TUCSON – A group of wild horses from Northern California is settling into their new home in Southern Arizona.
The mustangs were transported to non-profit Equine Voices Rescue & Sanctuary in Amado after being rounded up from the Devil’s Garden Plateau territory.
“Over 1,000 of them got rounded up by the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management, and they are selling them for a $1 a piece,” said Equine Voices founder, Karen Pomroy.
The non-profit was able to take in nine of the horses and is working to get them back on their feet.
“They’re not in the best of conditions in my opinion. From a distance, I can see their ribs even though they have a thick winter coat on,” said Pomroy. “We keep food and water in front of them at all times. And probably in a few weeks or a month, hopefully they’ll gain that weight and get back to normal weight.”
In a press release, US Forest Service officials said removing the horses from the land will allow ecological condition to recover, and reduce competition for limited food, water and habitat.
The horses being sold for $1 are sold ‘with limitations’, which means they are not allowed to be slaughtered.
Animal rights advocates say that won’t stop some buyers’ bad intentions.
“Horse meat is selling for about 60, 70 cents a pound. These horses would most likely end up at slaughter for the meat to be sent abroad for human consumption,” said Pomroy.
“For now, we can give a safe home to the nine that have arrived. And our goal is to really educate the public about what’s happening to the wild horses that are being taken off of their land, the public land, and hopefully get more people involved so they can help more of the horses that need homes.”