during a month-long helicopter roundup. About 260 of the horses ages 10-older have been offered for adoption or sale with a restriction against slaughter from the Double Devil Corrals at the forest near Alturas, California. About 70 had found homes through Monday.
The balance of the captured horses – those ages 9-under and mares with foals — were sent to the Bureau of Land Management’s Litchfield corrals near Susanville, California. The weather has slowed efforts to prepare them to be offered for adoption. Adoptions are now likely to begin in mid to late December, at the earliest, according to BLM.
After rescuing about 120 horses last year, RTF’s own American Wild Horse Sanctuary is at capacity, already providing care for a total of about 550 wild horses and burros at five locations. We’re marshalling interested supporters to make the greatest impact for the wild horses at risk in the most efficient way that we can.