BREAKING: Today, AWHC and the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group @srwhmg are calling for an investigation and criminal prosecution of the perpetrator(s) in a gruesome slaying of a historic herd of wild horses in the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest near the town of Alpine, AZ.
Arizona’s Alpine herd does not have adequate protections under federal or state law and advocacy organizations are calling for a new bill legally enshrining their protection. The Forest Service is currently in the highly controversial process of capturing and removing the Alpine wild horses from the Apache Forest and selling them at auction without limitation on slaughter.
Simone Netherlands, President of the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group, which has been spearheading efforts to protect the Alpine herd, stated today:
“This hateful massacre is incomprehensible and the killer or killers must be brought to full justice. The Alpine wild horses which live along the historic Coronado Trail are cherished by Arizonans and the American public. This historic herd is in desperate need of stronger protections from harm and further attacks. We thank the Arizona Department of Agriculture for its quick response to this tragedy and ask for an increased law enforcement presence in this part of the Apache Forest to prevent any additional deaths. As a wild horse protection organization, we are calling for a bill that will include this herd under the protection of the state of Arizona much like the Salt River wild horses.”
Netherland’s volunteer group estimates that at least 13 horses have been shot to death, at least 10 are missing and believed to be dead, and at least four have been shot in the face, neck, and/or bellies but are still alive and suffering in the Apache Forest.
This is a developing story and AWHC and the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group will be issuing further statements as information becomes known.