The Las Vegas newspaper carried about a quarter of Scott Sonner’s AP story about the new corral on the California-Nevada border that might allow the Forest Service sell more than 250 wild horses for slaughter.
For the rest of the story, go to the Elko Daily Free Press.
There you will learn, no surprise, that a couple of self-styled horse hugger groups have already sued to try to prevent any slaughter.
“A hearing is scheduled Jan. 31 in federal court in San Francisco on a motion filed by the Animal Legal Defense Fund and American Wild Horse Campaign seeking an injunction to block the sale of the horses captured in the Modoc National Forest in October and November for possible slaughter. The new pen is in the forest, about 170 miles northwest of Reno,” AP relates
Wild horses being warehoused at Palomino Valley near Reno. (Photo by Jo Mitchell)
Horse slaughterhouses are prohibited in the U.S. but are legal in Mexico and Canada.
The 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act states
: “The Secretary shall cause additional excess wild free-roaming horses and burros for which an adoption demand by qualified individuals does not exist to be destroyed in the most humane and cost efficient manner possible.”
But every federal budget since 2009, has stated, “Appropriations herein made shall not be available for the destruction of healthy, unadopted, wild horses and burros in the care of the Bureau or its contractors or for the sale of wild horses and burros that results in their destruction for processing into commercial products.”
The Forest Service has argued that the new pen in the Modoc National Forest allows it to bypass such restrictions at existing federal holding pens.
“The agency denies claims by horse advocates it has made up its mind to sell the more than 250 horses for slaughter,” Sonner writes. “But it also says it may have no choice because of the high cost of housing the animals and continued ecological impacts it claims overpopulated herds are having on federal rangeland.”
The range is overpopulated and the market for wild horse adoptions is dwindling, but the horse huggers continue to litigate while the horses starve on the range and cost $50 million a year to warehouse.