Renowned children's author joins lawsuit to save wild horses
D.C. hearing Wednesday on injunction against Nevada mustang roundup
Reno, Nevada (December 14, 2009) . . . Renowned children’s author and Nevada resident Terri Farley, whose famous Phantom Stallion book series has sold over more than a million copies world wide, has joined a lawsuit to stop a Bureau of Land Management (BLM)roundup of almost 3,000 mustangs in northwestern Nevada scheduled to begin Dec. 28.
A hearing on the lawsuit, filed by Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney on behalf of In Defense of Animals, ecologist Craig Downer and Farley, is scheduled for Wednesday, December 16, 2009 at 11 a.m. in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia before Judge Paul L. Friedman.
“I’m pleased to join this lawsuit on behalf of my readers worldwide who cherish America ‘s wild horses as a symbol of freedom,” Farley said. “If we allow the BLM to continue to ignore the will of Congress and the America people, then soon there will be no horses left to preserve.”
Farley’s Phantom Stallion books are set in the Calico Mountain Complex, where the BLM wants to remove 80 to 90 percent of the estimated 3,000 horses living in a 500,000-acre herd management area. A majority of the horses would be sent to government holding facilities, where they would join the 33,000 horses that BLM has removed from the range and stockpiled at taxpayer expense.
“The BLM’s plan to terrorize, traumatize and chase thousands of horses by helicopter over treacherous winter terrain is inhumane and entirely illegal,” said William Spriggs lead counsel. “We are confident that the court will agree that America ‘s wild horses are protected by law from such treatment.”
According to the BLM, wild horses are being rounded up to preserve the public lands.
“Public lands are used, sometimes irresponsibly, by many Americans,” author Farley continued. “The Calico Complex is no exception. Horses share the range with ranchers, sportsmen, and recreational users — from four-wheelers to the Burning Man Festival. The BLM claims a ratio of 8 million cattle to 37, 000 wild horses nationwide. Using their numbers, it’s clear BLM needs to cowboy up and make those who do the damage pay for it.”
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 more than 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 that 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.
Contact: Suzanne Roy, Program Director, In Defense of Animals, 919-697-9389
IN DEFENSE OF ANIMALS • 3010 KERNER BLVD. • SAN RAFAEL, CA 94901 • 415-448-0048
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