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“Senator Feinstein to Forest Service: Don’t Sell Horses for Slaughter
Oct 09 2018
Washington—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 follows:
October 9, 2018
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.
Dianne Feinstein United States Senator