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California Wild Roundup Horses To Sell For One Dollar
 By Winniefield Park   •   14th Oct 2018   •   328 views   •   0 comments


Animal rights activists are angered after the U.S. Forest Service, a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture that looks after the national forests and grasslands, began the roundup of about 1000 wild horses. The horses are being taken from the Devil's Garden Plateau Wild Horse Territory inside the Modoc National Forest where itís claimed there are ten times the number of horses the area can sustain. The service is concerned that the damage done by the horse will quickly become irreversible.

Ideally, there should be a maximum of about 400 horses, but prior to the gather, there were an estimated 4000. This claims the service, is causing destruction of the 250,000 acred habitat, depriving natural local wildlife species of resources. And, the population is estimated to be growing at a rate of 20 to 25% per year. And say activists, the management practice currently in use actually contribute to the increases.

Not so say activists. The cull is to protect the grasslands pasture and water for the cattle ranchers. Senator Dianne Feinstein has called on the Forest Service to stop the cull. Feinstein wants answers to the questions how is the optimum number of horses determined, how will the horses be protected during the gather, how does the service plan to promote adoption or sale of the horse. And Feinstein asked, how will the service ensure the horses will not go for slaughter.

She is asking that the service not let horses go to kill buyers.

Of the one thousand gathered horses itís estimated that 700 will be pregnant mares and young horses. These, itís felt, will be sold or adopted. But, 300 older horses may be at risk of going for slaughter. Younger horses and pregnant mares will be held at a Bureau of Land Management holding facility. The older horses, over the age of 10, will also be held in a holding facility and after 30 days, will be sold for $1 each. This, says activists opens the doors to kill buyers filling their trucks, and clearing out the horses until they are gone. Because there are no slaughter plants able to process these horses in the United States, the horses will end up in Canada or Mexico where slaughter for human consumption is allowed. the Bureau of Land Management prohibits the sale of horses for slaughter. But the Forest Service which is regulated by the US Department of Agriculture does not.

But, claims the Forestry Service, this option allows an opportunity to get horses, without a limitation to how many they can buy. Activists maintain that this will flood the adoption market, making it less likely the horses will be adopted. Smaller, more frequent culls, and other forms of population control would be more acceptable and effective. But the Forestry Service sees holding similar culls each year until the number of horses is under control.

For more information, including adoption opportunities you can visit the Modoc National Forest webpage.
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