Horse News

Feds Begin Selling Wild Horses Captured in California for $1 Each

as published on EcoWatch by Lorraine Chow

“The Forest Service is treating these national treasures like trash by selling them for one dollar a piece…”

About 200 horses are available for adoption and sale until Feb. 18. The fee for purchase “with limitations” has been reduced to $1 per horse, down from the original price of $25. The fee for adoption is $125.

“With limitations” includes a stipulation that prohibits using the horses for human consumption. Other requirements include appropriate transportation, adequate space and healthy accommodations for the animals, according to Ruidoso News.

The horses now up for sale and adoption are all 10 years and older. They were among the 932 mustangs that were gathered via helicopters in the territory near Alturas, California between Oct. 10 and Nov. 8.

The gathering of wild horses has prompted fierce debate about how to control populations. On the one hand, the USFS basically views the Devil’s Garden horses as ” a pest,” as reporter Leighton Akio Woodhouse explained on The Intercept:

According to Laura Snell of the University of California Cooperative Extension, who works closely with the Forest Service, “The population of horses on Devil’s Garden needs to be between 200 and 400 animals. It’s now at nearly 4,000.” Snell holds the horses responsible for land degradation on the high desert plateau, including the destruction of native grasses by overgrazing and the depletion of scarce water sources.

On the other hand, advocates such as Suzanne Roy, the executive director of the American Wild Horse Campaign (AWHC), worry that the Devil’s Garden horses up for sale will end up as livestock.

In press release emailed to EcoWatch, AWHC blasted the Forest Service’s $1-a-piece sale.

“The Forest Service is treating these national treasures like trash by selling them for one dollar a piece, sending a strong message that our cherished wild horses [are] throwaway animals who lack value,” Roy said in a statement. “This irresponsible move makes these wild horses vulnerable to purchase by individuals with ill intent, and ignores the wishes of 80 percent of Americans who want wild horses protected on our public lands, not slaughtered.”

AWHC said that the Forest Service is already facing criticism from the public and federal and state officials, including U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, over its plans to offer horses for sale without limitation on slaughter.

“The sale of wild horses for $1 a piece is unprecedented in federal wild horse management, and renders the restrictions of sale with limitation meaningless,” Brieanah Schwartz, policy counsel for AWHC, said in a statement. “Not only are the horses being sold at a price that makes them essentially valueless, but also the Forest Service has absolutely no measures in place to enforce the sale with limitations restrictions.”

The Forest Service is currently being sued by advocates—including Return to Freedom—over its plan to sell any horses that have not been adopted or sold after three attempts without limitations, according to a blog post from the nonprofit. Those sales could begin as early as Feb. 18.

AWHC is calling for immediate oversight measures including public review of all applications for five or more horses at a time before the horses are sold. Without such enforcement measures, AWHC said these new sales terms will encourage kill buyers to purchase the horses and transport them across the border for slaughter in Canada or Mexico.

19 replies »

  1. This is sickening….the USFS thinks they are placating the public by stipulating these horses are sold “With limitations” includes a stipulation that prohibits using the horses for human consumption. Other requirements include appropriate transportation, adequate space and healthy accommodations for the animals”. There is nothing to keep these animals from being sold for slaughter, and this is going to bring out the kill buyers in droves. Where is the USFS’s proof these wild horses are numbering 4,000+?? And I’m will to bet that there are livestock being grazed in the same area, but the wild horses are as usual being blamed for the land degradation. I’m infuriated that this keeps happening, and these government agencies keep winning with their lies.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hell, the USFS charges $10 for a permit to cut ONE Christmas tree!

    “The sale of wild horses for $1 a piece is unprecedented in federal wild horse management, and renders the restrictions of sale with limitation meaningless,” said Brieanah Schwartz, Policy Counsel for AWHC. “Not only are the horses being sold at a price that makes them essentially valueless, but also the Forest Service has absolutely no measures in place to enforce the sale with limitations restrictions.”

    “This unprecedented policy change comes without any opportunity for public input and highlights the agency’s disregard for the value of these federally-protected animals, which Americans overwhelmingly want preserved on our public lands,” continued Schwartz.

    Compounding the growing concern about the welfare of the Devil’s Garden horses is the fact that management and care of the horses at the Double Devil Corrals is being handled by the Modoc County Farm Bureau and supervised by a UC Cooperative Extension Agent, who has been a vocal supporter of horse slaughter, even going so far as to recently raise funds online for Protect the Harvest, a pro-horse slaughter lobbying group. None of the personnel overseeing horse management have wild horse experience. Their incompetence and inexperience was on full display at the recent adoption/sale event.”

    https://americanwildhorsecampaign.org/media/wild-horse-group-sounds-alarm-over-feds%E2%80%99-plan-sell-ca-wild-horses-1

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    • “They” need to be on the permit-holding ranchers’ payroll instead of on the backs of the. taxpayers.
      Don’t know what the going pay rate is for ranch hands, but it’s doubtful that they get paid holidays, vacations, health insurance and retirement benefits.

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      • I respectfully disagree. If unskilled ranch hands were paid by those demonizing wild horses, the horses would suffer even more, and the public would have even less accountability. A better approach would be to daylight how livestock AUMs are calcuated (especially compared to those for wild horses) and raise permit fees to market levels to prevent unfair grazing subsidies skewing the actual costs of doing business.

        If anything, grazing should cost MORE on public lands than private, since the stakeholders are 325 million citizens, and the environmental costs of improper grazing regimens result in extremely high restorative costs (if even possible). Some of those costs are immeasurable, such degraded riparian habitat, release of common livestock chemicals into watershed, how many wildlife species suffer, and for how long, when rangeland is degraded for below even permit administration costs. The costs to the public are largely unmeasured, and as seen the drive to purge thousands of documents will also eliminate much data forever, if allowed.

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      • IcySpots, what I posted wasn’t for WH&B…it was aimed at the GOV AGENTS that are serving the special interests instead of the American Public, that is picking up the tab for all of the damage done by these hijacked agencies.

        I guess I didn’t post it quite right

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      • I guess I didn’t post it quite right IcySpots,
        What I posted wasn’t for WH&B…it was meant for the GOV AGENTS that are serving the special interests instead of the American Public, that is picking up the tab for all of the damage done by these hijacked agencies.

        I guess I didn’t post it quite right

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  3. Holidays are when captives tend to disappear

    Devil’s Garden Wild Horse Emergency Rescue–SAVE the DG 300 from Slaughter!

    IMPORTANT UPDATE FROM USFS. They didn’t mention in this press release that the DDC will be closed for two weeks over Xmas & New Year’s. Will confirm this for all of you as soon as I can.
    Wild horse adoption update:

    The Modoc National Forest has placed more than 60 horses from the 2018 gather into good homes since mid-November, leaving less than 200 horses at the Double Devil Wild Horse Corrals near Alturas, Calif still in need of placement.
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/DevilsGardenWildHorseEmergency/

    Like

    • The taxpayers also picked up the tab for this:

      Congress approves Farm Bill reauthorization

      Reauthorization of the Farm Bill is important to UC because it provides critical support for the nation’s land-grant institutions, including agricultural research extension and infrastructure programs and nutrition education programs.
      https://ucanr.edu/?blogtag=Farm%20Bill&blogasset=96361

      From AWHC
      Prepared by Mary Koncel
      Incompetent and Dangerous Management of Corrals on Full Display at Adoption Event

      (November 20, 2018) On Saturday morning, I returned to the Double Devil Corrals in the Modoc National Forest near Alturas, CA for the sale/adoption of recently captured wild horses from the Devil’s Garden Wild Horse Territory. Seeing wild horses who weeks ago were living freely on our public lands now separated into pens from their band members – numbers spray painted on their backs to identify them and their age – was nothing short of heartbreaking.

      But on Saturday afternoon, the worst was yet to come – witnessing the incompetent and dangerous handling of the horses by members of the Modoc County Farm Bureau and wranglers hired by Farm Bureau representatives. (The Forest Service awarded the Farm Bureau a four-year $500,000 contact to help build and apparently operate the corrals.)

      That’s right, the Modoc County Farm Bureau, and specifically Laura Snell – a vocal pro-horse slaughter cattlewoman who shockingly represents the University of California as a cooperative extension agent. Ms. Snell has previously agitated on behalf of other cattlemen for the removal of wild horses from the Devil’s Garden Territory, but she has zero experience handling wild horses. Yet, she is apparently in charge at the Double DIncompetent and Dangerous Management of Corrals on Full Display at Adoption Event (continued)
      The predictable result of putting these inexperienced and uncaring people in charge was chaos, ineptitude, and trauma to horses as well as possible injuries.
      I’ll explain

      Liked by 1 person

      • I personally know of four Devil’s Garden wild horses that were bought about a week ago and the above story of inept and uncaring people with obviously little or no knowledge about wild horses were in charge of the sale is true.

        In addition, the horses were purchased for $25 each and nobody asked or cared where the horses were going or if they would be well cared for … and didn’t even ask and obviously could care less if they were going to slaughter.

        This is a kill buyers dream come true – and you and I paid for this abuse and trauma being experienced by these horses … OUR wild horses.

        The GOOD news is that these four wild horses that I know about will have the best care possible in a forever home by people who have experience and truly respect animals – especially wild horses and burros.

        Like

  4. Horses have worked with huMANS for a seriously long time. Mankind would not have evolved, explored or survived without horses.
    They are angelic and many of “MAN…kind” has abused and controlled them like cars.
    Obviously so many people don’t see what is REAL. Horses are not stupid and they have not ruined the planet like huMANS!!!
    Legally, they deserve freedom and protection. They are ANGELS!
    Unfortunately, all the cows that are raised are seriously destroying out environment. Commercial farmers are trying to control all land. Millions of lbs of beef are not eaten, it is thrown away. The farmers use tons of water every day and the cow pollution is horrific. Feel sorry for the cows too.
    HuMANS HAVE SERIOUS MENTAL DISORDERS. Horses do NOT!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Once again, for the the millionth (sp) time.. Insanity at it’s best!! There is no positive news anymore for the innocent ones, or us human beings. Sometimes it feels very difficult to feel positive in this wacky world. THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO CARES, especially RT & Terry, plus other orgs. who are dedicated to the cause. CHRISTMAS is a time of blessings & gratitude to help all innocent ones, whether 2-legged or 4-legged. Especially Veterans who served our country Past & Present.
    Sometimes it is hard to feel the “Chrismas Spirit” with all of the negative news, until we remember what our special mission here on earth is about. Band of Brothers & Sisters for Veterans, All Animals, and what is best for our Country!! We shall prevail in the end.. Many tears for the Wild horses & burros who have suffered by humans with no heart or conscience.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I can never get a clear answer to how the government, in the person of Laura Snell, asserts this —“According to Laura Snell of the University of California Cooperative Extension, who works closely with the Forest Service, “The population of horses on Devil’s Garden needs to be between 200 and 400 animals. It’s now at nearly 4,000.” What are her qualifications for this assessment? Where does her data come from? Why is AWHC not asking this? or if they are, what is the rejoinder?

    Like

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