Las Vegas Sun

January 31, 2015

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Sandoval to permit wild horse auction despite activist concerns


Steve Marcus

A horse wrangler uses a helicopter to herd wild horses into a corral during a gather near Tonopah in 2010.

Gov. Brian Sandoval is going to let the auction of 41 wild horses captured on state land go forward despite the plea of those who say the horses will be slaughtered.

Sandoval said he received the estimated 18,800 letters from the Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund, including many from out of state, asking him to stop the state Agriculture Department from auctioning off the horses on Wednesday.

He said he was going to let the department "do its job."

"There is no reason not to conduct the auction," he said.

The mustangs roamed on state lands south of Reno all the way to Highway 50 east of Carson City looking for food. Agriculture officials said they wander onto roads, causing hazardous situations.

The protection fund asked the governor to halt the auction and turn the horses over to it for care of the mustangs and to find them a home.

Advocates say the buyers at these auctions will ship them to slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico.

The horses are not protected by federal law.

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