East County News Service
October 17, 2018 (San Diego) – Approximately 1,000 of California’s wild horses are currently being rounded up by the federal government with many at risk of being sold for potential slaughter by the United States Forest Service (USFS). Today, California State Assemblymember Todd Gloria (D-San Diego) and 22 of his legislative colleagues demanded the USFS cease this inhumane roundup and protect these wild horses from slaughter.
“Californians and the American people have made clear that we oppose the slaughtering of horses. It is just plain wrong. That is why I am standing with a bipartisan group of my colleagues to demand the Forest Service immediately cease the inhumane roundup of wild horses,” said Assemblymember Todd Gloria. “It is unconscionable that the federal government would stoop this low and come after California wild horses with the possibility of sending them into the slaughter pipeline.”
Plans published by the USFS document the agency’s plan to permanently remove 1,000 horses from the Devil’s Garden Wild Horse Territory, a federally-protected area, in a helicopter roundup. This is being done so that ranchers in the territory can resume grazing cattle on the public land.
Of these 1,000 horses being roundup, those over the age of 10 can be sold “with limitation” – meaning with a limit of 24 horses per buyer, per day for 30 days. Thereafter, they will be made “without limitation” – meaning, buyers can purchase them 36 at a time.
In a letter written by Assemblymember Gloria to the acting chief of the United States Forest Service, Gloria called on the Forest Service to:
- Provide credible assurances and evidence that no wild horses that are sold will be sent to slaughter;
- Disclose all agreements for any roundup holding and disposition of Devil’s Garden Horses;
- Return all older horses for whom safe and humane long-term placement cannot be found; and,
- Work with the American Wild Horse Campaign to develop a long-term plan to humanely manage California’s wild horse population.
Gloria’s letter was signed by 22 of his California legislative colleagues representing all areas of California including: Assemblymembers Marc Berman (D-Palo Alto), Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), David Chiu (D-San Francisco), Laura Friedman (D-Glendale), Jesse Gabriel (D-San Fernando Valley), Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella), Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego), Ash Kalra (D-San Jose), Marc Levine (D-Marin County), Monique Limón (D-Santa Barbara), Brian Maienschein (R-San Diego), Jose Medina (D-Riverside), Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance), Mark Stone(D-Monterey Bay), Tony Thurmond (D-Richmond) and Senators Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica), Jim Beall (D-San Jose), Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton), Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo), Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge), Henry Stern (D-Canoga Park), and Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco).
"Thank you to California legislators for standing up for the wishes of Californians and all Americans by ensuring that our iconic wild horses are protected on our public lands,” said Suzanne Roy, executive director of the California-based American Wild Horse Campaign. “The federal government must halt this cruel roundup and guarantee that none of these California treasures will be sold for slaughter."
“While this roundup is taking place hundreds of miles from San Diego, we know that all Californians are invested in the humane treatment of wild animals, especially majestic wild horses that have called California’s public lands their home for hundreds of years,” said Gary Weitzman, president and CEO of San Diego Humane Society. “We are grateful for Assemblymember Gloria’s leadership to convey strong concerns about this latest effort by the federal government that does not adequately protect these horses from winding up on a perilous journey to grisly deaths in foreign slaughter plants.”