AZ Legislature passes bill to protect Salt River wild horses

PHOENIX (AP) -- The herd of wild horses living near Arizona's Salt River would have new protections under a proposal the House has passed with bipartisan support.

Rep. Kelly Townsend of Mesa is sponsoring a proposal that would make it illegal to harass, shoot, kill or slaughter a horse that is part of the Salt River herd of about 100 horses that have historically lived around the Lower Salt River and Saguaro Lake.

The proposal comes after the U.S. Forest Service planned to remove the horses. The Forest Service has since reversed its decision facing public pressure.

Townsend amended her proposal with additional protections after meeting with The Salt River Wild Horse Management Group.

The House passed House Bill 2340 on 53-3 vote Thursday. It now moves to the governor's desk.

Horse activists have setup a GoFundMe site here: