Horse News Update — Fortune played a large role in the lives of 150 mustangs in Nevada when they were purchased by horse defenders on Friday. The wild horses had been rounded up from the Nevada range, were due to be auctioned and were headed to slaughter.
Several well-known animal protectors pooled resources and efforts, including Madeleine Pickens of Saving America’s Mustangs and horse lover Victoria McCullough of Florida. Interceding on McCullough’s urgent request on behalf of the endangered horses, Florida state senator Joseph Abruzzo negotiated the sale with the Fort McDermitt Paiute-Shoshone Tribe in northern Utah.
Thanks to the financial backing of McCullough, the animal defenders bought the Mustangs on Friday, August 23, for $29,800 from the tribe, or around $200 per horse.
McCullough, well-known chairperson on an oil distribution company board, has been lending strong opposition to the slaughter of horses for human and pet consumption and export to other countries. She sponsors and rescues horses through her Triumph Project in Wellington, Florida.
According to Ginger Kathrens of The Cloud Foundation based in Colorado, plans are already in place to split the Mustangs between rescue groups, and to ultimately disperse the horses into Nevada and California homes. Kathrens is the founder and executive director of the foundation, an advocacy group.
An emergency order had been put in place to block any unbranded horse from going through an auction. But a federal judge lifted it on Wednesday. The tribe was now able to sell the horses despite vigorous objections by the American Wild Horse Preservation that the unbranded Mustangs were protected wild horses under the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971.
Kathrens best summed up the horse sale:
What an incredible, collaborative effort by all involved. Acting as a team and with Victoria's tremendous support, we are able to ensure a future for mustangs that were a heartbeat away from a long journey to slaughter.
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