RENO, Nev. — (Jul. 11, 2010) With the financial backing of a California winery owner, activists on Saturday purchased almost all 174 horses up for sale at a state-sanctioned auction in Nevada to keep the horses from going to the slaughterhouse.
Stephanie Hoefener of the Lancaster, Calif.-based Lifesavers Wild Horse Rescue group said activists purchased 172 horses for $31,415. The other two horses were acquired by private individuals for their personal use, she said.
“We’re excited so many people came together to save the horses,” Hoefener said. “This is amazing, and we all feel joyful.”
The horses were rounded up by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management last month near the Nevada-Utah line and turned over to the Nevada Department of Agriculture for disposal.
Agriculture department officials acknowledge the estray horses could have wound up at slaughterhouses because they did not have the federal protections afforded to wild-roaming horses.
The horses are believed to be strays or descendants of horses abandoned by private owners over the years in Pilot Valley north of West Wendover.
“For advocacy groups to step up to the plate and make a financial commitment like this to save the horses, we think this is a wonderful thing,” Nevada Department of Agriculture spokesman Ed Foster said. Read more >>
Source: Martin Griffith for the Associated Press