SAN ANTONIO – The U.S Forest Service will start rounding up 1,000 wild horses on Tuesday, many of which could be sold to slaughterhouses for $1 each.
Wild horses from the Devil’s Garden Plateau Wild Horse Territory will be rounded up and made available for adoption, according to the Sacramento Bee.
Four thousand horses currently roam on land spanning 250,000 acres within the Modoc National Forest but it’s not enough land due to the lack of water and scarce vegetation in the area.
The area is only supposed to have up to 400 horses, according to Modoc National Forest Supervisor Amanda McAdams.
Most of America’s wild horses are governed by the U.S. Department of the Interior, which prohibits selling them to slaughterhouses.
These horses, however, are overseen by the Forest Service, which is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, where no rules exist for the sale of wild horses to a slaughterhouse.
The American Wild Horse Campaign says the government is "exploiting a legal loophole" that will result in the slaughter of hundreds of animals, according to the Associated Press.
Following a 30-day period where the horses will be up for adoption, horses 10 years and older will be made available for $1 each, with no stipulations.
This would allow "kill buyers to purchase a truckload of 36 horses once a week until they are gone,” the AWHC told the Associated Press.
A spokesperson with the Forest Service said they’re trying to adopt out as many wild horses as possible before the 30-day deadline.
"The other option is long-term holding, which makes unlimited sale the only fiscally responsible option,” the spokesperson said.