Calif. Sen. Feinstein to Forest Service: Do not slaughter wild horses

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif, speaks at a Capitol Hill news conference in Washington. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif, speaks at a Capitol Hill news conference in Washington. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 9, 2018) —Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today called on the Forest Service to halt the sale of wild horses in California until concerns over potential horse slaughter are addressed.

“I write to request that you provide details as to the wild horse roundup that is set to begin tomorrow on the Modoc National Forest,” Senator Feinstein wrote. “According to the Forest Service webpage for the Modoc National Forest, the removal of ‘approximately 1,000’ wild horses from Devil’s Garden Plateau Wild Horse Territory in Northern California is set to begin as early as tomorrow, October 10th. According to the Forest Service, this is the first roundup of wild horses of this type in 13 years.”

Full text of the letter  is as follows:

October 9, 2018

Vicki Christiansen
Acting Chief, U.S. Forest Service
United States Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250

Dear Acting Chief Christiansen:

I write to request that you provide details as to the wild horse roundup that is set to begin tomorrow on the Modoc National Forest. According to the Forest Service webpage for the Modoc National Forest, the removal of “approximately 1,000” wild horses from Devil’s Garden Plateau Wild Horse Territory in Northern California is set to begin as early as tomorrow, October 10th. According to the Forest Service, this is the first roundup of wild horses of this type in 13 years.

I understand that the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management have a statutory obligation under the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 to protect wild horses and burros on federal land. However, it is also possible that many of these animals will end up being sold to slaughterhouses. I ask that you promptly respond to the following questions and halt any sales of wild horses until I receive a response to the following questions:

  1. How does the Forest Service determine the appropriate management levels (AMLs) for wild horses on the Modoc National Forest?
  2. How does the agency meet the requirements of the 1971 Act to “achieve and maintain a thriving natural ecological balance on the public lands”?
  3. What steps has the agency taken to enhance the safety of these roundups?
  4. What steps have been taken to enhance the likelihood of adoption or sale of wild horses?
  5. Can the Forest Service certify that no horses that are sold will be transferred to third-party buyers who may end up slaughtering the animals for commercial use?
  6. What are the funding needs to ensure that AMLs can be met in the future so the Forest Service doesn’t need to resort to roundups of this nature?

Thank you in advance for looking into this. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

###

Source: Press Release (feinstein.senate.gov/) »


What say you dear readers? Too little, too late? Who believes it isn’t going to matter who speaks out, these are dead horses? That seems to be the goal, and tragically not a new one. Sale or no sale. —Editor


Related Reading

California wild horse round up means some may go to slaughter, Oct. 9, 2018, Tuesday’s Horse »

Sale of Kline Creek horses sparks worry over their fate

Cross-posted from the Daily Herald
By ROBERT SANCHEZ

Kline Creek Farm corn harvest. Photo: DuPageForest.com.
Kline Creek Farm corn harvest. Photo: DuPageForest.com.

After spending much of their lives working at Kline Creek Farm in West Chicago, two senior horses — Annie and Buddy — on March 18 were loaded onto a trailer, driven more than 160 miles to a draft horse auction in Indiana, and sold to a single buyer for $950.

What happened to the animals next is unknown.

Officials with the DuPage County Forest Preserve District — who formerly owned the horses — say they have no reason to believe anything bad happened to Annie, 21, and Buddy, 27.

DuPage horse enthusiasts, however, are fearing the worst.

“Kill buyers do attend horse auctions,” said Jane Muklewicz of Naperville, who defined a kill buyer as someone who purchases horses to ship them to a slaughterhouse. “I was told directly by the owner and also the manager of the Topeka (Indiana) auction that kill buyers do attend their auction.”

Speaking Tuesday to forest preserve commissioners, Muklewicz said it’s “highly probable” Annie and Buddy were purchased by a kill buyer because of their age, condition and differing breeds.

“The fact they were both bought together is extremely disturbing,” said Sue Wedryk of Wheaton.

As a result, Wedryk and other residents said they want the district to ban the sale of any of its retired horses at auction.

Forest preserve President Joseph Cantore said he’s committed to finding out what happened to Annie and Buddy.

“I want to make sure they were auctioned to someone who is going to treat them like the board intended for them to be treated,” Cantore said. “We want those horses to be treated humanely.”

The controversy comes two years after the district revised its horse adoption policy in response to concerns raised by volunteers from Danada Equestrian Center in Wheaton. But officials say those changes only applied to horses from Danada — not Kline Creek.

Read full report »

Featured Image: Eye of the Percheron taken at Kline Creek Farm. By Brian Gaynor.

DA opens investigation into Davis’ sale of wild horses to slaughter

Tom Davis. Photo by Dave Philipps.
Tom Davis. Photo by Dave Philipps.
PHOTO CREDIT: DAVE PHILIPPS
Pictured, Tom Davis, who is at the center of an investigation alleging his sale of at least 1700 federally protected Mustangs to slaughter, as exposed in the ProPublic report by Dave Philipps. Davis reportedly worked on the Salazar family farm, but the Interior Secretary denies any business relationship.

Cross-posted from the Pueblo Chieftain

WRITTEN BY MATT HILDNER

ALAMOSA — District Attorney David Mahonee said Thursday he had opened an investigation into whether a La Jara man who buys wild horses from the federal government had illegally shipped the animals across the state line.

Mahonee, who had just returned from vacation, declined to discuss the details of the case against Tom Davis, adding that he had yet to receive all of the information from the state Division of Brand Inspection.

State Brand Commissioner Chris Whitney said his office is asking local prosecutors to charge Davis for failing to comply with a state law that requires a brand inspection before shipping livestock out of state.

Whitney said he interviewed Davis Nov. 6 and confirmed the violation.

Penalties could range from misdemeanor fines to felony jail time.

Source. Read more >>

RELATED READING

Man Under Federal Investigation for Selling Wild Horses to Slaughter Houses Worked on Salazar Family Farm; The Colorado Observer; by Mark Stricherz; Nov. 16, 2012

Tuesday’s Horse

Salazar interview with Philipps re sale of wild horses to slaughter (video)

Salazar regrets threatening to hit reporter

Salazar threatens to “punch out” reporter

BLM claims to investigate sale of 1700 wild horses to slaughter

Are BLM selling wild horses directly to slaughterhouse dealers? (re ProPublica article by Dave Philipps)