Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Ventura County Focus | Countywide

Appeals Court Hears Case of Wild Horses

July 07, 1998|MIGUEL BUSTILLO

The fate of the so-called heritage herd of horses living wild on Santa Cruz Island is in the hands of a federal appeals panel.

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments Monday on whether the 15 or so horses should remain on the island and took the case into submission afterward. The justices are expected to issue a ruling in two to four weeks.

Contending that the horses hamper plans to restore the island's natural habitat, the National Park Service and some members of the Gherini family, the island's former owners, are seeking to bring the animals to the mainland.

But the Santa Barbara-based Foundation for Horses and Other Animals has sued the park service and the Gherinis to stop the move. The group says the animals pose no threat to the environment and have historical as well as scientific value. The group has the support of other Gherini family members.

A federal judge ruled in favor of the park service last year, giving it the right to remove the horses. The foundation appealed the decision, however, and the horses remain on the island while the 9th Circuit Court reviews the issue.

"I really don't know what to think," said veterinarian Karen Blumenshine, who advocates keeping the horses on the island, after the hearing in Pasadena. "It was hard to tell which way the judges were going."

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|