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Forest Service Plans To Roundup More Wild Mustangs From Modoc County

When the Forest Service tried its hand at rounding up and adopting out Wild Mustangs last year, they faced resistance and controversy at nearly every step. Now, they’re going to do it again. In May, animal welfare organizations declared victory in their fight to keep the Forest Service from allowing the slaughter of some of the horses for meat. About 900 Wild Mustangs were gathered from the Devils Garden Plateau in Modoc County last November because they were overcrowded and destroying the other wildlife. Around 650 of them were given to the BLM to offer for adoption. The BLM has been doing the roundups for years, but it’s not a familiar practice for the Forest Service. Many of the horses were adopted, but Front Range Equine Rescue and other groups feared that sales “without limitation” for a Dollar a horse would mean they’d be sold to interests that would export them to be slaughtered for human consumption. A federal lawsuit was filed and an attorney for the Forest Service said in court that the agency had changed its position and that no horses would be sent to slaughter. The agency still had a hard time ridding itself of all the horses, eventually having to offer to deliver them to adopters for free. Still, the 1800 horses remaining on the plateau far exceed the 200 to 400 recommended by scientists. The land is just not enough for them and they’re literally trampling it to death. Starting September 5th another 500 Mustangs will be gathered. 200 will go to the Litchfield Corrals for placement by the BLM. 300 will remain at the Double Devil Wild Horse Corrals in Alturas as the Forest Service tries the adoption process again.