FEDS CANCEL ANOTHER WILD HORSE ROUNDUP AFTER LAWSUIT THREATENED
495 Wild Horses in Eastern Nevada Get Reprieve
Washington, DC (February 8, 2010) — The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) postponed the proposed roundup of nearly 500 wild horses in the Eagle Herd Management Area in eastern Nevada, just three days after the national law firm of Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney notified the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) that it would sue to stop the helicopter stampede and capture, which had been scheduled to begin February 15.
The BLM received over 9,000 public comments on the proposed roundup, which would have left just 100 horses behind to roam over 670,000 acres of public land. It’s the second roundup cancelled by the BLM this year. In January, the agency announced that it was postponing the capture and removal of 200 horses from the Confusion Mountains Herd Management Area in Utah, after receiving thousands of letters in protest.
“We’re pleased that the BLM has postponed another ill-conceived, illegal and inhumane wild horse roundup,” said William J. Spriggs, lead counsel on the wild horse issue for Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney. “Now it’s time to reform the entire wild horse and burro management program. The BLM’s mass roundup up removal of horses from their rightful Western ranges is economically unsustainable and devastating to the West’s irreplaceable and historic mustang herds.”
In a press release Saturday, the BLM stated “there is not adequate time to safely conduct the proposed Eagle Herd Management Area (HMA) gather prior to the beginning of foaling season,” even though the agency was clearly aware of the timing when it scheduled the winter roundup.
The Eagle decision was announced a day after the BLM halted — several weeks early and 500 horses short of its 2,432 horse removal goal — the intensely controversial Calico Mountains Complex wild horse roundup. To date, 39 horses have lost their lives due to the helicopter stampede and capture at Calico and an additional 25-30 pregnant mares spontaneously aborted. Equine veterinary experts dispute the BLM’s claim that the miscarriages were due to poor nutritional condition of the mares, citing the stress and trauma of the roundup and capture as a more likely cause.
Spriggs’ lawsuit, filed on behalf of In Defense of Animals (IDA), ecologist Craig Downer and noted children’s author Terri Farley against the BLM over the Calico roundup continues in federal court with a hearing scheduled in April.
For Immediate Release
Contacts: William J. Spriggs, Esq., Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney, (202) 452-6051
Eric Kleiman, IDA Research Director, (717) 939-3231, firstname.lastname@example.org
IN DEFENSE OF ANIMALS • 3010 KERNER BLVD. • SAN RAFAEL, CA 94901 • 415-448-0048
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