Update on Devil’s Garden Wild Horses: Will They Be Slaughtered?

February 5, 2019

In November 2018, we notified you about the U.S. Forest Service’s (USFS) shocking plan to sell wild horses from the Devil’s Garden herd in Modoc National Forest (California) without protections against slaughter. This means that “kill buyers” looking to make a profit could buy them for $1 apiece, then turn around and sell them to slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico. Time is running out for these majestic animals, and the Forest Service is pushing forward with this outrageous plan. 
In December, the Forest Service completed its roundup of almost 1,000 horses from the Devil’s Garden Herd. More than 600 were quickly transferred to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Litchfield Corral, where they were safely made available for adoption. However, more than 200 of the horses were corralled in Modoc National Forest and made available for sale. 
Ignoring massive public outcry, the Forest Service has remained adamant that it will sell these animals to the highest bidder—kill buyers included. According to the agency, only 60 of those horses have been placed in homes. The remaining horses are currently available for adoption or sale with limitations through February 18, 2019. After that date, USFS could move ahead with “no limitation” sales to individuals who would sell them for meat across our borders.  
Thankfully, ASPCA supporters were all powerful allies for this herd. A total of 41,962 wild horse advocates across the country signed our petition urging USFS to reconsider this plan and ensure that horses from the Devil’s Garden herd do not end up in foreign slaughterhouses. On Tuesday, January 29, we delivered the signatures to U.S. Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen, along with a cover letter that you can read here [PDF].
Thank you to the over 40,000 supporters who raised their voices for wild horses and signed the petition to USFS. We will keep you updated on the situation as we learn more.