Bipartisan Legislators Take Stand Against Slaughter of California Wild Horses

Wild horses on open land.
Wild horses on open land. Kersti Nebelsiek

Newsdate: Tuesday, May 7, 2019, 11:00 am
Location: WASHINGTON, DC

The nation’s largest wild horse protection organization, the American Wild Horse Campaign (AWHC) today commended Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) for spearheading a bipartisan sign on letter calling on the U.S. Forest Service to abandon plans to sell California wild horses for slaughter.

Wild horses in California's Modoc National Forest.

Wild horses in California's Modoc National Forest

It's time for the Forest Service to abandon its cruel plan to treat these national treasures like trash by selling them for $1 a piece by the truckload, without limitation on slaughter.
© 2018 by American Wild Horse Campaign

The letter, co-signed by 64 members of the House of Representatives, including 27 from the California delegation, states, “The Devil’s Garden Plateau Wild Horse Territory, administered by the Modoc National Forest, is home to California’s largest herd of wild horses, and represents a significant tourism draw to the region. More importantly, these horses are beloved icons in the country, and Americans overwhelmingly oppose horse slaughter.”

“AWHC applauds Rep. Lieu and his colleagues who signed this letter for their leadership in protecting America’s iconic wild horses and burros from slaughter,” said Suzanne Roy, Executive Director for the AWHC. “Americans overwhelmingly want wild horses protected and humanely managed on our public lands. It’s time for the Forest Service to abandon its cruel plan to treat these national treasures like trash by selling them for $1 a piece by the truckload, without limitation on slaughter.”

The plan by the Forest Service -- announced last fall - to sell wild horses captured from the Devils Garden Wild Horse Territory in the Modoc National Forest near Alturas California for slaughter has provoked widespread public outrage and opposition from California political leaders including U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, and California Assemblymember Todd Gloria and 22 of his fellow state legislators.

Prompted by the ongoing controversy over the plan, Assemblymember Gloria introduced legislation AB 128, to strengthen and improve enforcement of Section 598 of the penal code, which makes it a felony to sell, import, export or possess a horse for the purpose of slaughter for human consumption. The bill passed out of the California Assembly Parks and Wildlife Committee on a 10-1 vote.

The AWHC and the Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a lawsuit to stop the plan and the federal district court in San Francisco will hold a hearing this Thursday on the matter.

The American Wild Horse Campaign (AWHC) is the nation’s leading wild horse protection organization, with more than 700,000 supporters and followers nationwide. AWHC is dedicated to preserving the American wild horse in viable, free-roaming herds for generations to come, as part of our national heritage.


Press release by

American Wild Horse Campaign

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