The U.S. Forest Service is set to round up 1,000 wild horses and says that many of them could be sold to distant slaughterhouses.
The Sacramento Bee reports the roundup is set to begin Oct. 9 and last through the month, and will target horses from a herd in the Devils Garden Plateau Wild Horse Territory inside the Modoc National Forest.
Modoc National Forest Supervisor Amanda McAdams says the area is supposed to have up to 400 horses but that the area has almost 4,000 animals.
The first "horse gather" in the national forest in northeast California has alarmed activists.
The American Wild Horse Campaign says the government is "exploiting a legal loophole" that will result in the slaughter of hundreds of animals.