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PUBLIC STATEMENT FROM YENDEGAIA FOUNDATION

In reaction to the TV report by Chilevisión, regarding Yendegaia Foundation, we would like to clarify the following:

1. Under no circumstances has the Foundation ever sponsored, authorized or funded slaughter or killing of feral horses that inhabit the former Estancia Yendegaia.

2. The purpose of our foundation is the conservation, protection and restoration of ecosystems in order to preserve them. To donate Yendegaia to the state as a national park, we have been removing the horses left by the previous owner of Estancia Yendegaia in order to turn over the land with the least amount of exotic animals.

3. The contract signed with Miguel Serka, the former owner of the estancia, authorizes the “hunting” (which by law also means capture) of feral horses and cows, though in practice this is actually limited to the capturing of animals. Wild horses and cows may only leave the property standing on their own feet, and therefore, alive.

4. The Yedegaia Foundation does not sponsor, endorse, or finance any abusive animal behavior, and in fact works consistently to the contrary.

5. To date, there have been three instances when the horses have been moved out of Yendegaia. For each move, the documentation required by SAG, the Chilean agricultural service, has been provided.

6. We believe it was an error on our part not to be more specific in the contract about the fate of the horses.  We have always intended for these horses to be tamed and domesticated, an intention that we practice and which the contractor has fulfilled.

7. In order to donate the former Estancia Yendegaia as a national park, the land must be made free of occupants and contracts, which is why we will terminate the contract authorizing the removal of the animals, as the contract states.

8. In addition, we consulted with the past government over this contract, as we under no circumstances wanted to hinder the donation process.

9. Regarding the Chilevisión report and pictures that were published, these were mainly based on flawed understandings of the facts, by Mr. Andrew Cox Baeza, who has drawn the media to the false accusations of the extermination of horses, an occurrence that has NOT happened and will not happen. The images displayed of people carrying crossbows were taken during the process of sedation while capturing these animals, a method that, in this case was quickly dismissed due to its inefficiency. Another image shows a colt with a leg fracture, which was due to an unintentional accident that occurred during herding. To address the accusation of the use of fishing nets, the nets were only used as temporary corrals.

10. We believe the falsehoods issued by Mr. Andrew Cox Baeza, Executive Vice President of Magellan Agromarín slaughterhouse, are serious accusations that have severely injured the honor and respectable image of the Yendegaia Foundation, its board, employees and partners, and especially Douglas Tompkins, and therefore we will exercise lawful action against Mr. Cox and the misinformation he is responsible for.

We reiterate that at no time has the Yendegaia Foundation or its directors promoted a horse slaughter as stated by Mr. Cox. The Foundation sees the intentions of Mr. Cox as advertising for unknown reasons. The Foundation has never tried or permitted animal abuse, only the opposite. Neither authorities nor individuals should be fooled by these irresponsible and baseless accusations. The Foundation condemns animal abuse, which is further supported by Kristine McDivitt Tompkins’ support of PETA, perhaps the most innovative pro-animal rights organization.

We are confident that our good faith and long history of conservation and nature protection, demonstrated in donation of land for the creation of national parks and private conservation initiatives in both Chile and Argentina, show that we have never contemplated abuse or cruelty to animals in any way.

Best regards,

Directors and Employees

Yendegaia Foundation

Informacion@tompkinsconservation.org

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