Roundup of Wild Horses in California Could Lead to Illegal Slaughter
An Animal Rights Article from All-Creatures.org

FROM

Leighton Akio Woodhouse, The Intercept
October 2018

This week, the Forest Service began a roundup of 1,000 mustangs in the 470 square-mile Devil’s Garden region of the Modoc National Forest, which is a designated wild horse territory. Wild horse advocates fear that hundreds of these horses could end up in Mexican and Canadian slaughterhouses.

captured wild horses
Photo: Courtesy of the American Wild Horse Campaign

Depending on who you ask, the wild horses of the Devil’s Garden Plateau, in the northeastern corner of California, are a magnificent part of the state’s natural heritage or an invasive blight on a fragile landscape.

“These are living symbols of the historical pioneering spirit of the west,” said Suzanne Roy, campaign director for the American Wild Horse Campaign. “They’re living icons, symbols of freedom.”

According to the U.S. Forest Service, however, they’re also a pest.

This week, the Forest Service began a roundup of 1,000 mustangs in the 470 square-mile Devil’s Garden region of the Modoc National Forest, which is a designated wild horse territory. Wild horse advocates fear that hundreds of these horses could end up in Mexican and Canadian slaughterhouses.

The roundup, or, in the language of the Forest Service, the “gather,” involves buzzing the landscape with helicopters to flush bands of terrified mustangs out of the trees, corralling them together, and pushing them into the wide end of a funnel-shaped enclosure. There, a wrangler sends a trained “Judas horse” galloping down the enclosure, leading the other horses in a stampede down to the narrow end of the funnel as the gates are locked behind them.

captured wild horses
Wild horses from the Devil’s Garden Wild Horse Territory in the Modoc National Forest are contained in trap site pens. Photo: Courtesy of the American Wild Horse Campaign

To read the entire article, go to THE INTERCEPT.


Return to Animal Rights Articles