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Arizona Introduces Bill to Protect Alpine Wild Horses

Alpine, Arizona Wild Horses

Alpine, Arizona Wild Horses

Alpine Mare and Foal

Alpine Mare and Foal

Arizona State Historian Marshall Trimble

Arizona State Historian Marshall Trimble

Recent shootings and removals of Alpine horses in Northeastern Arizona, has spurred action from State legislators.

Humane wild horse management will save taxpayers millions of dollars. The only reason to disagree with this sensible bill would be if you enjoy seeing wild horses go to a slaughterhouse.”
— Simone Netherlands

PHOENIX, ARIZONA, USA, January 27, 2023 / -- The Salt River Wild Horse Management Group (SRWHMG) applauds a new bill, S.B. 1057 sponsored by Senator John Kavanagh, to protect the Alpine wild horse herd. Citing the recent shootings and inhumane online sales of Alpine wild horses, SRWHMG states that these beloved horses are in urgent need of protection and humane treatment. They are urging the public of Arizona to give them a voice, just like they gave the Salt River wild horses a voice, which resulted in their humane management. The Salt River wild horses are enjoyed by millions of visitors to the Tonto National Forest each year.

S.B. 1057 would prohibit the killing of Alpine horses and would prohibit them from going to slaughter for human consumption. The bill also encourages humane fertility control to stabilize the population and allows for humane adoptions if necessary.

Simone Netherlands, president of the group states that humane wild horse management in the long run will save the tax payor millions of dollars and saves the horses terrible suffering. “The only reason to disagree with this sensible bill would be if you enjoy seeing wild horses go to a slaughterhouse”, she expressed strongly.


Massacre in the Apache Forest:

The Alpine wild horses have been under attack. Many of them were found shot to death on October 5th 2022. The Salt River Wild Horse Management Group (SRWHMG) and the American Wild Horse Campaign (AWHC) offered a large reward for the arrest and conviction of the perpetrators of the brutal horse killings in the Apache National Forest near Alpine, Arizona. The death toll of the massacre has risen to 43 horses fatally shot, with 11 still missing and presumed dead. (Totaling 54 horses). The Alpine Wild Horse Advocates maintains a Facebook page where they keep the public updated on their current findings related to the massacre.

Auctions without limitation to slaughter:

In spite of offers by the SRWHMG to humanely manage the Alpine herd, the Apache Sitgreaves Forest Service, citing their designation as “unauthorized livestock” is following through with the plan to eradicate all of these wild horses from their historic habitat. The agency, without complying with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requirements, issues a categorical exclusion (more info here) has been moving forward with the removals. The Apache Forest Service awarded a $437,840 contract to Rail Lazy H Contracting and Consulting LLC, owned by Jackie Hughes. So far more than 200 horses have been removed and auctioned off online, without limitation on slaughter.

The Alpine Wild Horse Advocates and SRWHMG knew and loved every one of those horses from countless days in the field. Through a coordinated effort led by Simone Netherlands, 178 of these horses found good homes and sanctuaries. (#Alpinewildhorsearmy) Unfortunately 30 of them befell an unknown fate like slaughter in Mexico, as there were no other good homes available.

This shocking fate should to be prevented at all cost in the future, as this goes strongly against what the Arizona public wants for these historic wild horses. This is exactly why a bill has been sponsored in the Arizona Senate, SB 1057, by senator Kavanagh (R). This bill will make shooting and slaughtering them illegal, and it encourages legitimate adoption and birth control instead.

How many are left?

The Alpine Wild Horse Advocates (AWHA) have documented the Alpine wild horses in a database app. Through that documentation, it is estimated that after the shootings and removals there are now fewer than 250 Alpine horses left in the Apache Forest in an area of over 500,000 acres. The Forest Service itself estimated that before the removals and shooting the number was 400, which correlates to approximately the same number.

The proposed legislation for the Alpine wild horses is similar to that of the Salt River Horse Act, which was passed in 2016 and signed into law by Governor Ducey in 2017. The Salt River herd was a similarly unprotected herd of historic wild horses on the Salt River in the Tonto National Forest and the Forest Service planned to remove the entire herd. Through the passing of that Act, positive solutions were found. The SRWHMG applies fertility control to the herd and this year only one foal was born. It is a groundbreaking cooperation between the Tonto National Forest, the AZDA, and the nonprofit SRWHMG.

Humane wild horse management is more cost-effective, more sustainable in the long run, more supported by the public, and more humane.

Simone Netherlands
Salt River Wild Horse Management Group
+1 928-925-7212
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