Nevada Mustangs Given 28-Day Reprieve - IDA Lawsuit Postpones Huge Wild Horse Roundup

Washington, DC (November 24, 2009) – The U.S. Department of Justice announced tonight that the massive roundup and removal of thousands of horses from public land in northwestern Nevada will be delayed until December 28 as a direct result of the filing of a lawsuit by In Defense of Animals and renowned ecologist Craig Downer on November 23.

Tomorrow, IDA and Mr. Downer plan to file a motion for a permanent injunction, with supporting affidavits from horse experts and eyewitnesses to Bureau of Land Management (BLM) roundups. The motion will ask Judge Paul L. Friedman of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to stop the roundup altogether.

The roundup and removal of 80-90 percent of the estimated 3,055 wild horses living in the BLM’s Calico Mountain Complex was originally scheduled to begin December 1. The BLM has received over 10,000 public comments in opposition to the roundup.

“We welcome this moratorium on the capture and inhumane treatment of the Calico horses,” said William Spriggs, Esq. of Buchanan, Ingersoll and Rooney, pro bono attorney for IDA and Mr. Downer. “The BLM plan for a massive helicopter roundup of these horses is entirely illegal.”

“We are confident that the court will agree that America’s wild horses are protected by law from BLM’s plan to indiscriminately chase and stampede them into corrals for indeterminate warehousing away from their established habitat,” he said. “The magnificent wild horses and burros of the American West are an important part of our national heritage and must be preserved.”

The Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act, passed unanimously by Congress in 1971, designated America’s wild horses and burros as “living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West,” specifying they “shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death … [and that] to accomplish this they are to be considered in the area where presently found, as an integral part of the natural system of public lands.”

Since 1971, the BLM has removed over 270,000 horses from their Western home ranges and taken away nearly 20 million acres of wild horse habitat. Only 37,000 wild horses and burros remain on public lands in the West. By contrast, millions of cattle graze our public lands. Thirty-two thousand wild horses who have been removed from the range are already held in government holding facilities, and the BLM intends to round up 12,000 more horses in FY 2010.

Contacts: William Spriggs, Esq., (202) 452-6051; Eric Kleiman, 717-939-3231

In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization located in San Rafael, Calif. dedicated to protecting animals' rights, welfare, and habitat through education, outreach, and our hands-on rescue facilities in Mumbai, India, Cameroon, Africa, and rural Mississippi. _________________________________________________________________________________

IN DEFENSE OF ANIMALS • 3010 KERNER BLVD. • SAN RAFAEL, CA 94901 • 415-448-0048

17 Comments on “Nevada Mustangs Given 28-Day Reprieve - IDA Lawsuit Postpones Huge Wild Horse Roundup”

  • Aero wrote on 25 November, 2009, 14:53

    One battle down, another to go. Compassion will favor us and the horses in the coming weeks. From my lips…

  • Lyn McCormick wrote on 25 November, 2009, 19:30

    Congratulations ! Thank You ! and Gob Bless You ! IDA, Craig Downer, Mr. Spriggs and Mr. Kleiman,
    You are Champions ! We are still working very hard here in Colorado with The Cloud Foundation ( to get the Petitions signed for the Moratorium.

  • k wrote on 27 November, 2009, 7:56

    We’ve got to keep the pressure on before its too late. No more BS from the BLM!!
    Come on everyone! Lets get it done and protect the wild horse forever. We can do this!!

  • Robert W Crosby wrote on 27 November, 2009, 13:53

    I would like to thank Craig Downer , Mr.Spriggs and Mr Kleiman for all that they are doing for the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros in this matter. If ever we are going to fight the BLM for the true protection of WILD HORSES & BURROS, it is now. I feel if we don’t do it now it will be too late and they will only be a memory. I have had the opportunity to spend time with these majestic animals on the open range, in part because of people like these. Please show your support for these “Wild Free Roaming Horses & Burros”

  • Natalie Jarnstedt wrote on 27 November, 2009, 15:29

    If we don’t object to and try to stop the cruel methods of horse/burro removal, stockpiling, and death, we will have blood on our hands as surely as we had done this ourselves. It is more than just preserving a national heritage; these are sentiernt beings that have every right to be on that land! All wildlife, including these animals, are held in public trust and don’t belong to anyone to do with as they please – not even the government!

  • Sylvia wrote on 27 November, 2009, 16:40

    I agree with all of you, my horse loving friends. God bless, save, and protect the horses and the wild burros

  • Mari Dickson wrote on 27 November, 2009, 17:29

    Thank you dear Craig Downer and IDA for commencing this litigation. The BLM has been consistent in ignoring an enacted statute passed in 1971: Free Wild Horse and Burro Roaming Act.

    If anyone of us committed the crimes against animals as has the BLM done, we would be standing in court awaiting our sentence!

  • William McHenry wrote on 28 November, 2009, 7:17

    GREAT JOB IDA If we are to protect OUR wild horses forever we must STOP the BLM from leasing OUR LAND to the cattle barons.

  • Marilyn Rodefer wrote on 29 November, 2009, 13:43

    I used to see the wild horses when I would ride in the open country. Nowadays I see none. They have all been rounded up and removed. To where I don’t know. It just breaks my heart to see them gone. Once BLM rounds them up, we never see them again.

  • arlene orlando wrote on 2 December, 2009, 9:30

    Thank you !!!! IDA Our Wild Mustangs are our spirit and and our heritage , God Bless you both for what you are doing………………God Blessed us with there Presence, we must save them at all costs……………….I also am working everyday , writing letters to Ken Salazar, President Obama. the BLM (who is Out of Control !!!! and lies constantly !!!!…………..If there is anything I can do PLEASE Let me know!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Catherine wrote on 3 December, 2009, 21:40

    Thank you IDA and Craig Downer for standing up to the BLM. You are my heroes!!!!

  • Bo jarnstedt wrote on 4 December, 2009, 15:52

    Thank you IDA, Craig Downer et al. for your great work

  • State Rep. Fred Camillo ( R-151,CT ) wrote on 5 December, 2009, 7:26

    Thanks IDA and Mr. Downer. You are defending the voiceless, and for that, you have our support and admiration.


    Fred Camillo

  • Brunilda Perez wrote on 5 December, 2009, 21:45

    Preserve the spirit of the West and history by preserving horses and burros.

  • Dr. and Mrs. Bernard Richard Traphan wrote on 6 December, 2009, 2:47

    In the present economy the BLM seems to be more corrupt benchwarmers that need to be fired. If they are harming the very wildlife they are supposed to be protecting, and letting factory farms and giant corporations graze cattle on parklands, all while collecting paychecks paid by our Tax Dollars, then our economy can’t afford the BLM. They have to go. Bombard your Congressmen and Senators with letters demanding that your don’t want your taxdollars paying for corrupt benchwarmers who harm the very wildlife they are supposed to be defending.

  • Barbara Ellen Ries wrote on 21 December, 2009, 17:51

    I am ~ a wild horse and social worker I can speak for those who can’t speak, even muted speak for our American Wild horses ~ they are our National Treasure to ROAM in freedom as a symbol of our freedom for man/animal to conserve of our natural beauty and ethical values of altruistic love. Nature & equines are our birth right ~ including the ancient bond with the dawn horse (USA /Mustangs.)
    I support views of Velma Johnson, Craig Downer and PBS and Executive Director of the Cloud Foundation, as well as Ginger Kathrens views as my views for these pristine centurions. I will continue to assist this Wild Horse and speak of Wild Horses as companions, as history and to connection to our spirits of unconditional love.
    Will man break their ancient bond with history ~ time will only tell. I truly hope NOT!! Wild Horses are not (hobby horses to be tossed in a cart when we are done with their use.)
    I don’t understand why we always abuse them, destroy them or ship them.
    We do as humans do a disservice to things we love and later build a statue to a beautiful memory. We cannot let the spirit of the West to be put out during our Christmas Holiday.
    Maybe Wild Horses are just to be looked at and we uphold a value of trust, courage, pride we will allow an animal to set the pace for ethical values rather humans weaknesses and destruction.
    If we destroy the horses we are the next large mammal in the food chain will be next? Sterilizing horses as a species is no way to keep wild horses as a species alive. It is sterilizing horses to extinction. They will be long GONE.
    We are all connected in the chain of life ~ we harm wild horses ~ we harm ourselves.
    Let’s do ourselves better
    Best to all and to our beloved wild horses
    Barbara Ellen Ries

  • admin wrote on 22 December, 2009, 11:00

    Thank you all for supporting the wild horses and IDA. We truly appreciate your comments.

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