VALLEJO (KPIX 5) — Bay Area animal rights activists are pushing back and demanding that the federal government stops the rounding up of wild horses in Modoc County.
About 1,000 wild mustangs are being pulled from public land, and as many as 300 of them could potentially be purchased for slaughter outside of the United States.
Activists gathered outside of the Regional Headquarters of the U.S. Forest Service to fight back against the roundup.
“Absolutely there’s a lot of pushback. These are California’s wild horses,” said Jennifer Fearing of the San Francisco SPCA.
But, despite pushback from from Senator Diane Feinstein and wild horse advocates, the mustang gather proceeded as planned.
“As of the close of business yesterday, I believe 530 horses have been rounded up,” said John D. Exline of the U.S. Forest Service.
With the roundup about halfway complete, opponents are doubling their efforts, both with litigation at the federal level and a push in the state capitol.
“23 lawmakers from all across the state, Republicans and Democrats, sent a letter to the Forest Service, where we are today asking them to abide by California’s law,” said Fearing.
Once the roundup is complete, there will be a 30 day window before the older horses go up for sale with no limitation.
“We’re trying to get their attention, and not have this go the way they seem hell-bent on taking it,” said Fearing.