Wild Horses are Livestock? County Backs Down

Sandoval County Planning Departement recently proposed changes to the County’s Ordinances which included a new definition of livestock that would have resulted in the Placitas Wild Horses being defined as livestock, and thus being at immediate risk of capture and removal.  As has been the norm, this change was buried in the ordinance and it was only found with a careful and thorough review by WHOA.

WHOA spoke out against the changes at the County Commission Meeting and submitted a legal opinion from our lawyer, essentially stating that the County’s proposed new definition of livestock was in legal conflict with that of the State’s and could therefore be successfully challenged in court. 

Sandoval County has relented and County Attorney David Mathews stated this in an email to us:

“Brad (Stebleton, County Planner) changed this definition to mirror the state’s statute.  I apologize for missing this one in my review and we thank you bringing it to our attention.  We do not mention the wild horses specifically, but they do not fit the definition of livestock under the state or county version of the definition because they are not domesticated.”      

“It seems to the County the herd of wild horses are strongly supported by the majority of Placitans.  They are part of what makes your community unique.” …. “We have received no negative comments about the horses and, therefore, believe protection of the wild horses is supported by your community.”

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