What we know so far…
26 November 2018
Last week a blog post was brought to our attention about 290 horses that were allegedly shot and piled under juniper branches. The post went on to give map coordinates, and some specific information we have been able to use to investigate.
We contacted the original source of that story, other animal welfare organizations and a county commissioner in that area. We are all still in communication and we are still investigating the matter.
What we know is that the herd is part of the Starwalt horses that were indeed once used by the Longview Ranch. Our source said they run with the Murderers Creek wild horse herd, however, there is a substantial distance between the 2 locations so this is doubtful.
However, part of a federally protected herd or not they are wild horses, and if not federally owned then they are owned by the state of Oregon. And whether federal or state-owned it is illegal to shoot them.
The original blog post alleges 290 horses are dead, but without any photo evidence or actually finding the remains we cannot verify that. We believe from our sources that there are fewer horses in that area than 290.
The ranch is owned by an out of state person, and the horses are reportedly being shot by the ranch manager at the request of the owner. The horses are being blamed for lack of forage for the owner’s cattle. The horses are on both private and federal land as this is a checkerboard area.
We are continuing to investigate and will keep you updated as we find out what the truth is out there.