A federal judge Monday dismissed a lawsuit brought by horse activists that sought to halt the roundups of wild horses in Nevada and the stockpiling of the animals in Midwestern facilities.
District Judge Paul L. Friedman in Washington, D.C. dismissed In Defense of Animals, Craig Downer, a Nevada wildlife ecologist, and Verdi children’s author Terri Farley’s lawsuit against government agencies on the basis that the parties did not have standing to take legal action in the matter of holding the horses in a long-term facility and because the roundup in the Calico area of Nevada ended in February.
The Calico lawsuit sought to stop the roundup of a proposed 2,500 wild horses from the half-million (500,000) acre herd management area complex, which is comprised primarily of publicly-owned lands. In a preliminary ruling, the Court agreed that the the government’s practice of sending wild horses to the Midwest and warehousing them in long-term holding facilities as likely illegal.
Advocates argue wild horses are a small fraction of grazing animals on public lands, where they are outnumbered by livestock. The BLM has said it is managing range resources for a variety of uses, including wildlife, mining, ranching and recreation and that the wild horse gathers are backed by sound range management science.
The Obama administration plans to remove another 10,000 wild horses and burros from public lands by October