CNN (Oct 8, 2018) — On Wednesday, officials will begin rounding up 1,000 wild horses from federal land in Northern California and putting them up for sale and adoption.
Pregnant and younger horses will likely be adopted, federal officials say, but older horses will be sent to another corral where they could be sold for as little as $1 each to ranchers, horse trainers and other buyers — including those who might ship them to slaughterhouses.
Why are these horses being rounded up?
The horses live on Devil’s Garden Plateau, a protected territory inside Modoc National Forest near the Oregon border. It’s home to the largest herd of wild horses in the country managed by the US Forest Service.
Last month, federal officials said they’ve exceeded their limit for how many horses the area can hold.
“Our territory is supposed to have 206 to 402 animals, we have almost 4,000 horses,” Modoc National Forest Supervisor Amanda McAdams said in a statement.
The plateau is 258,000 acres, but McAdams said there’s not nearly enough vegetation and water to support all the horses.
The horses have been feeding on limited foliage and drinking up most of the water supply, leaving little behind for other wild animals.
“Reducing the population will allow range and riparian ecological conditions to recover, while also supporting herd health by reducing competition for limited food, water and habitat,” the Forest Service said in a press release.
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Updated 6:46 PM ET, Mon October 8, 2018. Read full report »
By Christina Maxouris and Brandon Griggs, CNN.