Group sues US Forest Service over wild horses

ALTURAS, Calif. (AP) — Animal advocates have filed a lawsuit to prevent the U.S. Forest Service from rounding up many of the remaining wild horses in California's Modoc National Forest.

The plaintiffs said in a statement Monday that the government agency's plan to eliminate 25,000 acres of territory and to reduce the horse population by 80 percent could lead to the sale of horses for slaughter and could endanger the long-term genetic viability of the remaining population. The current horse population is about 1,100 and the agency's plan would remove about 900, the lawsuit claims.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit include the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, the Return to Freedom horse sanctuary and the advocate Carla Bowers.

Messages left for representatives of the U.S. Forest Service on Monday evening were not immediately returned.