Wild horses from US national park to be sold

Horses in Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
Horses in Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

More than 100 wild horses gathered from Dakota’s Theodore Roosevelt National Park are to be sold at public auction this Saturday.

The park expects to sell about 35 to 40 foals, 25 yearlings, 25 two-year-olds, and 20 3-year-olds, although composition of those being sold could change slightly depending upon the results of the park roundup, set for Monday or Tuesday of this week.

The auction will take place at the Wishek Livestock Market in Wishek, North Dakota, at 11am CDT.

About 105 to 110 horses are expected to be sold in a plan to reduce the horse population in the national park to about 100 animals.

Park authorities say periodic roundups of the horses are required to keep their numbers within park population goals.

Since 1954, the National Parks Service has conducted more than 25 roundups in the park.

“Keeping the horse population within our objective requires periodic roundups that are time and labor intensive and have inherent risk for horses and park staff,” Superintendent Valerie Naylor said.

“Our primary concerns during the roundup are for safety of our staff and the horses.”

This year, the park will be continuing a research project to evaluate a multi-year contraceptive vaccine as a potential tool in feral horse management.The project was begun during the last roundup in 2009.

“If the contraceptive research shows promise, we may be able to use that as a tool to limit the size of the horse herd in the future,” Naylor said.”That will reduce the need for removing horses from the park on a regular basis.”

Theodore Roosevelt National Park maintains feral horses as a “historic demonstration” herd so that park visitors can enjoy horses in a natural setting.

Because of the ongoing contraceptive study and the need to maintain horse band structure, the park will retain a larger number of horses than desired. Following the conclusion of the study, the park’s long-term goal is to keep the herd at 50 to 90 animals.

The Cloud Foundation is nearing its goal to raise money to buy up to 24 of the youngsters at the auction.

The purchased horses will be sent to the Legacy Mustang Preservation in Louisa, Virginia, where they will be trained for adoption.

It urged those who could provide a wild horse a home to attend the auction or, if unable to attend, to contact the foundation.

It expressed its disappointment that it would have to compete against slaughter buyers at the auction.



5 thoughts on “Wild horses from US national park to be sold

  • September 25, 2013 at 4:33 am

    It is truly a shame that there are different standards for different horse herds. This herd, for instance, is not get afforded the same adoption program that the BLM is required to follow because the land is managed by the Parks Department not the BLM. Although both fall into the realm of the Dept of Interior there are different rules. In any case, The horses get put up for sale to the highest bidder who may resale them to slaughter.

    I don’t know about you but I believe that all of the land owned by the citizens of this country is PUBLIC LAND…no matter who manages it. The NPS, nor the USFW, nor the USFWS, nor the BLM own the land they just manage it’s use.

    We The People own that land and we own those horses! Secretary Jewell needs to understand she works for US.

    Just because this is the way it’s always been done in the past doesn’t mean it’s right for now. These beautiful horses will lose their family’s and freedom forever…how many wars have we fought to avoid that for ourselves and others?

    At least turn the horses over to a public group i.e. the Cloud Foundation and allow them to find homes for the animals rather than a trip to the butcher shop. Would that be too hard?

  • September 25, 2013 at 5:05 am

    Not a lot of time as the roundup has already happened or at least started..

    Go here: http://www.doi.gov/feedback.cfm

    And send this message:

    Madame Secretary,

    Might I offer an alternative to the auction sale of the TRNP horses to possible “kill buyers”. We the People already own those horses therefore I’d like to ask you to allow the Cloud Foundation and the Wild Horse Freedom Federation to take the gathered horses into custody until they can find proper loving caring homes for them.

    Would it be a terrible thing to offer them life rather than death?

    I trust you’ll do the right thing!

    Then Call 202-208-7351 and ask to speak to the Secretary…she is in today but in a “meeting…yah rightt” and leave this message with her and ask she makes sure the Secretary gets it!

    • September 25, 2013 at 8:52 am

      I believe the purpose of the sale is to make MONEY. That’s what it is all about.

  • September 25, 2013 at 8:51 am

    While I applaud the contraceptive program, I cannot understand why you cannot screen buyers and keep the the dirty nasty butchers out of the program.

  • September 25, 2013 at 9:18 am

    So many young horses to go… The band structures…families…will surely be negatively affected! I looked at the photo above, of the 2 horses rearing, & my 1st thought was seeing them in the slaughter chute box whacked with the bolt! And rearing, they so look so like images I have seen of horses fighting the slaughter, right before being hung by chains, by one hoof… I shake inside! Are there really so many horses needed to be rounded-up from the park? I think NOT! And they are not “feral!” Not “livestock!” We will not stop. We will keep on fighting the war to end the slaughter of OUR horses! Thank you.


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