Home / Animals / Wild horse roundup to begin in Modoc despite last-minute protest
Wild horse roundup to begin in Modoc despite last-minute protest

Wild horse roundup to begin in Modoc despite last-minute protest

The U.S. Forest Service, which is overseeing the roundup, said the horse population needs to be reduced to “Sustain the natural ecological balance” of the forest’s Devils Garden Plateau Territory.

About 3,900 horses currently roam the territory in a space designated for no more than 402, according to a Forest Service planning document.

Although the Forest Service has been planning the roundup for years, the Modoc roundup is the first “Horse gather” on public lands in 13 years, and media attention has intensified in recent days.

The American Wild Horse Campaign, a group based in Davis, said it fears the animals will be “Sold to slaughter plants to produce horse meat for foreign consumption.”

“While we understand the Forest Service’s desire to reduce the Devils Garden wild horse population, the agency must do so in a humane and socially acceptable manner,” the group added.

She said the horses are protected from slaughter by the federal Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act, but that law only covers the Interior Department, not the Forest Service, which is under the Department of Agriculture.

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