San Francisco, CA (May 9, 2019). . . U.S. District Court Judge James Donato in San Francisco today continued the stipulated prohibition preventing the Forest Service from selling federally-protected wild horses without limitation on slaughter. Judge Donato further ordered the parties to attempt to negotiate a stipulated settlement to resolve the litigation by AWHC and the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), as well as a similar case brought by other groups over the fate of wild horses captured from the Devil's Garden Wild Horse Territory in the Modoc National Forest near Alturas, CA. AWHC and ALDF were well represented in court today by William Eubanks, of Meyer, Glitzenstein and Eubanks, a highly regarded public interest law firm that has amassed a string of legal victories for wild horses and burros over the past nine years.
In court today, attorneys representing the U.S. Forest Service claimed that the Service will not sell horses for slaughter for human consumption, but will sell them for slaughter for other purposes such as to feed to zoo animals and for use as "bucking stock" in rodeos (presumably followed by slaughter, since the Forest Service is considering bucking stock in the "sales without limitation on slaughter" category). Attorneys for a group of ranchers and county officials who intervened in the lawsuit made clear that the Forest Service intends to use slaughter as a disposal mechanism in order to round up over a thousand more wild horses in order to make room on the public lands in the Modoc National Forest for more cattle grazing.
AWHC will continue to fight to protect Devil's Garden wild horses from slaughter FOR ANY PURPOSE in accordance with the wishes of the vast majority of Californians and all Americans.