By Ryan Van Velzer, Associated Press
May 11, 2016
PHOENIX (AP) - A herd of wild horses living near Arizona’s Salt River came a step closer to new protections under legislation Gov. Doug Ducey signed on Wednesday.
The proposal by Rep. Kelly Townsend, R-Mesa, makes it illegal to harass, shoot, kill or slaughter a horse that is part of the herd.
The protections depend on the Arizona Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Forest Service reaching a related agreement before the end of next year.
“The Salt River horses are beautiful, majestic and a treasure to our state. Since last summer, we have worked to protect them and their ability to roam free,” Ducey said in a statement.
The proposal was developed after the U.S. Forest Service planned to remove the horses. It reversed its decision following pressure from the public.
Townsend called the agreement a compromise that protects the horses from harassment and abuse.